Ready to Ride: What Motorcyclists in Florida Need to Know
As Spring quickly approaches here in Florida, and temperatures will steadily rise over the coming weeks, bikers throughout the area will be coming out in droves to enjoy the sunshine, the fresh air, and the FUN that comes from being in the outdoors. Motorcycle owners are dusting off their wheels and their riding equipment and preparing to hit the road. However, that fun could come at a high cost if you don’t take the proper precautions with your safety. Florida ranks as one of the highest in the US for motorcycle accidents each year, and sadly, many of the fatalities are preventable. More often than not, these injuries or deaths are due to lack of equipment and/or safety measures so it’s worth taking time to educate yourself about how to stay safe on the highway when you’re cruising.
Age matters. Young people are not always mature enough (even if physically large enough) to ride on a motorcycle. No different than any other vehicle, a motorcycle can cause serious injury or death and should be treated with respect, even more so since it’s open and leaves passengers vulnerable. While it might be ok to let your young person practice being a passenger in a safe environment under close supervision, any driving on or near major roadways, at higher rates of speed, or in inclement weather should be when you leave your young passengers at home.
Wear a helmet! Drivers AND passengers of all ages should wear a helmet when on a motorcycle. While not the “law” for an adult to be wearing head protection here in Florida, it goes without saying that if you truly want to drive responsibly, a helmet is part of that when on any recreational vehicle like an ATV or a motorcycle. Helmets save lives daily, and it’s not worth taking the risk of going without one.
Be wary of excess equipment. While some equipment is vital and necessary (like a helmet, see above), some equipment is actually more harmful than helpful. Oftentimes motorcycles offer a wide variety of accessory packages and add-ons that you can purchase for your ride, and while some are definitely functional (like bags that let you carry needed items with you on trips), others can be a distraction that actually makes your driving more dangerous. Anything that inhibits your hearing for example is a huge risk since you are at even more of a disadvantage if you miss a car horn, a siren, or other audible warning. Even GPS systems can be a risk if you aren’t careful about when/where you take a peek at the display. Taking your eyes off the road at the wrong time could prove disastrous.
We encourage you to get out and have fun this year, and by using the tips above, you can do so knowing that you are protecting yourself and the ones you care about while enjoying your time outdoors on your set of wheels. While thinking about safety, consider the importance of “insuring your fun” when you purchase coverage for your motorcycle, and make sure the policy you opt for is adequate to cover potential needs that could come up. Carroll Marshall Insurance is here to help you make the right decision, so give us a call!