Bike Week, which first began in 1937, used to center around events in Daytona, but since then the festivities have spread across Central Florida. This means that throughout Bike Week, motorcyclists are taking to the open road, no longer clustered along the Atlantic but filling up roads from coast to coast, particularly along the I-4 corridor.
In Florida, restaurants and retailers welcome the economic bump, but we’re also cautious about the uptick in motorcycle accidents. Typically, public safety messages are focused on motorcyclists, but those of us who drive cars and trucks need to be careful as well, especially during Bike Week when we’re likely to encounter motorcycles several times a day.
Consider these tips below, and help keep the roads safe for everyone:
- More than 50% of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve another vehicle, and often the accident takes place when a car or truck driver doesn’t see a nearby motorcycle. Motorcycles have a narrow profile, so other drivers must pay extra attention to notice them, especially when changing lanes or turning at intersections.
- Motorcycles are much smaller than cars, and can appear further away than they actually are. If you’re backing out of a driveway or making a turn when there’s a motorcycle nearby, assume that it is closer than you think, and take extra precautions.
- If you’re counting on brake lights to indicate that the motorcycle in front of you is slowing down or stopping, think again. Motorcyclists often slow by downshifting or rolling off the throttle, neither of which activate the brake light. If you’re expecting brake lights, you might not notice that the motorcycle has slowed.
- If a motorcycle’s turn signal is blinking, it might not actually be making a turn or changing lanes. Unlike cars, many motorcycles’ turn signals don’t switch off after a turn is made. Less experienced motorcyclists forget to turn them off, so if you’re on the road behind a motorcycle, pay more attention to its movements than signals.
- Keep more distance between your car and a motorcycle than you would between your car and another car. It’s difficult for a motorcyclist to make a quick stop, especially when the roads are slippery, so leave extra room.
Protect yourself by carrying uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. Scroll to the bottom of our Bike Week page to learn important facts about uninsured motorist coverage, such as stacking, minimum coverage recommendations, and more.