May is the month set aside for National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. What is it that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to achieve during that one month that is not as important throughout the year? Reportedly, the goal is to create more awareness among motorists nationwide, including Florida, and to get them to “think motorcycles.”
Why do motorists violate the right-of-way of motorcycle riders?
Several factors, both combined and individually, cause vehicle drivers to overlook the rights of motorcyclists, including the following:
- Reduced visual recognition due to motorcycles’ size relative to the total mix of traffic.
- Many motorists fail to anticipate the presence of bikers in the traffic.
- The smaller sizes of motorcycles is often obscured by larger vehicles.
According to research, motorists can be aware of motorcycles. The proof is that families who ride bikes or have friends who are motorcycle enthusiasts are typically mindful and on the lookout for bikes when they drive automobiles. Therefore, authorities believe that creating more awareness might lead to fewer motorcycle accidents.
However, some of the responsibility rests on the bikers. They must not lose sight of the following:
- Just like large trucks, passenger vehicles have blind spots the bikers should avoid.
- Passengers’ heads, door pillars and areas hidden from mirror views cause blind spots and are danger zones.
- Conditions like glare and precipitation could compromise the views of motorists.
- Cargo-carrying vehicles could obscure motorcycles.
- Bikers could also be obscured by light patterns, roadside objects and various other environmental factors.
Other traditional distractions include passenger interaction, eating, grooming, reading, audio systems and mobile phones. Authorities urge motorists to avoid distractions and be more aware of motorcyclists sharing the roadways with them.
Victims of motorcycle accidents in Florida might have viable claims for damage recovery. If they have proof of negligence on the part of vehicle drivers, they could file personal injury lawsuits. The successful navigation of such claims could lead to monetary judgments to cover financial and other damages.