Fran Haasch July 2009 – Motorcycle Newsletter – Sturgis Trip!

Attorney Fran Haasch

July 2009 Motorcycle Newsletter

Hello Everyone,

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)

Born to

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)

Thanks to

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

them out.

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

Palm Harbor



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.




June 15,

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
, 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

ordering parts/accessories.


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,



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

Palm Harbor