The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says approximately 80% of reported motorcycle accidents result in either injury or death. This is why safety is so important. Fortunately, there are some things you can do here to help yourself.
Wear the Right Gear
When you’re riding your motorcycle, you should have long pants and sleeves on. It’s best if these are made of leather or another protective material. Additionally, you should also wear gloves, eye protection, and boots that cover your ankles. If you plan to be riding your motorcycle when it’s cold outside, you can either invest in heavier gear that’s been specifically designed for these temperatures or add additional layers of clothing to the ones you typically wear.
You also shouldn’t ever overlook the importance of wearing a helmet that’s approved by the Department of Transportation and covers your entire face. Light-colored helmets are best because they’re more visible. However, the helmet isn’t only for others benefit, but for yours as well. If you’re wearing a helmet when you get into a motorcycle accident, your much less likely to suffer from a traumatic brain injury. If you do get into an accident, make sure you replace your helmet right away. Otherwise it should be replaced once every 5 years.
Make Sure You’re Seen
You want to make sure the other vehicles you’re sharing the road with can clearly see you. This is why you should wear bright colors and have reflective elements on both your clothing as well as on your bike. Always have the headlight on your motorcycle turned on. Do your best to ride in the part of the lane where you’re most visible to other motorists but if you think they still can’t see you, use your horn.
Operate Your Motorcycle with Safety in Mind
New motorcyclists aren’t the only ones who should take a safety course offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF). Experienced riders should also take an occasional refresher course. Not only will such courses get you a discount with your insurance, but they’ll also teach you the importance of:
- Being alert, especially around anyone who may be texting while driving
- Watching for intersections, sand, potholes, railroad tracks, road hazards, and other motorcyclists
- Not drinking or speeding – common causes of over 40% of motorcycle accidents
- Avoiding bad weather or, at the very least, knowing how to safely operate your motorcycle in rain and wind
While you may think that you’ve learned these things before and since you already know them you’re prepared for anything that you may encounter while riding your motorcycle, you can never grow too secure in your knowledge. Doing so may lead you to become nonchalant in your driving, which could then easily result in a motorcycle accident.
A Head’s Up
In most motorcycle accidents the motorcyclist themselves typically aren’t at fault. When someone else’s negligence behind the wheel leads to your injuries, remember you have the same rights as other drivers. Sometimes this means that you’ll need to have an attorney exert these rights for you. Attorney Rojas used to ride a motorcycle and understands the extra exposure cyclists face. If this happens to you, make sure you get Attorney Juana Maria Rojas at the Rojas Law Group on your side.
Picture Credit: Sadiq Nafee