Motorcyclists: Avoid Drinking and Driving
As the warm weather lingers, more motorcyclists take to the road to feel the wind at their backs. Unfortunately, summer is also the time of year during which alcohol-related accidents and death rates spike. This problem can be especially severe for motorcyclists, who have fewer protections than drivers of automobiles and are at risk for much more severe injury. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA),1 of all of the motorcyclists who died while riding in 2016, nearly 30% had blood alcohol levels above the legal limit of .08%
Those driving motorcycles are treated the same way as drivers of automobiles with regard to Florida driving under the influence laws.2 If you are stopped and suspected of drinking and riding, you are subject to fines, jail time and suspension of your license. Drinking and driving can also lead to serious collisions and injuries.
Drinking and Riding
Delayed Reaction Time: It only takes one drink to impair your coordination, judgment and reaction time. With even minor impairment, driving a motorcycle becomes dangerous. It only takes one slow reaction or encounter with a similarly impaired driver to cause an accident. There is simply no reason to risk it.
Lowered Inhibitions: Drinking before riding can also increase the rider’s confidence, but not in a good way. After a few drinks, inhibitions are lower. If you translate that to driving a motorcycle, the drivers are more likely to drive fast, take sharper corners or otherwise engage in risky driving. All of this combines to substantially increase the likelihood of an accident.
Inability to Multi-Task: If you need another reason to avoid riding after drinking, studies show that individuals who have been drinking have a difficult time multi-tasking and often miss vital information. On the road, this could mean missed turn signals, failure to notice other cars in an intersection, or a failure to follow road signs. Driving a motorcycle requires nearly constant multi-tasking and a diminished capacity puts your life and the lives of others at risk.
Accidents More Severe: Motorcycle accidents where the driver has been drinking typically happen at a higher rate of speed than sober motorcycles accidents. The average speed of a sober motorcycle crash is 33.3 mph. When the driver has been drinking, that number spikes to 41.3 mph. Additionally, drinking and driving motorcycle accidents tend to be solo accidents and usually occur late at night when help is less accessible.
Injuries More Severe: Those who drive motorcycles are at an increased risk for injury than those who operate traditional four-wheel vehicles. Motorcycles simply do not provide the added protection of other types of vehicles and a result, accidents can have much more serious consequences.
As riders take to the roads this summer, it is important to remember the following tips:
Don’t Drink And Drive: While it sounds obvious, simply not driving when you plan to drink is always the best policy. Carpool, make arrangements with a friend, or drink within walking distance of home are all ways to ensure a safe end to your evening.
Call A Cab: If you do wind up drinking, there is a myriad of ways to get safely home. From traditional taxis to services like Uber to simply calling a friend, there is no reason to ever drive while drunk. Considering the threat to the lives and safety of not only you, but others on the road, and the potential legal effects, it is not worth the risk.
Wear Your Helmet: Studies of accidents involving motorcycles have shown that motorcyclists that have been drinking are far less likely to be wearing a helmet than those who have not had anything to drink. This is a deadly combination that both increases the likelihood and the severity of an accident.
Contact a Clearwater Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one has been involved in a drunk driving motorcycle accident, contact a Clearwater motorcycle accident lawyer right away. Our experienced team of attorneys is committed to holding drunk or careless drivers liable for your injuries. We will evaluate your case and help you seek the most compensation possible for your losses. To schedule a free consultation with one of our motorcycle accident lawyers, call the Dolman Law Group today at 727-853-6275 or send us an email through our online contact form.