Motorcycle Accidents in Fort Myers Highlight the Need for Safety By: Joseph Bernardo
As spring brings longer days and warmer weather to the Fort Myers area, motorcycle enthusiasts are increasingly taking to the roads. The local climate and terrain are perfect for riding both as a hobby and as a means of transportation, but it is important to make safety a top priority. Several recent motorcycle accidents in our area illustrate the potential dangers and the need for caution to prevent potentially life-threatening injuries.
Recent Motorcycle Accidents Responsible for One Death, Multiple Injuries An alarming rash of motorcycle accidents in the Fort Myers area has local officials concerned. According to a March 10, 2020 report by the News-Press, the most recent occurred near the corner of Summerlin Boulevard and Matthew Drive. While police have not released details of the crash, it resulted in one death. This brings the number of fatal traffic accidents in our area to 16 this year. This latest crash comes on the heels of another motorcycle accident in Fort Myers that happened on Palm Beach Boulevard. According to a March 6, 2020 NBC 2 News report, it involved two motorcycles and left three people suffering serious injuries. Investigators report speed was a likely factor. Unfortunately, with the warmer spring weather and the increase in traffic throughout our area, residents can expect more of these types of crashes. Both motorists and motorcyclists need to take extra precautions.
Motorcycle Safety Tips Due to the exposed nature of riding, motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable road users. The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that while they represent only 6% of vehicles on the road, motorcyclists account for roughly 14% of all traffic fatalities. Automobile drivers need to recognize that motorcyclists need more room for stopping and when making turns. They also need to be more mindful of their own aggressive driving behaviors, such as tailgating, improper passing, and failing to yield. For their part, motorcyclists can help to reduce their risks by following these safety tips:
Make sure you are riding the properly sized bike. Avoid those that are too large or more powerful than you can handle.
Invest in anti-lock brakes. These can help when making sudden stops and prevent skidding.
Take a motorcycle safety course. Even experienced riders can use a refresher to hone their skills.
Be cautious in taking on passengers. Riding with two people on a motorcycle requires extra skill.
Practice defensive driving. This is especially important at intersections, where the majority of motorcycle accidents happen.
Follow all traffic rules. Avoid speeding, weaving in and out of lanes, and other dangerous behaviors.
Wear protective gear. This includes a helmet, reflective clothing, goggles, and proper footwear.
Ride sober. Avoid drinking any amount of alcohol if you intend on getting on your motorcycle.