Florida is a state with beaches and scenery that people love to bike through. Unfortunately, bicyclists as well as motorcyclists are at risk when a careless driver does not give due respect and distance to motorcycles and bicycles. It has been reported that over 9,500 motorcyclists were involved in a crash in 2018. This is a slight increase from the numbers for the calendar year 2017. Furthermore, it was reported over 7,000 bicyclists were involved in a crash in 2018. Combined, there were over 16,500 motorcyclists and bicyclists involved in a crash, over 600 of which ended fatally.
The month of May is Motorcycle and Bicycle Safety Month, and motorists are reminded to pay attention and share the road safely. Drivers should avoid following motorcycles and bicycles closely, keep a four-second buffer zone between themselves and a motorcyclist or cyclist. Always utilize caution while on the road, look twice before crossing the street, and do not drive distractedly; keep your eyes on the road and watch for bikers and cyclists. They have the rights and responsibilities as drivers, so drivers must share the road accordingly.
In addition to precautions taken by drivers, bicyclists and motorcyclists can also make strides to act safely. All bicyclists and motorcyclists should wear helmets. Almost 90% of the people involved in a bicycle accident in the last year were not wearing a helmet. Motorcyclists should make an effort to drive defensively and avoid reckless speeding and weaving between lanes. Cyclists should make themselves noticeable with bright clothes and lights, especially while riding at night. They should act predictably in order to minimize surprises for other drivers and think ahead to avoid hazards. Both cyclists and motorcyclists can benefit from referring to the official Florida Driver License Handbook to familiarize themselves with the rules of the road.