Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents are deadlier than car accidents since the cyclist is out in the open and not enclosed in a metal cage. In 2019, 5,014 motorcycle riders were killed in an accident, and roughly 84,000 were injured. During the same year, 14 percent of all vehicle accidents included a motorcycle.
One of the reasons motorcycle injuries can be more devastating is the higher risk of head injuries. In 2019, 57 percent of cyclists who were killed were not wearing their helmets. Whether you’re riding across town or taking a long road trip, following these tips can help prevent a motorcycle accident.
Assume You Can’t Be Seen
Motorcyclists are less visible than other motor vehicles. Unfortunately, while riding, the cyclist can fall within the blind spot of a car or large commercial truck. Motorcycle accidents can occur because the driver didn’t see the motorcycle and thought it came out of nowhere.
It’s safest to assume that the cars and trucks on the road don’t see you. You can increase the potential that you will be seen by wearing bright colors and reflective elements on your clothing and your bike. Black may look cool, but bright colors help you to be visible.
Be sure to keep the headlight on your bike turned on day and night and ride in the section of the lane that makes you most visible. Don’t engage in lane splitting. This is the practice of riding between lanes in slow-moving traffic. While lane splitting, the motorcycle is too close to other vehicles, and the drivers of motor vehicles do not expect to see a motorcyclist between themselves and the next car.
Stay Alert, Focused, and Aware
It is crucial for cyclists to stay aware of their surroundings, be focused on the road, and stay alert while driving. A sudden stop or change in traffic speed can happen at any moment. Listening to music or talking on the phone can cause enough distraction that you are unable to react to changes in traffic or obstacles on the road in sufficient time to avoid a collision.
Never operate a motorcycle when you’re sleepy or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Be aware of the weather conditions. Small areas of water on the road may not bother a car, but they can cause a motorcycle to spin out of control, and freezing temperatures can create black ice.
Stay on the lookout for other hazards on the road that may not present an obstacle for cars, but that can be dangerous for motorcycles. For example, potholes, gravel, or tire strips from commercial vehicles.
Become a Braking Expert
Braking on a motorcycle is not the same as using the brakes in a car. It may seem reasonable to use your brakes to avoid a crash, but many accidents have happened because of the poor reaction time of the rider or the inappropriate use of the brakes.
Seasoned riders recommend that you find an empty parking lot and practice braking at a variety of speeds. This helps you to know what to do and what to expect if you need to make a sudden stop. It also trains your body to react to the situation so that you stay balanced on the bike.
Braking on a motorcycle depends on your weight distribution, center of gravity, and the overall weight of the bike and the rider. Different types of brakes will react differently, which is why practicing is vital. There are specific situations in which you should use the front brake and others in which you should use the back brake. It’s essential you know these situations and practice using your brakes before riding on the road in traffic.
Go to School
If you’re a new motorcyclist, it’s important to take a motorcycle safety course. Even experienced riders can take refresher courses to help improve their skills and as a reminder of the rules. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers classes online and in-person. Community colleges may also offer motorcycle safety classes for new and experienced riders. Check with your insurance company since completion of these classes can sometimes net you an insurance discount.
All Gear, All the Time
The techniques and strategies you use to ride can help prevent an accident. But wearing the right gear can help prevent an injury. The summer months are hot, and it can be uncomfortable to wear protective gear while riding. However, while sweat is uncomfortable, it feels better than torn skin and broken bones.
Armored jackets and pants, as well as proper boots and motorcycle gloves, help protect your body. A well-fitting motorcycle helmet is essential to protect your brain from injury. While your safety gear can help protect you from injury, it isn’t foolproof. Your best bet is to avoid accidents by following the rules of the road and staying safe while driving.
Call the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd. Today for Help After a Motorcycle Accident
If you were involved in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, you might be entitled to compensation. The experienced and compassionate Providence motorcycle accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd. understand the importance of protecting your rights and fighting for fair compensation to help pay your medical costs and recover lost wages.
We are committed to providing you with the best legal representation possible. We understand the financial burden that happens after an accident, so you don’t pay fees for our services until we get you compensation for your injuries and losses. Call our office today at (401) 751-8855 to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation.