Motorcycles are among the most dangerous forms of transportation, yet this does not detract from the appeal of the freedom, speed, and joy of riding your bike on the open road. If anything, it may add to the rush of endorphins that bikers feel when they ride their motorcycles. For many people, owning and riding a motorcycle is not just a pastime or even their favorite way to get around town. Rather, it is their lifestyle and their passion. Still, it’s not something that you want to die for. In fact, most bikers understand and promote the need for safety precautions and advocate for the safety of themselves and their fellow bikers on the road.
This includes educating other motorists on safely sharing the road with motorcycles and educating bikers on how to keep themselves safe from accidents and injuries. The reason that it is so important to promote safety for bikers is because you are six times more likely than other motorists to be seriously injured in an accident while riding a motorcycle and 27 times more likely than other motorists to be killed in such an accident. Whether you are an experienced biker or just getting acquainted with your first motorcycle, the following tips are for you.
Preventing Motorcycle Accidents By Improving Visibility
To begin with, one of the best ways to prevent motorcycle accidents altogether is to improve your visibility. This is because the most frequent cause of motorcycle accidents with other vehicles is the fact that other drivers often do not even notice bikers on the road. They may be paying attention to traffic, but they are generally focused on other motor vehicles, and are less likely to anticipate or observe the presence of a motorcycle. Thus, it essential for bikers to do everything they can to improve their visibility on the road. It is equally important for other drivers to learn to watch out for bikers, though you cannot anticipate whether or not the other motorists on the roads your traveling will be looking out for you.
To improve your visibility on the road as a biker, you should try to wear bright colors. This doesn’t mean that you have to entirely sacrifice your style, but you should make an effort to include some highly visible elements in your wardrobe and safety gear. This could include a brightly colored jacket or helmet, for example.
It is also a good idea to look for bright colors when you purchase your motorcycle or when painting it a new color. Colors like bright yellow and bright orange are the most visible options and can make other drivers immediately aware of you. You can even use bright and reflective tape on your rims, your helmet, or your jacket, to help you stand out.
Another thing to keep in mind is that most vehicles have blind spots, where the driver may not be able to see you at all. Motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles, and it is very easy to end up in someone’s blind spot without realizing it, if you aren’t looking out for this. If you have to pass someone, you should try do so as quickly as you can, and do your best to remain visible to other drivers at all times. If you find yourself in a blind spot, move to a more visible position.
Another helpful tip to improve visibility is to make use of the lights on your motorcycle, especially when driving at night. This includes your brake lights, which will blink if you tap the brakes, and will draw attention to you while also communicating with others on the road. You can use your high beams to increase visibility, even during the daytime. Some bikers will also add additional lights to their motorcycles, making it easier for other drivers to see them and accurately judge how close or far away they are.
Finally, if you notice that another driver is distracted, not paying attention, or doesn’t seem to be aware of you, you can always honk your horn. This will make other motorists immediately aware of your presence and hopefully more attentive to you and other on the road.
Other Ways That You Can Prevent Motorcycle Accidents
Beyond improving visibility, there are plenty of other things that you can do to increase safety when riding a motorcycle. For starters, any biker who is new to motorcycles should complete a motorcycle rider education class that is approved by the state, and to practice in open areas, like parking lots. This is also wise to take time to practice with a new bike, even if you are experienced. Different motorcycles may handle differently, and you’ll want to familiarize yourself with a new bike before you head out on the road. It is also important to make sure that your motorcycle is well maintained, and to inspect it before each ride. For instance, you need to make sure that the brakes, signals, and headlights are all working. You should also double check that the tire pressure and fluid levels are good and that the gas tank is filled.
Just like other motorists, you should never operate a motorcycle while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or medications with potentially hazardous side effects. Driving defensively is another important element of keeping yourself safe, and it requires you to keep a careful eye on other drivers and make efforts to avoid accidents with those who might cause them. Be aware of your surroundings at all times, give others plenty of room, and again, stay out of blind spots.
Minimizing the Likelihood of Serious Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
Sometimes, despite all of your best efforts and safety precautions, accidents will happen. This is where it becomes important to ensure that your safety precautions include adequate protection in case of an accident. For instance, you should never ride without a helmet, and you need to make sure that the helmet is truly safe and effective at protecting your head. This means that the helmet should have a DOT symbol to indicate that it meets the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards of the US Department of Transportation.
You should also protect your arms, legs, hands, ankles, feet, and hands. All of these parts should be covered entirely when you ride. You can protect your arms and legs with heavy denim and/or leather. You can protect your hands with thick riding gloves. You can protect your feet and your ankles with heavy boots that fit well and are high enough to cover your ankles.
Contact an Attorney When Motorcycle Accident Injuries Occur
If you do end up in an accident while driving your motorcycle, you should contact the police and emergency medical assistance, as needed. Motorcycle accidents can be especially devastating, so you need to get medical care right away. Even if you are fortunate enough to walk away from the accident without any urgent injuries, you should still seek a full medical evaluation to ensure that you have not missed any injuries in the adrenaline rush that follows an accident. Then, contact the skilled motorcycle accident injury attorneys in Greenville at the Dan Pruitt Injury Law Firm for a free consultation and advice on recovering compensation for your injuries.
Dan Pruitt is a Personal Injury Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from University of Georgia, and has been practicing law for 25 years. Dan Pruitt believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.