Bike week, Thunder Beach, at Panama City Beach, Florida, April 27- May 1, provides a fantastic opportunity for fun under the sun along the famed shores of the Emerald Coast of the Florida Panhandle. Unfortunately, it also exposes participants to unwanted and unwarranted hazards including injury and fatality.
First, let's consider the risks, and, then, how to minimize them for a safe experience for bikers. Increased traffic always results in more wrecks, but safety considerations, including a healthy respect for traffic laws , will save lives. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA, has released figures showing dramatic increases in severe accident during the last few years. Over three thousand bikers are dying on the roads each year. Nearly half of the accidents involved alcohol, and a third involved speeding by the bikers. As for the speeding-related deaths, that's twice the rate of deaths seen in car and truck accidents. These stats make us think about how to make biking safer.
Obviously, speeding and drinking before and while operating a bike are taboo. However, safety is a two way street. Operators of larger and heavier vehicles, namely cars and trucks, share the responsibility for safety. Too often, and very dangerously, they engage in road rage, perhaps because they consider bikes a nuisance or are irritated by their noise. Nevertheless, the law is clear. Bikers have as much right to be on the roads as cars and trucks. And they have the same legal protections. In essence, they have the right to safe passage. Bikers, likewise, can take steps to protect themselves from being "the unseen" on roadways.
A New Zealand safety study showed that wearing a white instead of a black helmet increases visibility. Cyclists wearing white helmets had a 24% lower risk of being in an accident. Additional safety can be achieved by choosing the time of day to travel, especially in resort areas. Motorcycle safety courses stress avoiding travel at night, especially in resorts like Panama City Beach where a significant number of car and truck drivers are driving while intoxicated. Avoiding riding at night, particularly on Saturday nights and Sunday mornings in these areas, when drunk drivers are most likely to be on the road, can save a biker's life.
Cars and bikes can peacefully co-exist at the beach, but if an accident happens, this firm is skilled in the investigation, preparation, and litigation of biking accidents caused by careless motorists. Enjoy fun and safety at Thunder Beach 2011 at Panama City Beach.