More Motorcycle Crashes Than Usual: Extended Winter Warm Weather Partly to Blame?
According to The Weather Channel, the current El Nino weather pattern sweeping the nation has resulted in unseasonably warm winter conditions throughout the U.S. In Florida, temperatures have remained well into the 80s all through December. Although this warm winter is slowly winding down, from Maine to Michigan, motorcycle enthusiasts can still be found riding on two wheels, when their bikes would have normally been safely stored until spring. Here in Florida, there have been numerous fatal motorcycle accidents in the Tampa Bay area just since November.
Warmer than Usual Weather Patterns Keep Bikes on the Road
While the warm Florida weather this winter is definitely keeping more bikes on the road longer, it is also combining two deadly forces – tourist season and motorcycles. Many northern visitors come to Florida each year, escaping the cold northern winters. This means that Florida’s population often swells by up to 12 percent during the winter. Snowbirddestinations.com estimates that over 550,000 northern visitors come and reside as long-term seasonal residents during the winter months. Combine the added population with the increased number of motorcycles on the road, and you likely have a greater chance of problems.
Staying Safe This Winter
While there may be a longer motorcycle season this year, it is important to continue putting safety first. Knowing that certain areas might be more congested than usual, riders should take a few extra minutes and consider some things that can prevent trouble on the road:
- Do not ride fatigued. Becoming fatigued on a bike is easier than in a car. The gentle rumble of the engine and wind against your face are sometimes more calming than you think. Take a break every two to three hours.
- Slow down: This advice applies to everyone on the road, but when it comes to motorcycles, visibility becomes a problem for other drivers. If you are moving faster than expected, automobile drivers may not see you in time to react.
- Avoid riding when visibility is poor. If there is fog, heavy rain, or other any other condition that could limit visibility, consider waiting it out or taking a different mode of transportation. Remember, just because it is warm enough to ride does not mean you should.
- Know your limitations: Just like everyone on the road, each rider has different experience and skill levels. Even if you have been riding for years, know your limitations and abilities. If you require glasses, wear them. If you know you are less sure riding at night, consider passing on that late night ride across the Howard Franklin. And if you have recently purchased a bike and are not yet fully familiar with its features and capabilities, consider short daytime trips in familiar territory before venturing out during poor weather or on the highway.
What to Do if Injured on a Motorcycle
Florida interstates are notorious for high-speed crashes and dangerous construction. If you or someone you love is seriously injured while riding in the Tampa Bay or Manatee County areas, call an aggressive motorcycle accident attorney at the Romero Law Firm who can fight for your rights. Many motorists simply do not see motorcycles, and they routinely cut them off, cross into other lanes, and cause deadly crashes. You should not have to fight the insurance company alone.