Motorcycles are fun vehicles to ride around town or take out on the highway. They offer great freedom and mobility, but they also carry risks. If you want to enjoy riding motorcycles without facing serious injuries, then you need to follow some basic safety rules. Read on to know tips on how to avoid motorcycle accidents as well as what you can do if you are still involved in one.
What are the most common causes motorcycle accidents?
Riding a motorcycle is a thrilling experience, but it also comes with its share of dangers. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), motorcyclists account for 14% of all fatal crashes. In addition, they are responsible for a significant number of nonfatal accidents.
Nonetheless, whether resulting to fatal or nonfatal incidents, the most common causes for motorcycle accidents include:
1. Riding too close to other vehicles.
The distance between a motorcycle and another vehicle is of great importance. When a motorcyle rides or passes another vehicle too closely, this can result to various types of collision.
When two cars collide, the driver of the car coming from behind usually has the advantage in this type of collision. However, if you’re driving faster than the car in front of you, you can easily get into trouble.
As such, when you drive your motorcycle, always keep a safe distance between yourself and any other vehicle. This will help ensure that you don’t end up in an accident.
2. Driving at night.
Driving your bike during nighttime hours may seem like a good idea because there are fewer people on the road. But, this doesn’t mean that you should be reckless while doing so.
At night, the visibility of objects is reduced, which makes it harder for drivers to see you. This means that you have to pay extra attention and be aware of your surroundings while driving at night, especially if there are no streetlights or signs along the road.
You should always drive defensively so that you don’t end up crashing into something, like a tree or telephone pole.
3. Not wearing a helmet.
Helmets are very important when riding motorcycles. Wearing them helps protect your head from injury, reduces the risk of getting a concussion, and keeps you safer.
If you’re not wearing a helmet, you could end up suffering severe brain damage or even death. So, make sure that you wear your helmet whenever you ride your motorcycle.
Speeding is dangerous not only for motorists, but also for riders. It increases the chances of getting into an accident.
Speeding is dangerous for many reasons. First, speeding can lead to serious injuries if your motorcycle collides with other vehicles or objects. Second, speeding increases the risk of getting into an accident. Third, speeding can increase the likelihood of being involved in a fatal crash.
Alcohol is a major cause of motor vehicle crashes. People who drink alcohol have impaired judgment and reflexes, and they often drive at higher speeds than normal. They may not notice that their car has drifted into another lane, or they may fail to brake properly.
Regardless of how much alcohol you consume, you shouldn’t be driving your motorcycle after consuming more than 0.08 blood alcohol content (BAC).
6. Poor road conditions
Roads aren’t always perfect. Sometimes, they become slippery due to rain or snow. As such, it’s best to avoid driving your motorcycle on roads that are wet or icy.
This is especially true if you’re traveling at high speeds. You need to slow down as soon as possible if you spot ice or water on the road.
7. Distracted driving
Distracted driving is a big issue among motorcyclists. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents. When you’re distracted, you’re less likely to respond quickly to danger signals.
Distracted driving includes anything that takes away from your attention from the road ahead. Examples include eating, drinking, using a mobile phone, adjusting the radio, or talking to passengers.
8. Neglecting maintenance.
It’s very important to keep your bike well maintained. For example, your tires should be properly inflated and your brakes checked regularly. You should also check your lights and turn signals every time you get on your motorcycle.
9. Driving recklessly.
Driving recklessly is dangerous because it puts you and other drivers at risk. Reckless driving includes things like speeding, running red lights, failing to yield right-of-way, tailgating, reckless driving, and racing.
10. Not following traffic laws.
Laws, including traffic laws, are made for a reason. Traffic laws help ensure that all drivers obey the same rules. This makes it easier for police officers to catch offenders.
If you break any traffic laws, you could face fines and even jail time. In addition, you could be charged with a crime if someone gets hurt or killed as a result of your actions.
How can I avoid motorcycle accidents?
Motorcycle accidents are common. They cause serious injuries and even death. If you ride a motorcycle, you should take precautions to ensure your safety. Here are some simple ways to stay safe on the road.
1. Be Aware of Other Vehicles
Drivers who aren’t paying attention tend to cause crashes. If you notice that someone else isn’t looking out for themselves, try to slow down or move over. You could even pull off the road and let them pass first.
2. Use Your Lights Correctly
Lights are important because they give other drivers warning that you are approaching. Using your lights correctly helps ensure that you don’t collide with another car or object.
You should turn on your headlights whenever there is poor visibility. This helps alert motorists around you about your presence so they don’t hit you.
3. Wear Proper Gear
Wearing proper gear is essential when riding a motorcycle. A helmet is required by law. Other items include gloves, boots, goggles, and earplugs. These prevent injuries and reduce the chance of becoming trapped inside your vehicle after a crash.
Helmets reduce the chance of serious injury in a crash by providing protection against severe head trauma. They can also prevent neck injuries and brain swelling. Helmets are required by law in most states.
4. Slow Down
When you’ve been driving too fast, you may not realize how much space you have between you and another car. Slowing down will allow you to react more quickly in case you have to brake suddenly.
Additionally, you should also know how to stop safely. Even though motorcycles are smaller than regular vehicles, they still weigh thousands of pounds. Stopping safely means slowing down as soon as you begin braking. It’s important to use both front and back brakes before bringing the bike to a complete stop.
Drivers need to pay attention to road signs and traffic signals. If you see people who are driving recklessly, you should avoid them.
5. Don’t Drink and Drive
It’s illegal to operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Even small amounts of alcohol can seriously impair your judgement and reaction time.
Drinking alcohol lowers your reaction time. This increases your chances of getting into a crash. In addition, drinking alcohol affects your judgment. Driving under the influence also puts you at risk of injuring yourself or causing an accident.
6. Be Aware of Road Conditions
Drivers need to be aware of conditions such as snow, ice, rain, fog, and darkness. When there are any such conditions, you should slow down so that you don’ t cause an accident.
Take Off-Road Training Courses
Motorcycles are designed for open spaces. If you want to take one off-road, you should take a training course first. You could get injured if you aren’t prepared for what might come next.
7. Watch Out for both people and animals
Pedestrians are especially vulnerable to being struck by motor vehicles. Drivers must watch for children playing outside, people crossing streets, and anyone walking along the side of the road.
Animals like dogs, cats, horses, and cows can often wander onto roads. When this happens, they can become frightened and run toward traffic. This makes them unpredictable and dangerous.
8. Read the Owner’s Manual
Every motorocycle is unique. You should know the features possessed by the motorcycle you own through the owner's manuel which provides information about all the features on your motorcycle.
Knowing how these features work will save you money and increase your safety. You will also know how to repair your motorcycle if anything breaks.
9. Keep Up With Maintenance
If you own a motorcycle, you should pay close attention to its condition. Make sure that your tires are properly inflated, and that your brakes work correctly.
You should check your oil regularly, and replace it when necessary. You should also change your air filter every month.
As well, you should never drive faster than you feel comfortable doing. Doing so can lead to serious injuries or even death.
This includes also knowing and following traffic laws.
What if I still get into a motorcycle accident?
The best way to prevent an accident is to not have one in the first place. However, accidents do happen. If you do end up in a motorcycle accident, you may be able to recover damages from the other party.
However, you should contact an attorney right away. An experienced lawyer can help you determine whether you have grounds to file a lawsuit against the other driver.
An attorney can also help you negotiate with the insurance company to settle your case.
In some cases, the other driver’s insurance company may offer to compensate you for your losses.
If you need assistance from a lawyer, Oxner + Permar can help.
Our lawyers are highly skilled and experienced. They will fight hard for you and make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.
We’ll sit down with you and discuss your options. We’ll explain everything you need to know about the process and what to expect.
Call us today at 1-800-319-9000 to schedule your consultation.