Coye Law March 2019

COYE LAW

Chronicle March 2019 Edition How Much Danger is Acceptable? How to Mitigate Motorcycle Risk Wade Coye Attorney

To an extent, Joan and my mother are right. I can’t believe I’m putting that statement on the record for perpetuity, but it’s true. There’s no denying that riding a motorcycle can be a dangerous proposition. According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, fatalities from an accident involving a motorcycle are 28 times more likely than those resulting from accidents between other vehicles. That’s a sobering statistic, but it doesn’t mean we should ban people from riding motorcycles. It just means we have a duty to put laws in place to protect riders and mitigate the risk of firing up a Harley. When you really think about it, we all do dangerous things every day. Getting in a car is dangerous, eating too much junk food is dangerous, smoking is dangerous, and the list goes on. For some reason though, we have designated certain habits as extra-ultra- dangerous. I don’t know quite how you’d quantify danger, but I’d be willing to guess piloting a small aircraft is about as risky as riding a motorcycle. Why is one acceptable for me to do while the other is not? The question, “How much danger is too much?” can only be answered on an individual basis. If you plan on enjoying a bike ride or two this year, you need to take precautions. Always wear safety gear, make sure your bike is running well, and drive defensively. With so much construction happening on the I-4 right now, it’s also important to check road conditions before you head out. These measures don’t inhibit your enjoyment, but rather enhance it. They allow you to ride with minimal risk of something bad happening. No matter how many steps you take to limit risk, there will always be some inherent danger to riding a motorcycle — but you knew that from the start. If you are injured in an accident, we are here to help. -Wade Coye

Florida is one of the best places to ride a motorcycle in the country, if not the entire world. With great weather, seemingly infinite stretches of highway, and a thriving community of riders, the Sunshine State could easily add the Two-Wheeled State to its list of monikers. That’s truer during March than any other time of the year. With Daytona Bike Week kicking off March 8, all of the country’s bike fanatics will be converging on our roads. Florida’s role as the epicenter of Bike Week is a testament to the natural beauty of the state. As somebody who enjoys a solid adrenaline rush — I’m an instrument rated private pilot and have always enjoyed instrument approaches in low visibility — I’ve often considered getting a motorcycle. My wife, Joan, however, is having none of that idea. "A bike is much too dangerous," she tells me, and she’s not interested in having to worry about me every time I opt for two wheels. (What she actually said was a bit stronger than that, but we’ll just say I didn’t buy one). Her response reminds me of when my brother bought a motorcycle. I’m not sure of the exact details, but the bike never left the tool shed after my mom found out. She wasn’t too happy about it, so he never took it on the road.

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