Tips For Avoiding Motorcycle Accidents
I grew up in rural America and was able to enjoy the freedom of riding a bike in the country with my father, a lifelong and avid Harley rider. He gave me very important advice that I think is important for all riders to keep in mind: “ride like everyone is out to kill you”. While my father still primarily rides in the country his advice holds especially true for those of you that ride your bikes in the city.
Every motorcyclist dreads the thought of being in an accident because the injuries can be devasting. Riding safe is critical to ensuring you are able to do so for many years to come.
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE PROPER SAFETY GEAR
One of the best ways of increasing your odds of surviving a motorcycle accident and decreasing the severity of your injuries is to wear a Department of Transportation approved SNELL tested motorcycle helmet at all times.
Motorcycle helmets come in many different styles, including half, three quarter, full-face, and modular helmets. Each one of these helmets provides different levels of protection. Whatever you select, you should always select a helmet that has a SNELL certification.
Other safety gear that motorcycle riders should have include armored textile jackets, leathers, gloves, and boots.
These items are important because they protect the rider from what is commonly known as “road rash”, which are injuries sustained from being thrown onto the pavement after a motorcycle accident. Helmets also prevent a rider’s face from these road rash injuries, as well. Goggles, sunglasses, handguards (for handlebars) are all common and useful protective items riders can invest in. While all the proper safety gear is recommended, such gear can never be a substitute for safe driving tips.
SAFE MOTORCYCLE DRIVING TIPS
The majority of accidents happen because another driver just “didn’t see the motorcycle”. Major publicity campaigns nationwide, and many here in our local community, have helped to increase the awareness of the problem, but riders are encouraged to take action to improve their visibility and defensive driving.
Safe driving techniques must be used by all motorists to avoid accidents. For the motorcyclist, defensive driving is critical. Safety instructors teach drivers to avoid riding in blind spots and to be prepared for unexpected lane changes at all times. Motorcyclists should also avoid speeding, practice banking, turning, and braking with a new bike before hitting the open road. It is critical that the operator of a motorcycle be comfortable with the use of the bike so that they are comfortable maneuvering it if a dangerous situation arises.
We are all too familiar with the distractions that regular drivers face. As we have blogged about before, any person can drive down the road and look at their fellow motorists and see that a number of them are glancing at their phones and not paying attention to the roadway. Keep this in mind as you operate your bike approach every intersection as though someone is going to run a red light.
Do not assume that other drivers will stop at a four-way marked intersection or yield the right-of-way. Approach blind spots as though the person who may lane change has been distracted and will not properly check the lane before merging.
You can also increase your chances of drivers being able to see you by wearing bright colors and using reflective tape on your clothing and your bike.
The Genthe Law Firm Is Here to Help You After Your Motorcycle Accident
If you, or a loved one, has been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident contact us today!
The motorcycle accident attorneys at the Genthe Law Firm are here to help with free consultations.
Additional Motorcycle Safety Resources
In addition to these tips, we also encourage riders to read the Motorcycle Operator Training Manual, which is issued by the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation and can be located here.
If you do not know, SNELL is a not-for-profit organization devoted to setting standards and testing helmets and has been doing so since the 1950s. You can find this information here.