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.

Men Are More Likely to Be Involved in Motorcycle Accidents

The population of motorcyclists in the US continues to rise steadily, and according to a recent study, motorcycles registered doubled from 2002 to 2017, with the largest numbers licensed in both Florida and California. More women (and many who are younger than the typical demographic for men) are purchasing bikes these days too, enjoying all the same benefits that men do such as increased physical strength, a sense of camaraderie, and the excitement of being on the open road.

Men are still more likely to be in a motorcycle accident though, and especially if they are 50 years old or over. And while it may not be that surprising a statistic considering men are stereotypically considered to be a predominant force in motorcycling, a whopping 91 percent of fatalities in 2015 were men. Those over the age of 50 may not be as strong as their younger male motorcyclist counterparts, unfortunately, leading to more deaths—but realistically, anyone endeavoring to ride a motorcycle needs to possess considerable strength even for the easiest of rides. Major core strength is needed from the beginning, as well as substantial arm and leg strength.

Often, serious accidents from the older demographic also result due to motorcyclists over the age of 50 hoping to pick up where they left off many years ago in riding the highways on two wheels. Physical strength can vary in different ways after so many years, and many motorcyclists may not take that into account. Riders may have been away from their hobby (or preferred mode of transportation) for so long that they forget how much of a physical challenge can be involved, not to mention how much time it can take to adapt to a new bike and time out on the open road. And while fatalities are a reality, motorcycle crash injuries can lead to long-term repercussions, including spinal injuries, neck injuries, traumatic brain injuries, serious arm, leg, or facial fractures, and even amputations.

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.

Motorcycle Accidents More Common at Night, Especially on Weekends

Motorcyclists may be in the minority in traffic today, but this portion of the driving/riding population continues to grow, with data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration demonstrating that Florida is one of the most dangerous places to ride. While landscapes in other states may pose a threat due to curving roads lacking guardrails or snow, ice, and rocky conditions—even those with landslides or more—Florida’s typically flat streets, highways, and byways pose hazards generally created just by other motorists, and a lot of them!

It isn’t called the Sunshine State without good reason, meaning that Florida’s abundantly good weather all year round leads to more motorcyclists, runners, pedestrians, and bicyclists. There are a multitude of different areas where you can get out and drive, ride, walk, or run, but in most cases, there are still traffic dangers. Statistics show that careless drivers continue to pose a hazard on the roads, and Florida leads in motorcycle fatalities.

In the case of a negligent motorist causing harm to others on the road, individuals choosing any other mode of transportation are much more vulnerable due to the lack of protection when facing the weight of a car or truck weighing more than 4,000 pounds. And whether motorcyclists are in harm’s way due to a drunk, distracted, speeding, or otherwise reckless driver, data shows that more deaths and fatalities occur at night and on weekends. Visibility and illumination issues continue to cause challenges when it comes to accidents, with motorists not ‘seeing’ motorcyclists—but this threat applies to pedestrians and bicyclists too. On the weekends, it makes unfortunate sense that there are more accidents in general as less people are indoors at work all day.

Motorcyclists are urged to drive defensively and wear the appropriate protective gear, but also to stand out with bright colors. This doesn’t just mean avoiding darker clothing, either. Choose a bike that is brightly painted, and a helmet that follows suit so that you stand out in traffic. Reflective stickers can also be added to your helmet, motorcycle jacket, boots, and more. Additional lighting is always recommended too.

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.

Head On Collisions Most Common for Motorcyclists

The roads are dangerous for everyone. And while cars and trucks dominate the road, there are plenty of motorcycles, bicyclists, and pedestrians weaving in and out of traffic zones too—meaning that anyone who is driving must be alert; unfortunately, in today’s driving climate it often seems that is the last thing on anyone’s mind. Cars are decked out with all the latest electronics, meaning there are complex stereo systems and DVD players to be tended to, not to mention the ever-present cell phone presenting the ongoing temptation to talk and text (or even email and surf online). Distractions cause thousands of deaths each year on the roads of the US—many of which could be prevented.

Motorcyclists Are More Vulnerable in a Crash

Speeding, driving under the influence, and other reckless behaviors continue to threaten travelers, but some are more vulnerable than others. Motorcyclists fit notably into this category as they move along on the roads and highways at the same speed as cars and trucks and in the same traffic zones—but their vehicles are exponentially lighter and offer significantly less protection, putting them in greater danger for injury and even death.

Head-On Collisions Often Occur at Intersections

While everyone should be driving defensively, motorcyclists must take extra care to make sure they are visible. This means wearing brightly colored clothing whenever possible, using neon strips on helmets, boots, or the bike itself, and adding extra lights. Visibility can be even more challenging in traffic areas such as intersections where head-on collisions are most common due to motorists being surprised by a smaller vehicle such as a motorcycle in their path. This is often compounded by speeding or other careless driving. Any type of head-on collision has the potential to be catastrophic, but if a motorcyclist is involved, the results can be fatal or seriously debilitating, to include spinal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, road rash, and more.

If you ride a motorcycle, make sure to be both seen (bright colors) and heard (revving the engine when necessary), avoid getting into blind spots where a motorist cannot see you, and give cars plenty of distance. Because intersections and other traffic stops tend to be areas more prone to crashes, make eye contact with motorists before turning whenever you can.

Contact Us for Help!

If you 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!

 

Keeping Your Distance: Rear End Collisions Often Fatal to Motorcyclist

Motorcyclists are often a rare breed, turning travel into more of a lifestyle than a commute, and forming quick bonds with other like-minded souls on the road. Those who are experienced riders have often already had an accident or two in their lifetime and are wary during their daytime commute or joyriding as they take off in much coveted down time and enjoy the natural landscape of the US.

Even most novices understand what to do to avoid accidents with cars, although they may not be as skilled at handling themselves in the event of a collision. The standard advice such as remaining visible (brightly colored clothing, neon strips on helmets, bike, etc.) usually applies to most individuals riding, along with being heard—which might be why you often hear engines revved at traffic stops. Education about riding is key, along with understanding the specific bike, and knowing how to perform basic, required maneuvers.

What is often overlooked, however, is the knowledge all motorists should have so they can avoid colliding with a motorcycle (as well as bicyclists or pedestrians, all of which are a concern with traffic accidents on the rise). Unfortunately, the most basic issues such as visibility are often a challenge to begin with as motorists’ eyes are so much more attuned to seeing larger objects like vehicles and trucks—and this is one of the biggest causes of accidents. But along with making sure they see motorcycles, motorists should always be aware of their blind spots, doublechecking for drivers behind them.

Keeping the proper distance can be the most important safety measure in avoiding a collision with a motorcycle though. Employing the three- to four-second rule is a good way to prevent accidents, and especially a rear-end collision—keeping in mind that motorcyclists may not give you immediate warning with a brake light if they are gearing down or coasting in anticipation of a stop. While it is easy to get irritated in traffic with any driver, remember that a rear-end collision could end in substantial property damage, severe injury to a motorcyclist, and even fatality; in fact, rear-end collisions tend to be much more fatal for individuals riding on motorcycles than in cars.

Think of how many fender benders you may have been in personally—or how many you may have seen occur between cars. While a tap on a bumper may have meant little in an incident between a car or a truck, in the case of a motorcycle, the motorcyclist could be thrown from their bike. While fatalities are all too common (and sadly, Florida tops the list for motorcycle deaths), serious injuries such as paralysis, traumatic brain injury, fractures, and burns may occur—along with broken bones and a variety of cuts and contusions. Motorcyclists must also be defensive in their driving and wear protective gear such as helmets.

If you 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!