The temperate climate of the Florida panhandle, combined with some of the most beautiful scenery in the country, makes for many happy motorcyclists. The roads are flush with riders, particularly in the summer months when visitors come down from other states. Seeing as the streets are busier now, it’s a good time for some reminders about staying safe while riding.
Gear up, Florida!
Florida law allows motorcycle riders over the age of 21 to go without a helmet if they choose, provided they have at least $10,000 in medical payment insurance. It’s important to understand that the decision to forego wearing a helmet can be a costly one, though. The Centers for Disease Control reports that helmets can reduce the likelihood of a traumatic brain injury by 69%, and they reduce the risk of death in a crash by 37%.
Even though adult motorcyclists don’t have to wear helmets, they still save lives and prevent serious brain injuries. In addition to wearing a well-fitting helmet, motorcyclists should also wear:
- Eyewear (either a helmet with a face shield, goggles, or well-fitting polarized sunglasses)
- Bright colors
- Shoes that protect the feet
- Pants and a jacket made of leather or another durable material
Tips for motorists
It’s not just the motorcyclists that need to pay careful attention to road conditions, traffic patterns, and weather when out for a ride. Motorists sharing the road must take care and do their part to avoid accidents. This includes:
- Checking blind spots and signaling before changing lanes
- Double-checking intersections before proceeding
- Yielding the right-of-way to motorcyclists whenever appropriate
- Not driving while paying attention to cellphones, texting, tablets, laptops, or other distractions
- Getting plenty of rest to avoid drowsy driving
- Leaving a four-second following distance behind a motorcycle in front of you
- Not passing too closely; motorcycles need and deserve a full lane of traffic
- Never driving after drinking
No matter how much care you take as a motorcyclist, accidents still happen. If you or someone you love was injured in a motorcycle crash, you have rights. Before you sign off on what might be a lowball insurance settlement that won’t adequately compensate you, consider seeking legal guidance.