Motorcycles: Do the Benefits Outweigh the Dangers?

As the roads continue to grow more dangerous for motorcycles in Florida, hazards abound from the moment you start the motor. It would be nice to think that this is an understatement, but as distracted drivers just continue to increase, despite stronger laws and texting bans, anyone traveling must practice extreme diligence in driving defensively and taking any extra safety measures available.

While the ability to enjoy the outdoors is one of the greatest advantages of riding a motorcycle, the health benefits are surprisingly expansive too. A motorcycle is much heavier than toting around a regular bicycle—and involves a lot more physical effort in comparison to getting into a car. Every ride is a complete core and body work out. As a motorcyclist, you must use your arm and leg strength constantly, and the center of your body is used as you continually maneuver through starting, stopping, and traveling in traffic. Posture, neck, and back muscles are consistently strengthened also. This is not an exercise for the weak, but it will build them into the strong!

There are dangers in taking any vehicle to the streets, with even walking presenting a dangerous proposition in many cities. It is up to you to decide which form of transportation you prefer. One of the obvious problems with motorcycles is that the operator is more vulnerable without the protection of a 4,000-pound metal car, or a much heavier truck. Other motorists are often not paying as much attention as they should to the road and do not see motorcyclists. While this is their responsibility, they may be so used to looking for other larger vehicles that they do not take time to notice those traveling on two wheels, or foot.

If you choose to ride a motorcycle, it is not an endeavor that should be taken lightly. Be certain that you purchase a motorcycle you can handle, whether you are a novice or not, and that you are equipped with all the necessary gear, from a helmet for your head to boots for your feet, protective clothing, and even eye goggles and gloves when necessary.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

Family Topics: When Your Spouse Wants to Buy a Motorcycle

The dangers of riding on a motorcycle are obvious. We have all heard the horror stories, and it’s obvious how vulnerable a motorcycle is in traffic in comparison to a car. And although more female riders are choosing to purchase their own motorcycles, if one partner wants a motorcycle while the other is hesitating with trepidation, today it is still usually the husband who wants a bike while the wife is worried about death and disaster (and rightly so, in some cases).

With over half a million motorcycles registered in the state of Florida, this is obviously a mode of transportation that is not slowing in popularity anytime soon—and there must be some good reasons behind that. So whether your spouse has surprised you with such a request, or if this has been an ongoing conversation (but a reluctant one on your part), it is important to understand the benefits too of having a motorcycle—and especially if it does not seem like your spouse wants to back down on the idea!

Let’s look at the downsides first:

  • Motorcycles lack the protection that cars have and the potential for injury in an accident is much greater.
  • Motorcyclists are in greater danger in traffic—and motorists are often the biggest threat.
  • Motorists and truck drivers often do not see the motorcyclist and will cite the lack of visibility in an accident. This is usually simply because motorcycles are in the minority and others are used to looking for cars or larger trucks, rather than motorcyclists, bicyclists, or pedestrians.
  • Areas like intersections and road construction zones are hot spots for accidents, along with added difficulty in traveling safely during bad weather.

There are many good points if you can get past the safety worries:

  • The economics of riding a motorcycle can be substantially cheaper. The initial cost or monthly payment is usually much lower too.
  • Fuel and maintenance cost much less.
  • Motorcycle insurance is considerably less.
  • There are many health benefits to riding a motorcycle, with every ride being a core workout.

The spiritual, Zen aspect of riding a motorcycle cannot be overlooked either, as motorcyclists not only enjoy the fresh air and freedom, but they also enjoy a camaraderie amongst other motorcyclists.

If your spouse is considering getting a motorcycle, but you are still worried, the best thing to do is continue an ongoing conversation, mainly revolving around safety. To get licensed, they will have to take a course, and this includes reviewing many safety rules and regulations, as well as training. Along with all the basic information and learning how to ride (if that is a need due to a novice driver), all motorcyclists should know what to do in the case of an accident.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

 

Larger Motorcycle Motors Often Correspond to Worse Injuries

While motorcycles may be one of the more dangerous ways to travel today (and historically—even worse), statistics seem to show that navigating through traffic in any form is hazardous for nearly everyone in the vicinity of a side street, major road, highway, or byway. And in Florida, traffic incidents are on the rise not only between motorists and truckers and motorcyclists, but also pedestrians, and bicyclists. No one is safe, but others are more vulnerable for many different reasons.

Walking or traveling in the fresh air can be a great boon to our psyche, and give a fresh perspective on the day, especially if you have a stressful work life, or often need to get out of the house and clear your head. As a motorcyclist, you may enjoy breaking free of the confines and protection that the metal structure, seatbelts, and airbags offer to travelers choosing to ride in cars; however, this does come with some potential sacrifice for safety—and unfortunately, the sacrifice of life in some cases as fatalities continue to rise on Florida roads.

The irony is that riding a motorcycle offers so many health benefits too, and the first is building up strength. Handling a large motorcycle is no easy feat, and novices should be very well trained before heading out onto the road. Recent data from IIHS suggests that the actual size of a motorcycle motor may play a part in creating more accidents:

“Engine sizes of motorcycles whose drivers were killed in crashes have gone up dramatically. Among motorcycle drivers killed in 2017, 33 percent drove motorcycles with engine sizes larger than 1,400 cc, compared with 9 percent in 2000 and less than 1 percent in 1990.”

Corresponding data also states that most motorcycle fatalities involve men, with most female fatalities occurring when women are riding as passengers. If you are a motorcyclist, or a passenger, be aware of additional ways to stay safe. This includes being extremely visible with bright clothing, reflectors at night, and additional clothing. Always make eye contact with motorists at intersections (especially before turning left) and make yourself seen and heard.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

 

Legs and Feet Most Commonly Injured in Motorcycle Accidents

It’s a wonderful feeling to get out in the fresh air after a busy day at work, or 40-plus hours in a weekly jag of servitude to your job and myriad daily responsibilities. Most motorcyclists enjoy that feeling of being able to hop on their bike, rev the engine, and feel the wind in their hair, taking advantage of their more economical and unfettered choice in transportation. Whether you are involved in a daily commute though or going on a road trip through some of the most scenic byways of the US (not to mention just in Florida alone), there is much to be said for getting outdoors, traveling with freedom, and often enjoying the company of like-minded souls.

For most motorcycle enthusiasts, it is not a good idea just to purchase a motorcycle and ride off into traffic without prior training. These bikes are extremely heavy objects, even if you buy the most lightweight of motorcycles, and they require strength on the part of the rider; in fact, your strength will just continue to build with each ride as you work your core each time.

Unfortunately, however, hazards abound on the road, and especially for travelers left more vulnerable to cars and trucks, whether driving a motorcycle, bicycle or traveling on foot. Visibility is often an issue for others on the road as they may not take the proper time to look when slamming on the brakes, changing lanes, turning left at intersections, or turning right into a crosswalk area; this is why motorcyclists must drive even more defensively.

Injuries in a motorcycle accident can be catastrophic, if not fatal. Every time a motorcyclist lays down their bike, their life could hang in the balance. While road rash is one of the most dreaded results of a motorcycle accident, along with a concussion and traumatic brain injury (most likely if there was not a helmet being worn), broken bones are extremely common. Motorcyclists may commonly experience broken arms, but even more so—broken legs and foot injuries occur as the motorcycle falls directly on them during a crash.

Protective gear should always be worn, beginning with the helmet, but also to involve thick pants and heavy motorcycle boots. Although it may often be tempting in Florida to don a bathing suit, flip flops, and take off down the road, such carelessness could result in devastating injury.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

Motorcycling in Florida: Summer Wear Does Not Cut It on the Bike

Motorcyclists usually have the cool factor down when it comes to traveling the roads and highways; and while for some that may be intentional, for most it is just the benefit of wearing the proper gear. In Florida, however, most of us are all too used to being able to walk outside at nearly any time of day in shorts, tee shirt, and sandals—and take off. This is one of the great perks to living in the Sunshine State, but it can also be your fatal downfall if you do not take time to cover up when riding a motorcycle.

The summer look is attractive on many Floridians, but believe it or not, the leather and boots and thick gloves are more about your health than your attractiveness, as they protect you from road rash and a wide range of physical harm—not to mention the helmet, which protects your brain from concussion and traumatic brain injury, as well as facial fractures and other types of damage, such as to the eyes—which is why goggles are necessary too. This type of protection usually does not come cheap; however, be sure to factor it in when you are purchasing a motorcycle, because it could be vital to saving your life.

And although you may be a fan of black leather like so many motorcyclists are, be extremely certain that you are visible to other motorists. Brightly colored jackets, shirts, helmets, and even a brightly colored motorcycle are all smart measures to take for visibility. Consider additional lighting on your bike, along with reflectors everywhere possible, including your helmet and even your boots. Take special care at intersections, and do not ever assume that motorists see you. Chances are they may not, which is why if you are turning, it is in your best interest to make eye contact with anyone else behind the wheel or traveling on a motorcycle, bike, or on foot. Also make contact in traffic when changing lanes, if you can see the motorist in their rearview mirror.

Motorcyclists also have the obvious option of being heard loudly. The ability to rev that engine may annoy some, but in the end, it makes everyone on the road aware that you are there.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

 

Motorcyclists Have the Same Rights as Motorists: Practice Courtesy on the Road

Motorcyclists have the best of all worlds—and the worst—while traveling on today’s highways. Whether you ride a motorcycle or not, some of the benefits are obvious; for instance, while protective gear is meant to be exactly that, it also lends a certain air of cool to those riding the roads and highways on two wheels—not to mention the willingness to eschew the conventional car and all the comforts it has to offer. Riding a motorcycle also offers a wide range of health benefits. This type of activity is not for the weak though, and every workout makes the motorcyclist stronger, working the entire core and the rest of the body too.

Unfortunately, motorcycling isn’t always just about fresh air and a friendly atmosphere out on the road. Drivers are often stressed about getting to their destination on time, and some may be irritable in general. This can lead to an accepted attitude of quasi-belligerence on the road, rather than the opposite, and what is much needed: courtesy. When traveling the roads today, it is critical not only that you follow road signs and signals, but also treat everyone with the same amount of respect. Cars may rule the roads in terms of numbers, but everyone has the right to be there.

As much as motorcyclists may be admired for their seemingly carefree demeanor, they also receive equal amounts of stereotyping and negative behavior toward them while riding with the masses of conventional cars and trucks. Practice common sense and basic good manners on the road to keep everyone safe, and when motorcycles are in your midst, follow these tips:

Always doublecheck your blind spots – while this is always important, motorcyclists can be difficult to see as they are smaller and may shift in their lanes.

  • Watch those lane changes – always use your signal, check your blind spots, and be careful to avoid colliding with a motorcyclist.
  • Be extra careful when turning – this is when many accidents occur, and travelers who are in a hurry or used to traveling the same path every day may not look closely and notice a smaller vehicle. This goes for pedestrians and bicyclists too, as fatalities are on the increase for those groups in traffic as well.
  • Practice caution at intersections – those left turns are known to be the most dangerous for travelers like motorcyclists. While they should work to be as visible as possible, remember that this is one of the hotspots for accidents and extremely defensive driving should be exercised by all.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

Does Your Motorcycle Helmet Pass Muster?

Motorcycles offer a range of benefits to their owners, beginning with the cool factor that has been associated with the biker culture for decades. Revving up the engine and heading out onto the highway on two wheels has been associated with good physical health due to core strengthening, added arm and leg strength, increased use of brain power in constant navigating, as well as enhanced emotional health while enjoying the outdoors, traveling with friends and likeminded souls, and feeling positive about spending less money overall for a trip or that daily commute.

The euphoria that may accompany motorcycling can have a major downside, however, and especially in in the face of a traffic incident—with over 5,000 motorcycle fatalities in the US yearly and a 28 percent greater chance of a motorcyclist fatality in a wreck over someone driving a car. It is vital that safety is on the mind foremost when operating a motorcycle, or any other vehicle (this also goes for pedestrians who must be vigilant, and bicyclists too!), putting aside distractions like the smartphone since issues like texting while driving are the number one cause of accidents today.

Protective gear plays a crucial role in the safety of motorcyclists, as always, beginning with the helmet. And although it is always a controversial topic and helmet laws continue to change—as well as vary from state to state—in Florida, you do not have to wear a helmet over the age of 21 if you are carrying $10,000 of medical payment insurance. This is an integral part of protecting the body though, and highly recommended, along with the proper protective clothing, eye-gear, and boots.

There may not be much point in wearing a helmet unless it is approved by the Department of Transportation (according to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218) and sturdy enough to protect your head in the case of a crash. The shell-built helmet is recommended, but it must fit your head properly! Along with the full helmet, there are other popular styles too such as the half shell, modular, or open-face helmets, which should be replaced every few years.

A good helmet is often heavier and should possess a quality liner along with a sturdy chin liner. While motorcyclists are extremely vulnerable in the event of a crash, a helmet may prevent serious issues such as facial fractures and traumatic brain injury, which could even cause coma or death.

If you were in a motorcycle accident, you may not only find yourself having to get used to dealing with minor or major physical and emotional injuries, but you may not be able to go back to work either temporarily or even permanently. This can be devastating to your finances, and you may be owed substantial compensation if you were hurt due to the negligence of others.

Contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

Lower Your Risk of Having a Motorcycle Accident with These Tips

Motorcycles can offer a much more economical way to travel to and from work during that daily commute. While some may choose to purchase lavish, high-speed bikes, if you enjoy the freedom of traveling on two wheels in the fresh air but want to save money too, it can be much more economical to purchase a moderately priced motorcycle in comparison to a car or truck, along with savings on gas and maintenance and insurance too. The benefits abound too, from getting fresh air (when traveling away from smoggy cities!) and enjoying more expedient travel all around, to using core strength and buffing up just a little more every single time you take a ride.

Amidst all the enjoyment of riding a motorcycle, however, comes a priority on continued safety, whether you are taking a shortcut on a back road, enjoying a road trip through beautiful country areas, or navigating through congested traffic. Motorcycle fatalities have continued to be a concern, despite a decrease in 2017.

“Motorcyclist fatality numbers have fluctuated from year to year over the past decade, so while we are cautiously optimistic about this projection, we really need to see a sustained trend downward toward eventually eliminating motorcyclist fatalities altogether,” said Tara Casanova Powell, who authored a new report putting the spotlight on motorcyclist fatalities for 2017.

Lower your risk by:

  • Being visible – there are many ways to add to your bike and clothing to make sure you are more readily seen by motorists, from wearing bright clothing to adding neon reflective strips to your helmet, boots, and bike. Purchasing a bike that is brightly painted is a great idea too, although not always possible if the model you have your heart set on is mainly black or gray.
  • Knowing and following all the traffic rules – remember that you are beholden to the same rules as cars and trucks, and defensive driving is even more important for motorcycles.
  • Taking extra precautions at intersections – this is one of the most common places for accidents, and is especially dangerous for motorcyclists, as well as bicyclists and pedestrians. If possible, make eye contact with motorists before turning.
  • Wearing protective gear – no matter what the law is, donning a helmet may be the difference between emerging unscathed from a motorcycle crash or having traumatic brain injury or facial fractures. To avoid road rash and other injuries, wear recommended protective clothing as well as eyewear and boots.
  • Getting educated – no matter your skill level, continued education on maneuvering your motorcycle is extremely helpful.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

Motorcyclists: Don’t Be Distracted Drivers!

With over eight million motorcycles registered in the US and an enthusiastic population of riders that just keeps growing, safety is more important than ever—and especially as traffic incidents continue to rise in the US. There is a long list of benefits associated with riding motorcycles; for instance, nearly every ride you take gives you a core workout, plus requires you to use arm and leg muscles, strengthening them all further nearly every time you go out. Fellowship between other riders is enjoyed on highways around the country, and many motorcyclists are the envy of others as they dream of riding in the fresh air and beautiful landscapes.

Avoiding accidents is central to riding a motorcycle, with other motorists being the greatest threat; however, it is also up to you to drive defensively and watch out for the safety of others too by making sure that you are following traffic rules—and first on that list is avoiding distractions. While motorists are under heavy fire for distracted driving (and with good reason, as it is the number one reason that accidents and fatalities happen), that doesn’t mean that others aren’t suffering from the same temptation, even to include pedestrians and bicyclists.

It is not uncommon for a motorcyclist to feel like they have everything under control and can handle answering a call at a red light or glancing down at their phone to check a text message while traveling with the flow of traffic. Because a traffic accident can happen within the blink of an eye—and because motorcyclists are so much more vulnerable due to their comparative lack of protection—distracted driving while on a motorcycle can lead to catastrophe. The trend continues with others, with government officials and infrastructure specialists who are concerned about rising fatalities in pedestrians and bicyclists too noting that a percentage of these instances occur as people are not focusing on the road but rather on smartphones, or are walking or bicycling with their heads down as they read—increasing their chances of being struck and hurt or even killed. Motorcycle accidents often result in injuries such as road rash, broken arms and legs, spinal problems, traumatic brain injuries, burns, cuts and contusions, and more.

See more on motorcycle topics in recent blogs regarding what to do after a collision with a car, defensive driving, and more. If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

Take Note of Your Surroundings After a Motorcycle Crash

No one likes to look at the dark side of an activity that can be so much fun—as well as rewarding. Riding a motorcycle allows you to enjoy the freedom of the outdoors while in forward motion to a destination—as well as a sense of connection with other likeminded spirits on the road. Riding a motorcycle can also lead to a great workout every time you get on your bike, requiring a surprising amount of core and leg strength that increases with every trip down the highway. This mode of transportation is also often much more economical, with less start-up cost in buying a motorcycle, cheaper gas, cheaper maintenance, and greater ease in maneuvering through traffic during that daily commute.

Safety is a major consideration though, and no matter how defensively you drive, you may still find yourself in an accident due to the negligence of a motorist. While car crashes can lead to a wide range of serious injuries for drivers and passengers, motorcyclists are much more vulnerable as they lack the protection of the weight and steel frame of a car or truck. In Florida, you are in even more danger as it is ranked one of the highest states for motorcyclist fatalities, opening up the potential for serious wounds such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, broken arms and legs, and road rash—with head on collisions being most common. And although you may never have to use such information, you should definitely be aware of what to do right after an accident.

Assess injuries first. Are you okay? If so, check on the other parties involved in the accident and call for help if necessary. If you can move your motorcycle out of the path of traffic, do so, along with taking pictures of all the damage. This is where the smartphone comes in very handy. Take pictures of everything possible at the scene of the crash, including license plates of all vehicles involved, damage from all sides, the highway area, traffic signs and traffic lights, intersections, road signs, and anything that may be of help to your case later.

See more on motorcycle topics in recent blogs regarding what to do after a collision with a car, defensive driving, and more. If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.