Motorcycle Safety Month aimed at reducing South Florida motorcycle accidents

A Broward County motorcycle accident seriously injured a Boca Raton man and three others after the riders were struck by a car merging onto I-95 over the weekend, CBS4 reported.

As we reported this month on our South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, Florida is one of the deadliest states in the nation for motorcycle accidents. Fatal Florida motorcycle accidents have been increasing steadily, from 432 in 2004 to 556 in 2008, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The 34-year-old driver merged her 2009 Kia into three motorcycles while attempting to enter the highway. Two riders, a 41-year-old Pompano Beach man and a 33-year-old Boca Raton rider, were seriously injured after being thrown from their bikes. A third rider and passenger suffered minor injuries.

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month nationwide and the federal government’s nationwide campaign is reminding drivers to “Share the Road with Motorcycles.”

Per mile traveled, the government reports that motorcycle riders are 37 times more likely to be killed in a traffic accident.

Keep our riding friends in mind this summer

-Remember, motorcycles have the same rights and privileges of any other vehicle on the road. Always allow a motorcycle a full lane; don’t crowd a rider or attempt to share a lane.

-Check for motorcycles in mirrors or blind spots before entering or leaving a traffic lane or intersection, or before merging into traffic.

-Always signal your intentions before changing lanes, merging into traffic, or entering or leaving the roadway.

-Don’t be fooled by a motorcycle’s turn signals. Many bikes do not have self-canceling signals and signals can be left on. Make sure of a cycle’s intentions before proceeding.

-Allow more following distance to ensure a motorcyclist has enough time to stop in the event of an emergency. Don’t tailgate.

-Don’t drive distracted.

Safety tips for riders

-Avoid riding in bad weather.

-Wear brightly colored clothing and a helmet.

-Use turn signals (and remember to shut them off).

-Combine hand signals and turn signals to draw more attention and ensure a motorist is aware of your intentions.

-Use reflective tape and stickers to increase visibility.

-Position yourself in a lane to be most visible to the drivers around you.

-Don’t ride impaired.