There are over 600,000 registered motorcycles in Florida. We are home to Daytona Beach Bike Week, which celebrated its 81st anniversary in March and is one of the largest motorcycling events in the world. With so many bikes on the road, it’s important to be aware of the laws and safety tips that can help keep you safe while riding.
At The Fran Haasch Law Group, we are heavily involved in the community of amazing bikers throughout the Tampa Bay area and all of Florida. We want motorcycle enthusiasts to ride safe and stay legal. Becoming a safe rider is the best way to ensure your safety and avoid an accident.
Select the Right Bike
Not all motorcycles are created equal, each type of bike has its own set of pros and cons, and each rider has their own riding style. Whether you’re purchasing your first bike or adding to your collection, choosing a bike that you are comfortable with will make you more relaxed on the road.
Checklist for Bikes
Once you’ve selected the right motorcycle, it’s important to do a pre-ride safety check. This should be done every time you ride, and it only takes a few minutes to complete.
A pre-ride safety check includes:
- Checking the bike’s tire pressure and tread depth
- Checking the bike’s fluid levels
- Checking the bike’s lights and signals
- Checking the bike’s mirrors
- Checking the bike’s throttle and brakes
Take a Safety Course
To get your motorcycle license or endorsement in Florida, you must take a motorcycle safety course. The MSF offers a Basic RiderCourse that teaches new riders the skills they need to operate a motorcycle safely.
However, even experienced riders should stay on top of motorcycle and highway safety. Other courses you can take to stay up to date with motorcycle safety include:
- The Basic Bike Bonding RiderCourse® (BBBRC)
- The Ultimate Bike Bonding RiderCourse® (UBBRC)
- Basic RiderCourse 2 updated® (BRC2u)
- The Advanced RiderCourse® (ARC)
- The Returning Rider Basic RiderCourse® (RRBRC)
- Basic RiderCourse® (BRC2)
You can take any of these courses at an approved safety course location in Florida.
Wear Motorcycle Safety Gear
In Florida, all motorcycle riders without insurance and under 21 must wear a DOT-approved helmet, regardless of their age. And while you’re not required to wear other protective motorcycle gear, it’s still a good idea to do so.
Other protective gear you can wear includes:
- Eye protection
- Protective clothing
- Motorcycle pants
- Leather jacket
Check the Weather Before Leaving
Every day is a surprise in Florida. Sometimes you look outside and see why they call us the Sunshine State. On other days you’ll face extreme humidity and a torrential downpour of rain. The weather can change instantly, so it’s important to check the forecast before heading out on your motorcycle.
Follow the Rules of the Road
Of course, no matter how well you prepare, there’s always the possibility of being involved in an accident. That’s why it’s important to follow the rules of the road and ride defensively.
Once you’re on the road, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Follow the speed limit and ride within your abilities. Don’t try to show off or keep up with traffic that’s going faster than you’re comfortable with.
- Be visible. Wear bright clothing during the day, and make sure your bike has working headlights and taillights for night riding.
- Be predictable. Use your signals, don’t swerve in and out of lanes, and avoid sudden braking.
- Watch out for road hazards. Be on the lookout for potholes, oil slicks, sand, gravel, grass clippings, or debris on the road.
- Be aware of other motorists. Cars often don’t see motorcyclists, so it’s important to ride defensively. Pay attention to what other drivers are doing and be prepared to take evasive action if necessary.
Riding through the Tampa Bay area is a breath of fresh air. However, all Florida motorcyclists are aware of the danger that is Florida traffic. It’s constant, and it’s exhausting, especially when you’ve been on a long ride. While you wait in traffic, it’s easy to lose focus on your surroundings, making it easier to cause an accident. And while you can’t always avoid an accident, you can take precautions to prevent them as much as possible.
A great way to do this is to be aware of some of the most dangerous intersections you may encounter while you’re joyriding.
Join a Motorcycle Club in Florida
Joining a motorcycle club is a great way to meet other riders and get tips on how to stay safe on the road. It’s also a great way to find out about group rides, events, and rallies in your area.
Some of the most popular motorcycle clubs in Florida include:
- Road Dawgs MC
- Outlaws World
- Italian Angels
- Fire and Iron Firefighters MC
- Cobras MC Florida
Riding a motorcycle is a great way to enjoy the open road and the Florida scenery. But it’s important to remember that motorcycle riding comes with its own set of risks. By following these safety tips, you can help reduce the risk of being involved in an accident.
Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
At The Fran Haasch Law Group, we support the Tampa Bay biker community personally and professionally. We understand personal injury law for motorcyclists and have committed to protecting motorcycle rider rights.
We have handled numerous motorcycle accident claims in Clearwater, Palm Harbor, and Tampa and know insurance companies’ strategies to avoid rewarding full compensation.
If you feel you have been the victim of a motorcycle accident through no fault of your own. Our attorneys are prepared to help you navigate the legal process and work toward securing the maximum compensation you are owed. Call (727) 784-8191 or contact us online to get started on receiving maximum compensation for your personal injury case.