Practicing safe and defensive driving is essential for motorcycles in the Miami area just as much as it is for other vehicles, if not more than. Because of this, motorists must remain alert and anticipate the moves of the vehicles around them in order to avoid an unfortunate personal injury situation.
Photo credit: Anucha Saorong
⅔ of auto accidents involving a motorcycle and another motor vehicle are caused by the vehicle violating the right of way of the motorist. Before taking motorcycle to the streets of Miami, review these safe driving tips to avoid a collision as much as possible:
Tip # 1: Prioritize safety and preparation.
A valid motorcycle license is required to operate any bike or scooter with a displacement more powerful than 50 cubic centimeters. If you are under the age of 21 or do not have valid insurance, you are required by Florida law to wear a helmet. In addition to these rules, here are a few tips to consider when preparing to ride that will maximize your safety on the streets of Miami:
Drive a motorcycle that fits you.
Be sure your feet can reach the ground, and your arms can easily access the handlebars and all controls.
Learn all the essential techniques.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) offers safety classes in the Miami area, covering topics such as evasive emergency maneuvers that could save a life.
Dress for protection.
Riders are 40 percent more likely to experience fatal head trauma when they choose to not wear a helmet. In Miami, helmets are not required, but are highly recommended. In addition to a helmet, a helmet visor or goggles are best for protecting eyes. Should an accident occur, wearing a bright-colored jacket, long pants, gloves and ankle-covering footwear will help minimize injuries. Avoid wearing short sleeves and sandals while riding.
Check the weather.
To ensure maximum safety, avoid riding in rainy weather. Slippery conditions and reduced visibility can often increase the risk of accidents. If you do need to ride in the rain, invest in antilock brakes to drive as safe as possible and pull over to a safe rest stop if conditions worsen.
Do a pre-ride walk-around.
Inspect your bike and ensure all safety features are fully functional before each ride.
Tip #2: Remain alert.
With technology and road distractions at high, it’s easy for motor-vehicle drivers to not see motorcyclists until it’s too late. Use these tips to remain alert and anticipate the actions of the drivers around you:
Watch lane changes.
Keep an eye on the drivers around you. If you watch their heads for movement, you can anticipate sudden lane changes. Also watch for drivers pulling out from side streets onto busier main roads and don’t get between a vehicle and an onramp.
Keep a safe distance.
It is best to follow the three second rule, counting three seconds from when the car in front of you passes a stationary object and staying that far behind said car. This will allow you to safely react on your motorcycle in case of sudden stops or debris on the road.
Have a visual escape route in your mind.
In case of a dangerous situation, use the larger vehicles around you as coverage and always be ready to react to ever-changing Miami traffic. It’s recommended to continually scan your environment, rather than rely solely on your mirrors.
Make yourself known.
In order to ensure you are seen by surrounding vehicles, keep your high beam on during the day. This will help left-turning drivers see you. It is also recommended to stay toward the left or right of a lane as traffic suddenly slows. This will help avoid colliding into the vehicle in front of you and make it easier to escape in case of an unfortunate surrounding situation.
Tip #3: Avoid high-collision areas as much as possible.
Photo Credit: Antonio Balaguer Soler
- Palmetto Expressway between 41st and the Dolphin Expressway (20th worst bottleneck in the country)
- Dolphin Expressway from 72nd to the Palmetto (32nd worst bottleneck in the country)
- Dolphin Expressway between 17th Avenue and 22nd Avenue (39th worst bottleneck in the country)
Worst Intersections (According to Miami New Times)
- NE Second Avenue and 36th Street (Midtown Miami)
- SW 117th Avenue and Kendall Drive (West Kendall)
- South Dixie Highway at all I-95 intersections (Coconut Grove)
- SW 117th Avenue and 152nd Street (South Miami-Dade)
- A1A and Las Olas Blvd. (Fort Lauderdale)
- Alton Road and Dade Blvd. (South Beach)
- NW 87th and 36h Streets (Doral)
- The Brickell Avenue Bridge (Brickett)
- NE First Avenue and NE Sixth Street (Downtown Miami)
- Pines Blvd. and South Flamingo Road (Pembroke Pines)
Learn more information about the 5 Top Causes for Motorcycle Accidents in Florida now.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident in the Miami area, our team at The Law Firm of Cohen & Cohen is here to help. For assistance with your potential lawsuit, contact us today and receive a free case evaluation. Or for even more helpful information about personal injury, view our Miami case study below: