In a recent article from the Tampa Tribune, an estimated half-million motorcyclists begin their annual trek to Bike Week in Daytona. The traffic and excitement that it brings however is not the cause of most accidents according to The Florida Motorcycle Safety Coalition. Research shows that 60 percent of vehicle-motorcycle accidents in Florida are caused by the drivers in the vehicle.
A survey of bikers shows that while 71 percent are most worried about being hit by distracted drivers, only one in five wear reflective gear to reduce that risk. Besides recommending bikers to wear helmets, the AAA and Coalition suggest motorcyclist do whatever they can to make themselves more conspicuouson the road.
Here are some other motorcycle-awareness tips for motorists: • Check blind spots before changing lanes or merging, particularly in heavy traffic. Assume motorcyclists pulling out of side streets do not see you and may pull in front of you.
• Expect to see motorcycles as they are often hard to see in traffic. Look for a helmet, tires or a shadow alongside a vehicle that you can’t see around.
• Don’t drive distracted. Drivers who take their eyes off the road for just two seconds double the risk of getting into a crash. Distracted driving is a major cause of motorcycle crashes.
• Keep your eyes and ears open at all times. Motorcyclists may blend into groups of vehicles and may be closer than you think. Also, not all motorcycles are loud so listen closely if you think one is nearby.
• Watch out when making left turns. Most crashes between cars and motorcycles involve left turns.
The AAA online survey was conducted Feb. 8 to 11 and included motorcyclists living in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee. A total of 202 motorcyclists completed the poll, which has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 6.7 percent.
Here are some other statistics that came out of the survey: • 33 percent of bikers say they have been involved in a motorcycle crash and of them, 67 percent said another vehicle caused the crash.
• 23 percent of bikers surveyed say they have ridden within a few hours of alcohol consumption.
• The main reasons cited for riding after drinking were: Bikers believing they were not intoxicated (74 percent) and bikers saying they were driving only a short distance (35 percent).
If you find yourself injured or on the road and see a motorcyclist down during bike week call a Tampa personal injury attorney that can help you get you the assistance you need! Call us 24/7 at 813-931-0840.