No matter how safe of a driver you might be, when you’re riding a motorcycle in a busy area like Hollywood, Florida, you’re likely to experience added risks and hazards while on the road. But, by following some easy motorcycle safety tips, you may significantly decrease your chances of getting into an accident.
Here are five main tips to keep in mind that can help you avoid a motorcycle accident:
#1: Ensure your motorcycle is in optimal shape.
The condition of your motorcycle is just as important as your experience level. Before hitting the road, be sure that your bike has been properly (and recently) serviced and maintained. The following are a few things you can check on your own to make sure your motorcycle is as safe as possible.
Tires and Brakes – To avoid blowouts at any cost, see if there are any signs of low tire pressure or worn-down tread. Also, having anti-lock brakes can help you to stop safely in case an emergency arises. With the many dangerous conditions of the road it’s crucial to be able to stop quickly.
Headlight, Taillight and Signal Lights – Proper signaling to your fellow drivers in crucial to make sure they know which direction you are headed in, especially since your vehicle is much smaller than most other motor vehicles. Take some time to check that all lights are functioning and in order before heading out.
Fluids – Ensuring your coolant and hydraulic clutch fluids are fresh and up to date could be a time-saver and life-saver. Check them at on a bi-weekly basis to ensure everything is working properly.
Mirrors – You want as much visibility as possible when driving your motorcycle. Give your mirrors a quick wipe down and adjust them to suit you, so you have a clear view of other drivers.
Horn – A properly working horn can help in avoiding a collision, and in some cases, save a life, so give that horn a test before leaving your home.
#2: Always obey traffic laws.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported in 2014 that motorcyclist deaths occur twenty-seven times more frequently than deaths in other motor vehicles. So while other drivers may may not be as affected when bending traffic laws, motorcyclists may be putting themselves in significantly more danger if they do the same. The following are some easy-to-do tips to help keep you, as a motorcyclist, safe:
- - Abide by the posted speed limit
- - Obey traffic lights and signs
- - Check your mirrors and look behind you when changing lanes
- - Use signals when changing lanes
- - Proceed through intersections with caution
- - Be drug- and alcohol-free while riding
- - Yield to pedestrians
- - Stay within lane markings
A note on “staying within lane markings.” According to Florida Statute 316.209 it is illegal to engage in lane splitting (the act of riding between two lanes of traffic). However, sharing a lane of traffic with another motorcyclist is perfectly legal. Other tips include:
- - Apply reflective materials to your motorcycle for increased visibility
- - Try not to ride as often between dusk and dawn
#3: Avoid high-traffic areas.
In any busy city, it's important to remember that there are especially busy areas that should be avoided when possible. Here are some major roads and intersections to keep an eye out for:
- - FL Turnpike (SR 9)—Exit 49
- - US 441 (SR 7)
- - Rainbow Drive (Presidential Circle)
- - I-95 (SR 9)—Exit 20
- - 28th Ave (City Hall Circlce)
- - SR A1A (interchange)
#4: Always wear protective gear while riding.
Keep safety at the top of your priorities when operating any vehicle on the road by ensuring you're always wearing a helmet. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a useful guide to identify the differences between safe and unsafe helmets. Other items to consider are heavy fabrics to protect your skin (leather, heavy denim, etc.), protective eyewear, closed-toe shoes, and brightly colored/reflective material so other drivers can see you clearly.
#5: Ride defensively.
You can still find yourself in an accident even if you follow the previous four tips, due to nothing more than another driver’s negligence. The best way to avoid accidents like those is to drive/ride defensively. Always have your headlights on, avoid blind spots, signal well in advance, keep a vigilant eye out for other drivers making lane changes and turns, and always stay at a safe distance from all other vehicles.
But when accidents are unavoidable, it’s crucial to know where to turn for legal help. If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident in Hollywood, Florida, or within South Florida, contact us at 1-800-33-COHEN today, or view our Hollywood, FL case study below: