It’s no secret that motorcyclists are at a higher risk of accident and injury out on the road. According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycles are 35 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than automobiles. Motorcyclists may choose to ride for a variety of different reasons, but there are some standard practices across all types of riders and all types of bikes that can be used to avoid an accident.
As a rider, avoiding the following common causes of motorcycle accidents can help keep you and others safe on the road:
- Lack of Education
Get educated, stay educated. Driving a motorcycle is not the same as driving a car. Take a motorcycle course and get a license. Learn how to safely ride your bike and how to safely navigate the roads. Even if you are an experienced rider, a refresher course can help alert you to new and upcoming trends on the roads (like texting motorists and self-driving cars).
- Lack of Regular Motorcycle Maintenance
Just like an automobile owner, all motorcyclists are responsible for the maintenance of their bike. No motorist wants to share the road with another vehicle that may unexpectedly stop working in some capacity. At a bare minimum, remember to regularly:
- Check and replace brakes
- Change and rotate tires
- Change the oil
- Driving Erratically
This might seem like a no brainer, but in motorcycle culture there can exist an attitude of invisibility. This can cause riders to
- Zig zag in and out of traffic
- Take corners sharp and fast
- Drive on surfaces not designated as a road
Not only does this sort of behavior endanger the rider, it also endangers other motorist and pedestrians. Be responsible.
- Lack of Awareness
Cars are often reminded to look out for motorcycles, but motorcycles need to be just as attentive of cars. Be aware of a car’s blinds spots, and don’t hang out in them. Watch a car’s wheels, they’ll indicate the direction the car is about to move before it does, giving you a few seconds more of reaction time. Drive with your hands over the brakes, so you’ll be ready in a split second should a distraction or accident occur.
- Lack of Proper Gear
The more a motorcyclist can do to make sure they are seen, the safer they are on the road. Always wear the proper clothing when riding a motorcycle. Proper clothing includes the following:
- Long pants (made of a thick, protective material)
- Long Sleeves (made of a thick, protective material)
- Closed-toe and durable shoes
- Eye protection,
- and most importantly, a Department of Transportation approved helmet.
Reminder: the brighter and more reflective your gear, the better!
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, an experienced attorney such as the Bicycle Accident lawyer Phoenix, AZ locals trust can help determine if you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.
A special thanks to authors at Kamper Estrada, LLP for their insight into personal injury law.