Attorney Fran Haasch
July 2009 Motorcycle Newsletter
Welcome to our July newsletter. For
those of you that are receiving this newsletter for the first time,
thank you very much for signing up for a chance to win the 2009 Sturgis
Giveaway. And, to the faithful readers, thank you for the continued
support. I can’t believe the giveaway is less than a week away. I hope
to see all of you at Quaker Steak and Lube on July 15th!
Happy Belated 4th of July to everyone;
finally a weekend that didn’t rain. I hope you had a chance to get out
on your bike and enjoy a safe, dry ride.
A few weeks
ago was the 18th Annual International Ride To Work Day. We
invited everybody on our email list to enjoy lunch with us at our office
and share our love of the open road. I know it was difficult to make it
on a Monday with such short notice, but we had an outstanding turnout. A
very special thanks to all of you that made it such a huge success; we
will definitely be doing it again next year! Thank you to Born To Ride
and Full Throttle for covering the event in their magazines.
(Click here for event pictures)
Ride’s Women’s Club Tribute to Mom & Women Who Ride event was held last
month. It was an honor to be recognized amongst other influential women
that are making such an impact in our motorcycle community.
(Click here for event pictures)
Tony Cianci and Simon “Night Train” Bois and Full Throttle for the great
article on Jesse James. If you didn’t have a chance to read the
article, it is
in its entirety.
We’ve been at
a lot of events over the last month and have added over 300 new pictures
to our website.
Please click here to check
One last word of thanks goes out to Susan Hurst and
Born To Ride Magazine for including such a wonderful article about our
law firm and staff in the current July issue.
Our law firm represents people that have been
injured in motorcycle and automobile accidents. If you have any
questions about your insurance coverage or need any additional
information regarding a motorcycle or automobile accident, please call
our office at 866-LAW-FRAN. We will be happy to answer your questions
free of charge.
Attorney Fran Haasch
Motorcyclists have the unique ability to use
different parts of a lane depending on what riding situations may
arise. With the narrow width of a motorcycle, riders are able to take a
position within the lane to maximize visibility, avoid problem areas of
the lane, and have the quickest “out” possible. However, some riders
choose to use the slender profile of a motorcycle in order to cut in
between cars and avoid traffic jams.
In Florida, splitting lanes during a traffic jam,
or at any time, is actually illegal. Is it more or less dangerous
though? Some studies have shown that traffic collisions in a state like
California, where lane splitting is legal, may actually happen less
frequently when compared to a state like Florida. One devastating type
of accident that was significantly reduced was the occurrence of rear
end collisions. When a motorcyclist has the ability to split lanes,
he/she is no longer at the mercy of traffic approaching from behind.
Even though lane splitting is illegal in Florida,
riders still occasionally zip in between cars in the face of a traffic
jam. This, however, is dangerous considering that Floridians aren’t
used to this kind of behavior. A rider runs the risk of an oblivious
driver drifting across lane lines or a spiteful driver not wanting a
motorcyclist to cut in line/get ahead. The fact of the matter is that
more study concerning lane splitting is needed and until then, it will
likely remain illegal in Florida and many other states.
TO WORK DAY
2009 was the 18th annual International Ride to Work Day.
While motorcycles are routinely viewed as toys or recreational vehicles,
this day is a good chance to show off the advantages/positives of using
a motorcycle to commute. Motorcycles use less fuel, cause less
congestion, have less impact on the roadways, and take up less space in
a parking lot. According to
www.ridetowork.org, three to five motorcycles can fit into the
amount of space it takes for just one car. With the amount of riders on
the roadways expected to double on Ride to Work Day, the hope is that
the public sees the practicality behind two-wheeled transportation.
Hopefully employers will make an exception for leathers in the office.
It is very easy to see how hard the credit
crunch/bad economy is hitting the automotive industry, but the
motorcycle industry is being faced with far worse economic woes.
Financing a motorcycle has traditionally been more difficult than
financing a car or mortgaging a house, the rational being based in
necessity. A motorcycle is viewed as a luxury item that consumers can
do without, especially when compared to a house or car. Additionally,
if an individual is faced with financial hardship, a motorcycle payment
will likely be one of the first things to be neglected, particularly
when compared to having a roof over your head.
This credit crunch is even having an effect on
individuals with excellent credit scores, looking for a new motorcycle
to throw a leg over. Credit companies are just not willing to take the
risk of an individual defaulting on a loan, regardless of credit
history/score. If an individual is looking to finance a used
motorcycle, the prospects are even slimmer. While this may seem like
bad news to those looking for a new motorcycle, there are still
manufactures out there offering direct financing through the
dealership. A prime example of this is Harley-Davidson.
With the ability to cater to new customers being
hampered by credit companies, dealerships are having to rely more
heavily on their current customers’ utilizing service departments and
DRINKING AND RIDING
While it should not have to be said that drinking
and riding do not mix, it never hurts to have a little reminder every
now and then. The fact of the matter is that even marginal amounts of
alcohol can have an affect on your ability to operate a motorcycle
safely and effectively.
According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, even
a small amount of alcohol in your system can increase your chances of an
accident by five times. A Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) over 0.05 makes
you 40 times more likely to experience an accident. The thing that many
people forget or never realize is that you do not have to have a BAC
over 0.08 in order to be cited for driving under the influence/while
intoxicated (DUI or DWI). If an officer finds that you are impaired and
unable to operate a motor vehicle, even if you are below that magical
0.08 limit, you may still be cited, depending on the specific
circumstances. The scary thing is that, by the time you reach a BAC of
0.08, reasoning abilities and motor skills are already greatly
While this all may seem very paternalistic, having
alcohol in your system at the time of an accident may greatly affect any
claims you may have arising from said accident. If, while riding home
from the bar, a car were to pull out in front of you and cause an
accident, a jury may find that the alcohol in your system impaired your
ability to avoid the accident and find you partly negligent. This would
lessen any potential recovery you may receive. In Florida, this is
referred to as “Comparative Negligence.” A sober motorcyclist faced
with the same hypothetical accident would fare much better because there
would likely be little, if any, negligence attributed to the rider.
Just remember, next time you show up for a local
bike night, alcohol may not only increase chances of injury while riding
impaired, it will also potentially decrease any recovery received, even
for an accident that was out of your control.
Up until recently, motorcycle appearance and size
has been geared mainly towards male riders. However, a company located
in Daytona Beach, Florida, is determined to change that in favor of
women. With ridership among females on the rise, this idea could not
have come at a better time.
The big concern with female riders is the fit of
the motorcycle. There is nothing more unsettling than pulling up to a
stop light and feeling like you are teetering between your big toes.
Roar offers customization of your current bike or you can choose from
bikes that have already been modified and sorted into engine and rider
size categories. It is this precise fit which will help inspire
confidence and boost the ability of women riders.
The Roar shop does not just limit itself to
motorcycles. They offer a full showroom of riding clothes, accessories,
and jewelry to outfit any rider or enthusiast. For more information on
Roar and its products, which have already built up wide spread appeal,
MOTORCYCLE SAFETY AWARENESS MONTH
Even though it is now July, we hope that May had
lived up to its name as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. As
Floridians, we are spoiled with the ability to ride year round. Summer
does not officially start until June; however, May marks the beginning
of weather which truly presents some exceptional riding possibilities in
other parts of our beautiful country. With a good number of northern
residents taking the covers off their motorcycles for the upcoming
summer riding season, the month of May is a good time to admonish
drivers to keep an eye out for those who are less conspicuous.
May has been recognized as Motorcycle Safety
Awareness Month for quite some time by many organizations and now the
U.S. House has followed suit. H.Res. 269 “[r]ecognizes the contribution
motorcycles make to the transportation mix; [e]ncourages all road users
to be more aware of motorcycles and motorcyclists’ safety; [e]ncourages
all riders to receive appropriate training and practice safe riding
skills; and [s]upports the goals of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.”
The House also recognized that motorcycles “are fuel-efficient and
decrease congestion while having little impact on transportation
Just remember to continuously be mindful of your
surroundings, consider the other drivers trying to share the road with
you, and always drive/ride safely.
Attorney Fran Haasch