In 2015, 4,976 people died in motorcycle accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, this number increased 8.3 percent from 2014. Safety is the most important thing when it comes to riding a motorcycle. There are various ways to help protect yourself while riding such as proper gear, paying attention to your surroundings, and being extra cautious around other vehicles sharing the road. A motorcycle crash can be extremely dangerous, but there are ways to avoid the risk of an accident as much as possible.
The Importance of Having the Right Motorcycle Gear
Proper gear is essential in preventing motorcycle accident injuries. When on a bike, the rider is completely exposed to the elements. While car drivers have four sides of steel to protect them, if a motorcyclist crashes, they will likely feel a very harsh impact. No matter the weather, it is incredibly important for riders to be covered and protected by their gear.
Sadly, the cause of many fatal motorcycle accidents is riders not using a helmet. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, helmets are 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries in a motorcycle accident. Without a helmet, a head injury could be fatal. Be sure to choose a helmet that fits you properly and is DOT certified.
After a helmet, gloves are arguably the next most important thing you need to stay safe on a motorcycle. Why? Because when you are falling, what do you use to try to catch yourself? Your hands will likely be the first thing to touch down in a crash. Even falling at low speed can injure your hands so gloves are a must.
Though it may be tempting in beautiful summer weather, wearing jackets and pants may save your skin from road rash if you were to suffer from a motorcycle accident. With enough padding, good quality motorcycle jackets and suits can even protect you from broken bones. Armor for your hips or chest can defend you from organ damage as well.
Finally, you can’t forget to protect your feet! Supporting yourself and a bike calls for a sturdy boot. These will prevent your feet from being crushed in an impact and support your ankles when you try to come to a stop.
Common Motorcycle Accidents and How to Avoid Them
Take a look at five common motorcycle accidents and what you can do to avoid them.
1. Riding into a corner too fast – Sometimes we find ourselves entering a turn with too much speed and we come to the realization that we are not going to make it around. To avoid this type of motorcycle crash, only go as fast as you can see. Use visual clues such as signs or telephone poles to properly judge a road’s direction. However, the best thing to do if you already find yourself in that situation would be to attempt to ride it out. Sometimes the bike has more capability than you do so focus on where you want to go and try to be as smooth as possible with the controls.
2. Rear-end collision – It happens more often than it should… you stop and a stop sign or crosswalk and the driver behind you does not see you and crashes into you at full speed. This type of motorcycle accident can quickly turn fatal. To avoid a fender bender, some experts advise on stopping to the side of the road rather than the middle of the lane. Be sure to flash your brake light to warn the traffic behind you that you will be coming to a halt. Pay attention to the vehicles behind you in your mirrors and be prepared to move away if it looks like the car behind you is not stopping.
3. Vehicle turns left in front of you – This kind of motorcycle accident is the most common, and the risks increase at night time because other motorists sometimes misjudge your distance when they only see one headlight. A vehicle may miscalculate your speed or fail to see you and turn in front of you at an intersection. Unfortunately, the only method to evading this crash is to simply see it coming. Motorcycle riders need to be extremely observant of their surroundings and other traffic.
4. Car changes lanes into you – You’re riding in traffic when suddenly a vehicle begins to veer into your lane. Perhaps you were in their blind spot and they did not see you. To dodge this motorcycle crash, be aware of the other vehicles’ blind spots and try to get out of them quickly. If you can make eye contact in their mirror, they can see you, but do not always assume they are looking. Be alert in situations where changing lanes is more likely to happen. Watch out for turn signals and drivers moving their head to look in other lanes.
5. Drinking and driving – In the largest study ever conducted on the causes of motorcycle accidents by Hurt Report in 1981, alcohol was a contributing factor in 50 percent of all bike wrecks. Since that time, there is much better public awareness regarding the risks of drinking and driving and the laws have become harsher for DWI drivers which have been shown to be a huge deterrent. However, the answer remains simple … Never drink and drive when you plan to operate a motorcycle or any motor vehicle to best avoid potentially fatal motorcycle injuries. It’s as straightforward as that.
If you or someone you know has been a victim in a recent motorcycle accident, you need one of the best personal injury lawyers in Central New York. Brindisi, Murad, Brindisi & Pearlman are lawyers in Utica that will fight, stand by you, and protect your rights. Choose a motorcycle accident attorney that has helped hundreds of crash victims get the compensation they deserve. Contact The People’s Lawyer for a free consultation today.
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