Motorcycle Safety Tips

Riding a motorcycle can be one of the most liberating feelings on earth. However, it is one of the most dangerous ways to travel. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost 5,000 died in motorcycle crashes in 2015, and another 88,000 were injured. Here are a few tips to keep you safe when on two wheels.

Wear Safety Gear

About 40% of those killed in the statistic above weren’t wearing helmets. One of the things that give cars an advantage is, in the event of an accident, a vehicle is almost like a protective cage around your body. A motorcycle, on the other hand, could be small enough to present another potential hazard in the event that you crash. Just last month, a 70-year-old man was crushed to death by his 3-wheeled motorcycle.

It doesn’t matter if you’re just going down the street to grab a bite to eat. If you’re on a bike, you need to be wearing the proper gear to keep safe—especially a helmet. Not only is it the law to don a helmet, but it will reduce your risk of head injury if you get into an accident. Your skull is more delicate than you think. If you crash at high speed and get launched off your bike, your head can hit the pavement with enough force to not only crack your skull but bruise and damage your brain. Death rates are twice as high among bikers in states without all-rider helmet laws.

Even wearing the right pants can save you time and money by preventing horrific road rash injury. You can lose about 1mm of flesh for every 1 MPH you’re traveling when you crash. If you’re traveling 55 MPH, that’s 55mm of skin, muscle, and bone.

Pay Attention

You’re not the only one on the road. Bikers should be more conscious of themselves and every other vehicle on the road because one mistake could get you killed. The highest cause of vehicle collisions is driver inattention, which is much easier for car drivers with easy access to their cell phones. Cars are probably one of the most common dangers to the average biker. Bikes are much smaller than cars and can be difficult to see if the driver isn’t paying attention. If you’re driving in a car’s blind spot, its driver could change lanes at any second and knock you off your bike. Likewise, if you’re driving between moving traffic and parked cars, you’re more likely to encounter people throwing open their car doors without looking, walking out from behind their cars, or pulling out in front of you in an attempt to join moving traffic. Keep an eye out for the people who aren’t paying attention themselves.

This is especially important if you lane share. Some states allow lane splitting, or traveling between two lanes of stopped or slowly moving cars. However, it leads to a significant number of bike accidents, as bikes are usually extremely close to cars and have less space to maneuver. Cars also don’t anticipate vehicles or motorcycles will be passing them so closely, so they may not be checking their mirrors before they pull into another lane in front of you.

Slow Down in Blind Corners

Blind corners are dangerous because, as they imply, you can’t see far enough ahead to avoid obstacles. If you’re driving too quickly and you encounter a patch of wet, sandy, or gravelly road, you may not be able to slow down in time to avoid wiping out. Likewise, taking a corner too fast, in general, can cause you to lose control of your bike if you panic. If you’re entering a spot where your visibility is compromised, slow the bike down to a pace where your reaction time and ability to take action suit your range of vision.

Don’t Drive Under the Influence

This may seem obvious, but drinking while biking is especially dangerous. According to one of the largest studies ever conducted on motorcycle accident causes, alcohol was a factor in 50% of all bike wrecks. Not only does alcohol inhibit your good judgment, but it impairs your sense of balance and significantly slows down your reaction time, both extremely vital in driving a bike.

Avoid Driving in Bad Weather

Biking can be extremely dangerous when slick roads are a factor. When it is rainy out, the top layer of oil on the road begins to rise, making the streets slicker than usual. The first hour after it starts to rain is usually the most dangerous. Avoid rainbow patches on the road and take it slow if you have to travel in wet conditions. Rain and fog can also create low-visibility conditions for other cars, making them less likely to see you. Stay home if you can, but if you can’t, be cautious and be as smooth as possible on your bike controls.

If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, make sure that your medical expenses and potential wage losses are covered. In the event that someone else’s negligence was responsible for your collision, an experienced Florida personal injury attorney can help you seek compensation for your wounds. Our attorney is dedicated to serving the interests of injured people and is licensed to practice law before all Florida state courts. He has more than 30 years of legal experience to put to work for you. Let our firm passionately advocate for you in negotiations or in court. To tell us more about your case, contact us at (850) 784-6997 or fill out our online form to schedule a case consultation. We look forward discussing your situation with you.

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