Daytona Beach is home of the annual Biketoberfest motorcycle rally. This year’s 25th Chrome Anniversary festivities are set to be the largest gathering yet. While a good opportunity for riders to join together, bike rallies can be dangerous for inexperienced riders and veterans alike. Drivers of larger vehicles often don't look twice for motorcyclists, and fail to yield to them the right-of-way.
Motorcyclists injured at Daytona Beach, Biketoberfest, or other gatherings have important legal rights which must be protected. You should know that while most states require similar insurance coverage for motorcyclists as any other motor vehicle operator. However in Florida, only motorists driving four-wheeled vehicles are required to obtain personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. No-fault laws do not apply to motorcycle operators, meaning they will have to pursue damages from the at-fault motorists. However, most riders do still obtain coverage, and UM/ UIM coverage in particular can be helpful.
Fatal Motorcycle Accident Statistics
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that, in 2014, motorcycle fatalities occurred 27 times more frequently than fatalities in other vehicles. Motorcycles have been repeatedly demonstrated to be less safe than passenger vehicles over decades of research. This is largely due to basic laws of physics which apply to the logistics of motorcycle riding. The larger a vehicle is, the more impact it can absorb from a collision.
Motorcycles, which offer little to no such protection to riders, thus pass on nearly all the impact of collision to rider. Many riders are completed ejected from their bikes during collisions, and this can cause injuries which are even more serious.
Safety Tips for Riders
(1) Always wear a helmet! Make sure that your helmet is properly fitted to your head and meets Department of Transportation safety standards. Research consistently shows that helmets save lives, and that states with mandatory helmet laws have fewer motorcycle fatalities that states without such laws. Wear a helmet even when riding through states that do not legally require you to do so.
(2) Wear other appropriate safety gear. Long sleeves and leather pants can protect you from road rash in the event you are thrown from your bike. Gloves should be properly fit so there is no chance that they will interfere with your hand controls.
(3) Stay visible. Motorcycles are smaller than passenger vehicles, and this makes them more difficult to see – especially at night or in inclement weather. Use reflective clothing and proper signaling to help other drivers see you.
(4) Perform regular inspections of your motorcycle and safety equipment. Anything that is not in good working condition should be repaired or replaced immediately.
(5) Never drive while tired. Take frequent rest breaks to ensure that you are alert and safe on the road.
(6) Pay particular attention to the condition of the roadway. Motorcycles are more susceptible than passenger vehicles to roadway conditions such as potholes, uneven surfaces, slippery surfaces due to ice or water, etc.
(7) Watch out for animals on the side of the road. Wild animals in particular tend to act unpredictably, and this can make it difficult for a motorcycle rider to safely avoid collision.
(8) Plan ahead when riding in a group. Discuss the route and pre-arrange stops before leaving on a group ride. Designate a leader and a back rider to help keep the group together. Discuss signals to be used in the event that a rider needs assistance
(9) Watch for less-experienced riders at large events. Allow plenty of space around these motorcycles and do not rush the rider to get around them.
After any motorcycle accident, contact an experienced Orlando motorcycle accident attorney to protect your legal rights and make the roads of Florida safer for all riders.