Motorcycle accidents are devastating, to say the least. Safety groups like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) frequently collect crash data that suggests that motorcyclists are 25 times more likely to be seriously injured or die in an accident than motorists in other types of vehicles. With so much harm being so likely in most motorcycle accidents, it is especially important that we all do our part in preventing them. Whether you are a motorcycle rider yourself or drive a passenger car, there are safety tips you should always know and follow when on the road.
How Motorcyclists Can Prevent Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accident prevention tips for motorcyclists:
- Wear protective gear: Every motorcyclist should be fully equipped with protective gear for every ride. You need a DOT-approved motorcycle helmet, of course, but also clothing that will help prevent road rash in case of a wipeout. Reflective and bright colors are also a must to increase your visibility, which will decrease your chances of being unseen by other motorists.
- Pay full attention: One of the worst things you can do as a motorcyclist is to distract yourself with your phone or music. If you aren’t comfortable with your ride yet, then don’t play music through your helmet until you are. The goal should be to train yourself to only ride when you are capable of being completely aware of your surroundings, which also means never riding after having alcohol.
- Be cautious at intersections: Most of the worst collisions between motorcyclists and motorists happen at intersections. Whenever you need to pass through one, heighten your caution and awareness at least a little to be ready for anything. Keep your headlight on even during the day to make your motorcycle easier to see as you approach intersections.
- Stay out of rough weather: Inclement weather like rain, hail, and snow is trouble for motorists, but it is downright dangerous for motorcyclists. With only two wheels on the road and a light frame, motorcycles are more likely to lose control in rough weather conditions. Stay off the road and plan your trip for when the weather clears if able.
- Continue your training: Safe motorcycle riding starts with you and your knowledge. See if you can find a local motorcycle safety class or course that will refresh your riding skills. Even veteran riders can benefit from revisiting the basics once a year.
How Drivers Can Prevent Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accident prevention tips for drivers of cars and trucks:
- Check your blind spots and mirrors: As a driver in a passenger vehicle, you have to check your mirrors often and your blind spots whenever you are going to turn, merge, or change lanes. Spotting a car or truck in your mirrors and blind spots is pretty easy, but motorcycles have a way of seeming “invisible” because they are smaller than what your brain expects to see there. When you check, check for everything, including motorcycles!
- Watch when turning left: Left-hand turns through green light intersections without a green arrow can be extremely dangerous for motorcyclists if you don’t check twice before turning. Just as how noticing a motorcycle in your blind spots and mirrors is deceptively tricky, it is the same when looking for approaching vehicles when turning left.
- Share the road: Motorcycles are much smaller than the average car, so it is easy to think that they don’t need a full lane. This is not true, though. Treat a motorcycle as you would any other vehicle by giving the rider a large open area in their lane and share the road. If you are traveling through California, be aware that motorcyclists there can legally lane split, which means they can legally ride between lanes to avoid traffic.
Were you in an accident as a motorcyclist or driver? If you were seriously injured and the crash was not your fault, then Faraci Lange, LLP in Rochester, New York can help you seek compensation. Contact our attorneys online to schedule a free consultation about your motorcycle accident. We strive to call all inquiring clients back within 24 hours of first receiving a contact form.