There’s nothing like the feel of hitting the open road. That is until you actually hit the pavement. We know that drinking is a part of motorcycle riding culture, but it’s a risky behavior that endangers not only the rider but also everyone around them.
What Do Statistics Say About Motorcycle Riding?
The statistics are clear – drinking and riding leads to getting hurt, getting arrested or dying. So before you hop on your bike, remember you’re not the only one at risk. If your friends want to drink and ride, it’s your responsibility to keep them safe. Far too many riders have been lost to drinking and riding on the roads in Florida. As marijuana gains acceptance as a legitimate medicinal application and as a recreational drug, it’s still not legal, safe, or wise to operate a motorcycle while impaired by marijuana. It tends to distort your perception of time, space, and speed. Motorcycle riders must make split second decisions about complex traffic situations and make precise moves to navigate safely and maintain an adequate safety margin.
It’s cool if you want to be a badass, just don’t be a dumbass.
Dying of thirst. While alcohol and drug use are obvious ways to impair your riding abilities and judgment, dehydration can be just as dangerous. Especially in the hot summer months, motorcyclists are vulnerable to dehydration due to the drying effect of the wind and exposure to the weather. Many of the symptoms of dehydration can affect your judgment and impair your ability to operate a motorcycle safely. Symptoms of dehydration include: dry mouth, sleepiness, extreme thirst, headaches, dizziness, and decreased urine output. Dark urine is tell tale sign you need more hydration. Drink plenty of fluids and make sure you replace whatever you lose through sweat and urination.
Fatal Distractions Riding down the open road with the Florida sunshine and wind in your face is a great way to spend the day. Motorcycle riders are more in tune with their surroundings. The sights, the sounds, the smells heighten the experience. Riders notice pets, pedestrians, and potholes. Every bump and turn in the road. We ride in the world, not just through it. All that freedom means we are more exposed and more vulnerable than automobile drivers. They use cell phones. They text and drive. They even put on makeup in the rearview mirror. Don’t assume they’re paying attention or even sober. It’s up to you to be 100% focused on the road and make up for the distracted behavior of others. You have to assume they do not see you. It’s important to always be mindful of collision traps.
Don’t die in your sleep. Dying in your sleep may sound like a good way to go, but not when you’re doing 60mph. Fatigue as a factor in crashes is on the rise. Being fatigued or drowsy raises your risk. Maybe you had a rough night, or a long day at the office. When you’re tired, your senses aren’t as sharp. You’re not as likely to see or recognize potential hazards. Your decision-making is slowed. Your reaction time isn’t as quick or as accurate. You need more time and space to see and larger safety margins. A smart rider will stop, sip, and sleep.
Are you an emotional wreck? We know the snow-birds drive aren’t always the best drivers. They can clog up the lane with their Lincoln SUV going 20mph under the speed limit. But Road Rage isn’t the answer. Getting angry or stressed makes riding safely more difficult. Make an honest assessment of your emotional state and keep safety as your top priority. Being overconfident can lead to aggressive riding. You end up putting yourself in situations that require more skill than you have or more performance than your motorcycle can provide. You have to be realistic about your capabilities and limitations as well as what your motorcycle can and cannot do. This way, you can make better, safer decisions in the moments that count.
Die of old age. You want to enjoy motorcycling to the fullest for many years. Learn how aging affects you so you can adjust your riding style as you get older. Getting older usually brings more wisdom and better judgment, but our physical abilities tend to diminish. For example, night vision is poorer, overall strength decreases, and reaction time increases. Being a good motorcyclist is physically demanding. Find out if any of your medications might affect your skill or perception. Listen to your friends if they see any changes in your riding ability.
Never ride faster than your guardian angel can fly. If you want to race, go to the track, not the streets. Racetracks have barriers and clear areas because even the best riders in the world crash sometimes. Almost a quarter of all motorcycle fatalities in Florida involve speeding. Your decision to speed could be the difference between life and death. By the way, speeding is expensive. The fine for exceeding the speed limit by more than 50 mph is raised to $1,000 for the 1st offense and $2,500 for the second. In addition, a second offense will result in a 1-year driver license suspension. So Maverick, if you’ve got the need for speed, take it to the track.
Stop in the name of love. Speed is a major factor in all road crashes and fatalities. Stopping time is increased as the speed increases. And at night your stopping distance must equal the distance of your headlight projection. Unpredictable obstacles or approaching curves just beyond the reach of your headlight can be dangerous or even fatal. So give yourself a chance and slow down
Stunts are for Hollywood. And illegal. Wheelies, stoppies, and burnouts will get you in a whole lot of trouble. The first ticket will land you a $1,000 fine, the second ticket will cost you $2,500, and the third ticket could be a $5,000 fine, and/or losing your bike, and/or a 10 year license revocation? So unless you’re Tom Cruise shooting another Mission Impossible movie, save your Ape Hangers, Biscuit Eaters, and Hyperspins for competitions.
An Experienced St. Petersburg Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you’re ever in an accident. Talk to Frank.
Attorney Frank Marsalisi believes that every client deserves his full attention. Your case will never be managed by a paralegal or case manager. Frank not only fights for your rights, he handles your insurance and medical issues so you can concentrate on your medical recovery.
If you have a case, Frank will take it on. And you still won’t owe anything until you win a settlement.
Frank will stand up for you against powerful, wealthy companies and people. And if your case goes to trial, Frank will represent you personally. Frank has always been on your side. He’s a St. Pete native who has always worked for the Plantiff.
Personal attention to personal injury.