Motorcycle safety tips and avoidance
Did you know that more than 90,000 Americans have experienced personal injury from a motorcycle accident? Believe us when we say that you don’t want to be one of them. Discover how to avoid an accident with these safety tips from a PI attorney.
Don’t Become an Injury Victim
When most people think about the danger motorcyclists face, they think of other drivers and their responsibility to avoid an accident. While that is certainly true, there are plenty of things you can do to change the outcome of your own riding experience.
Whether you are riding a motorcycle for the very first time or if you’ve been a seasoned motorcyclist for years, following motorcycle safety tips is a necessary part of bike ownership. Learn all you need to know about motorcycle safety from our PI attorney to help keep you safe on the road. Here are 10 actionable safety tips to help you avoid an accident or common injury as a motorcyclist.
Wear the Right Motorcycle Gear
If you’re an avid rider, you likely already know how uncomfortable gear can be. Fortunately, motorcycle gear has become trendier and more comfortable in recent years. That means more motorcyclists are wearing it, and fewer are experiencing a personal injury because of it.
The necessary gear for you will vary depending upon the climate and location. Still, it can include a jacket, helmet, gloves, boots, and pants to keep your skin and body as protected as possible if you become an injury victim.
Sadly, nothing lasts forever, including your gear. It’s a good idea to check the condition of your gear every six months to a year on average and replace items as needed. This is especially true of your helmet; the item riders are likely to wear most often.
Picking the Right Motorcycle
Have you ever seen someone small riding a motorcycle so massive that you worried they would tip over if you sneezed in their general direction? Of course, some bikes are more aesthetically pleasing than others, but they may be too large or too small for you to handle on the road safely.
Be realistic about your body and capabilities as a rider, in addition to the motorcycle’s weight, tires, and height, before making a final decision. After all, motorcycles aren’t the cheapest thing you’ll ever buy. Not sure? Ask the dealer if you can take the bike for a test run.
Motorcycle Maintenance and Upkeep
Similar to standard automobiles, motorcycles also require regular maintenance and upkeep. If you’re mechanically inclined, you may be able to do oil changes and other maintenance on your own. However, if that skill is not your forte, consult with a professional motorcycle mechanic or dealer to get the most out of your purchase.
Motorcycles are dangerous on a good day. Imagine if a brake light were to go out without you knowing, leading to a giant truck barreling in behind you at a stoplight. Before taking off, double-check that everything from each of your motorcycle’s lights, mirrors, and tires is functional.
Stay on the Defense
Knowing that other drivers are the major cause of so many motorcycle accidents is only part of the battle throughout your riding experience. As a motorcyclist, what are you doing to stay safe and prevent common injury among other drivers in various types of enclosed vehicles? Hopefully, you’re driving defensively.
To successfully drive defensively, it helps to remain aware of common pitfalls to motorcyclist safety, such as riding in someone’s blind spot or speeding through traffic on the freeway. Stay abreast of traffic jams, construction, pedestrian crossings, and school zones before your departure. And, of course, keep your distance from other vehicles as much as possible.
Boost Your Reaction Time
Just like any other driver or rider, you are responsible for your own safety to prevent a common injury from happening. However, you also have the ability to prevent accidents involving others from occurring. Unfortunately, no matter how much you perfect your defensive driving skills, mistakes are bound to happen. It’s part of being human.
It’s vital to your survival that you know how to react in these worst-case scenarios. Staying aware of your surroundings at all times and leave yourself open to options, such as pulling over, sticking with the flow of traffic, or speeding up to pass other drivers if necessary to maintain the safety of yourself and everyone else.
When you ride, it’s like your senses kick into overdrive. Consequently, it’s very easy to stay focused on the beauty you see when riding. However, it’s mandatory that you not let yourself get distracted by anything for your own benefit.
Keeping your eyes on the road and maintaining vigilant awareness of all surroundings will help keep you safest. Just like when you ride in a car, it’s also wise to keep your phone away to prevent unnecessary distraction.
Let Others Know Where You’re Going
Have you ever thought about what you would do if you were in an accident but in a remote or isolated area without a phone? What if no one knew where you were heading?
Of course, it’s a good idea to keep your phone with you at all times, but accidents don’t necessarily mean the phone will stay with you or the bike or that it will be in good working condition should the unthinkable happen. Protect yourself and your best interest by keeping others informed of your whereabouts.
Consider Motorcycle Safety Classes
Once you’ve been riding for a while, your body’s habit-forming abilities take over. This can lead to habits that you don’t consciously think about daily. Advanced rider training courses can help offset your brain’s incorrect muscle memory to keep you safer.
Motorcycle Safety Classes are a great way for beginner or novice riders to amplify their skills as drivers. On the other hand, if you’re an experienced rider, you may not be interested in continued education for your lifelong passion for motorcycles. However, we’re here to advocate for it.
Of course, you probably think that you ride perfectly well. Maybe you’re thinking, “well, I haven’t had an accident yet.” It may be true that your driving record is pristine, but you can always be better.
Abide By The Rules
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a thrill-seeker to break the law while riding a motorcycle. It may not seem like it, but public health officials and lawmakers crafted roadway laws and policies with public safety in mind. Learn the rules of the road or ask your local Department of Motor Vehicles for a refresher course.
Check the Weather
There are few less desirable situations than being stuck on an open road during a heavy hail storm. You could prevent this from happening to you if you check the weather forecast before heading out the door. Our mornings are hectic and often rushed in today’s world, so set yourself a reminder if you must.
Motorcycle Safety: A Well-Rounded Approach
Although practice makes perfect, there are some conditions that even practice can’t prepare you for. No matter your experience level, a well-rounded approach to safety is the best route to take. If you want to prevent an accident and avoid becoming an injury victim, it’s imperative that you choose the right bike, conduct regular maintenance, and take motorcycle safety classes. It would be best if you also made efforts to do the following:
Remain aware of your surroundings
Assess road conditions
Check the weather
Wear protective gear
Follow the law
Tell a friend where you’re going
If you or someone you loved has experienced a personal injury despite their best attempts at avoiding an accident, don’t let the injury victim suffer in silence. Consult with a PI attorney to go over all of your legal options for legal action today. Contact us today for a FREE consult.