How motorcyclists may avoid accidents

Florida motorcyclists may be interested in steps they can take to make riding safer. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, motorcyclists have a higher fatality rate than car drivers do. This is partly caused by their exposure, and the vehicles are typically less visible than cars are. Of all fatal accidents, 42 percent were associated with alcohol use, and speeding occurred in 48 percent. However, there are other measures a motorcyclist can take to reduce the risk of injury.

Motorcyclists may benefit from taking a safety course. Participation in the course may make an insurance discount possible or might allow the rider to be licensed without taking the written exam or road test in some places. Helmets may also be essential for a motorcyclist and could prevent fatal head injuries by 40 percent. According to the Department of Transportation, a full-face helmet is best, and newer helmets are able to protect the rider without being heavy or uncomfortable. It is also recommended that helmets be changed every five years.

Bikers are also encouraged to dress appropriately to avoid injury. Long pants, ankle boots and a leather or otherwise protective jacket are best. Avoiding wet roads is particularly important since sliding becomes more likely in those conditions. In addition, choosing a model with antilock brakes allows a motorcyclist to stop unexpectedly without skidding, and the cost to add ABS brakes is minimal. Many motorcycles are equipped with ABS as a standard feature, and insurance carriers may provide a discount for having it.

Many motorcycle accidents happen when a car turns or changes lanes. If a motorcyclist is injured in such a crash, the injured party may be able to pursue compensation for damages from the at-fault party. This award may cover the expenses stemming from the incident. An attorney may assist by reviewing accident data and offering guidance in filing the suit in court.

Source: Consumer Reports, “10 motorcycle safety tips for new riders“, December 12, 2014