Motorcycle riding in Ocala is one of the most enjoyable activities. Nothing compares to speeding down the interstate with the cool breeze, fresh air, and warm Florida sunshine hitting your face. However, motorcycle riders do not enjoy the same protections as car drivers, so it’s essential to take extra precautions to stay safe.
While an Ocala motorcycle accident lawyer can help if you get into an accident, it’s essential to do all you can to avoid accidents in the first place. That starts with knowing the most common causes of motorcycle accidents.
Speeding leads to many motorcycle accidents. It’s important to ride within the posted speed limit to avoid crashing. You should also stick to your own speed limits. For example, don’t go onto the interstate if you’re not a skilled enough rider yet.
Riding Under the Influence
Never ride while under the influence of alcohol or other substances. Alcohol impairs your ability to focus and concentrate on the road. It also decreases your ability to gauge distances and risks. Leave your motorcycle at the bar and order an Uber if you drink.
Obstacles on the Road
Obstacles on the road, such as fallen branches, stones, plastic bottles, bumps, and potholes, can all cause you to lose your balance. It’s crucial to keep an eye on the road ahead so you are prepared for such obstacles.
It’s also critical to know how to swerve quickly in case an obstacle suddenly appears on the road – for example, someone in a car in front of you might throw a water bottle out of the window. However, sudden swerves should be a last resort because you don’t want to veer accidentally into the path of another motorist.
Improper Lane Changes
Many accidents occur when motorcycle riders change lanes in Ocala without seeing if a car is behind them in the lane they are switching to. It’s vital to keep an eye on your mirrors to monitor the traffic behind you.
However, before you make any lane change, glance behind you by turning your head quickly. A glance will cover your mirror’s blind spot. Don’t take your eyes off the road ahead of you any longer than necessary.
People Opening Car Doors
If you’re riding next to a line of parked cars, you risk someone opening a car door in your path. Often, that happens before you can react, and you can end up crashing into the opened door. Drive more slowly near a line of parked cars or put some distance between you and the vehicles.
Poor Motorcycle Riding Skills in Ocala
A lot of accidents happen because riders have poor skills. Two critical skills are turning and leaning.
Making turns involves different techniques when on low vs. high speeds. Curves at high speeds require you to lean by pressing down on your handlebar; at low speeds, you should turn your handlebars in the direction you want your motorcycle to turn. Mastering sharp turns and curves at both high and low speeds is essential.
It’s also essential to learn how to use your brakes correctly. For example, slamming down on the front brake while leaning into a sharp curve at high speed can cause you to lose balance and skid. Instead, you might want to upright your motorcycle before braking if there is oncoming traffic you must avoid.
Unsafe Behavior From Other Drivers
According to a study from the National Transportation Safety Board, more than half of all motorcycle accidents involved a failure or error on the part of other drivers. A common mistake was a lack of perception in which the other motorist failed to see the motorcycle rider.
It’s necessary to always be on the lookout for other drivers and expect reckless or dangerous behavior. Never expect others to be safe drivers; you can only rely on yourself.
Riding a motorcycle requires a lot of skill. It’s essential to always be alert; avoid riding your bike while you are fatigued. In addition, wear safety gear, including a quality helmet and motorcycle jacket, to reduce the risk of injury if you get into an accident.