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The natural beauty and year-round warm climate are just a couple of reasons why thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts call Florida home. Take just a short drive along any random roadway in Florida and you will likely encounter several motorcycles. If you’ve ever ridden a motorcycle, you know that these two-wheeled vehicles can be an exciting and efficient way to get around. While motorcycles can be fun, they are also much riskier than driving a car.

When you are riding a motorcycle, you have complete exposure and minimum protection. Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents are about 30 times more likely to be fatal than accidents involving only passenger vehicles. Also, motorcycles have a smaller profile, so other drivers do not easily see them, especially if they are not looking for motorcycles in traffic. Whether you are a driver or a rider, there are a few things you can do to enhance motorcycle safety.

Always wear protective gear

Summer temperatures can be extreme in Florida, and this can tempt riders to shed some of their protective gear. No matter how hot it is outside or how short the ride, always wear the proper protective gear, such as long pants, gloves, boots that cover your ankles and an abrasion-resistant jacket. A helmet may be the most important piece of protection and can save your life in the event of a crash, so never ride without one.

Check the weather

Adverse weather conditions cause millions of accidents every year across the country, so always check the weather before heading out. Rain can move in very quickly, especially in Florida. Anticipating weather that could create hazardous road conditions can be a life-saving practice.

Avoid alcohol

Drinking and driving is one of the most dangerous things you can do. Alcohol significantly delays response time and impairs judgment. In order to operate a motorcycle or any vehicle, you need full focus and concentration. Never attempt to ride or drive after consuming alcohol.

Ride defensively

Motorcycles have a narrow profile and are harder to notice, and some drivers simply are not looking for motorcycles. Many motorcycle accidents happen because the other driver failed to see the motorcycle. When you are out on the road, assume that you are invisible and ride defensively. Do your best to predict driver behavior, continuously scan your mirrors and stay alert.

What to do after an accident

No matter how careful or cautious you are, it is impossible to eliminate all the risks that come with riding motorcycles. Unfortunately, there will always be drivers who are negligent or not as careful as they should be behind the wheel. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident that happened due to no fault of your own, there may be options available to help you in the aftermath.