Here’s a basic primer on motorcycle safety.
Why are motorcyclists more vulnerable on the road?
Here’s a sobering statistic for riders: while only one out of every five motor vehicle crashes results in injury or death; nearly four out of five motorcycle crashes does. This is because motorcycles in general offer fewer safety features than do automobiles or trucks. They are lighter, more difficult for other vehicles to see, and don’t offer external support systems (such as airbags and windshields). Notwithstanding the fact that most bikes tend to be easier to maneuver and stop than most cars, motorcycles lack stability and are generally outnumbered by autos and trucks on the road.
What can you do to improve your motorcycle safety?
- Wear a helmet! This can significantly reduce your likelihood of suffering head, neck, or spinal damage if you do crash.
- Take a safety course on how to operate a motorcycle safely.
- Never ride your bike while overly fatigued, under the influence of drugs or narcotics, or in an aggressive state of mind.
- Avoid riding your bike during peak accident hours, such as weekend nights and holidays like July 4th.
- Take your bike in for maintenance on a regular basis.
- Log some riding hours! Experienced drivers tend to have a fuller repertoire of “safety reactions” than do drivers who only go ride a few times a month.
- Read up on the motorcycle laws in your state.
- Get the right bike for you – if you’re a small person, for instance, don’t get a super powerful bulky bike, since you may have trouble commanding the motorcycle in the event of an emergency.
What are some tips for interacting with other motorcyclists, autos, trucks, and pedestrians?
- Operate your bike with courtesy.
- Install a muffler so that you don’t startle other drivers as you rev past them.
- Don’t tailgate or slip between rows of traffic during traffic jams.
- Use your signals and mirrors to change lanes.
- Don’t blast music or otherwise impede your ability to “hear the road.”
- Anticipate problems by tuning in to traffic broadcasts and watching out for road hazards, such as construction zones, potholes, intersection malfunctions, etc.
- Maintain visibility by making sure that your lights stay on at night and that you put reflectors on your bike.
Even if you practice perfect motorcycle safety, it’s impossible to get out of every dangerous road situation. If you were hit on the road and you suffered injuries or trauma, you may need legal help now. Dial (410) 625-4878 to speak with an associate of Steven Heisler’s Maryland motorcycle accident legal team. Steve Heisler has represented thousands of injury claimants. He understands what it takes to win motorcycle accident cases and get a solid settlements for his clients. For more information on his practice, review our website or email/call to make a free, zero obligation appointment.