All motorcyclists understand there are inherent risks associated with the choice to use this popular and common mode of transportation. Motorcycles can leave you open to many dangers on the road during your daily commute or cruising adventures. The need to work to keep the vehicle upright and the lack of protection offered by the vehicle mean that when something goes wrong, a crash can cause the rider serious injuries. To the surprise of many, where you ride can also significantly increase your chances of a motorcycle crash.
The Prevalence of Motorcycle Crashes in Fort Lauderdale
Riding a motorcycle in a major metropolitan area will, of course, place you at greater risk of collisions with vehicles than taking a cruise on a country road. More vehicles overall and congested roadways inevitably lead to more motor vehicle accidents in general. The Fort Lauderdale area is the second most populated region in Florida.
In 2019 alone, the Fort Lauderdale area reported more than 650 motorcycle crashes resulting in more than 500 injuries and 30 fatalities. So far in 2020, the Fort Lauderdale area has seen 460 motorcycle-related collisions and 34 fatalities. In comparison with the rest of Florida, only Miami-Dade County surpasses the Fort Lauderdale area in yearly motorcycle collisions.
Dangers of Motorcycle Riding Distinctive to Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding area in South Florida are an appealing environment for motorcycle riders, boasting sunshine and warm weather year-round. Riding a motorcycle on the streets of Fort Lauderdale is often a pleasant experience. Unfortunately, there are also many hidden dangers that riders should consider when taking to the road on a motorbike in South Florida.
Rapidly Changing Weather
Sunny days can quickly turn into downpours and thunderstorms in Fort Lauderdale. This ever-present threat of rainy weather creates especially dangerous conditions for motorcycle drivers. Slick roadways coupled with limited visibility and slowing traffic can lead to traffic incidents and motorcycle crashes.
It is a common sight to encounter roadway construction on your daily commute in Fort Lauderdale, on the expressway, and throughout surrounding neighborhoods. The constant presence of road closures and repairs produce debris, changing traffic patterns, and uneven surfaces that can pose a serious risk to motorcyclists.
Around the Clock Traffic
Whether it is midnight or 2 p.m., Fort Lauderdale’s roadways are often busy and present challenges for motorcyclists. During daytime hours congestion, stop and go traffic, and busy intersections dominate the roadways. In the evening hours lane closures, roadwork, and speeding contribute to dangerous conditions.
How Can You Lower Your Risk of Having a Motorcycle Crash?
The reality is that it is impossible to predict all the obstacles you may encounter or the actions of others traveling alongside you on the road. However, there are some preventive measures and steps you can take to put yourself in the best possible position when riding your motorcycle to reduce your risk of accident or injury.
Invest in Protective Gear
As a motorcycle rider, the smallest bump in traffic or unexpected debris in the road can lead to severe or even fatal injuries. The number one protective measure you can take is to be equipped with a high-quality motorcycle helmet allowing for maximum visibility and impact protection.
Although Florida statutes do not require everyone to wear a helmet, it is in your best interest to wear one whenever traveling by motorcycle. Researchers estimate that a helmet will not only reduce your risk of serious head injuries by 69 percent but will also reduce your risk of death by more than 40 percent. Helmets are lifesaving tools that should be a central component in every motorcyclist’s safety gear arsenal. Adding protective clothing and footwear can also drastically reduce your risk of suffering a serious or fatal injury when riding your motorbike.
Unlike driving a passenger vehicle, riding a motorcycle requires a bit of extra preparation and planning to ensure you are ready for any challenges that may pop up in your path. When getting ready to head out the door, take a few minutes to look at the weather and traffic reports for your area. If inclement weather or delays are ahead it might be wise to choose a different mode of transportation or delay your departure until things clear up.
Avoid Problematic Areas
There may be certain areas along your route that may present hazardous conditions, putting you at an increased risk of injury. Try to avoid road construction whenever possible and plan a few alternate paths to your destination.
Distracted driving is distressingly common amongst passenger vehicle drivers and is one of the greatest risks to motorcycle riders. Motorcyclists are often the victims of other distracted drivers, although they can also fall victim to distractions and mistakes that can lead to dangerous situations and collisions.
When riding a motorcycle you must be fully aware of not only your actions but the actions of the drivers surrounding you. Stay on alert and identify possible problems before they occur. If you see a distracted driver along the roadway or an obstacle ahead take preventive measures as soon as you can to avoid putting yourself in danger.
Ride Motorcycles Safely in Fort Lauderdale
South Florida’s weather, natural setting, and scenic roadways offer motorcyclists a spectacular opportunity to experience beautiful and relaxing rides throughout Fort Lauderdale. With the right mindset, gear, and preparations you can travel along Fort Lauderdale’s streets as safely as possible.
When it comes to riding motorcycles in this bustling Florida hotspot, it is important to prioritize patience and be willing to adapt to any changing circumstances that could affect your ability to ride safely. Planning ahead by knowing the ins and outs of your route and the unique dangers you can expect to encounter can help ensure that you enjoy a safe ride.
If you or a loved one was in a motorcycle crash, contact an experienced and knowledgeable Fort Lauderdale motorcycle accident attorney who can help you protect your legal rights and interests.