Motorcycles are no doubt fun and exhilarating, but they are far more dangerous than cars. According to the Insurance Information Institute, motorcyclists are almost five times more likely to be injured in an auto accident than occupants of a passenger car, and 27 times more likely to die.
With statistics like those, it is important that every rider follow these ten safety tips from the personal injury attorneys at Stewart Law Offices:
- Wear a helmet. It doesn’t take much speed to result in a serious brain injury – especially if your head isn’t protected. Research shows you are 40% more likely to sustain a fatal head injury if you are not wearing a helmet, so never ride anywhere without yours.
- Dress for the occasion. Modern motorcycle gear has evolved into lightweight armor, and you’ll be happy you have it if you are involved in an accident. The right helmet, jacket, gloves, glasses, and boots could be the difference between life and death.
- Choose the right bike. When shopping for a bike, make sure you choose a model that fits your height. Your feet should be able to comfortably rest on the ground when stopped, and the handlebars should be within easy reach. Consider engine power too; you don’t want a bike that’s too much to handle.
- Take a training course. A quick online search should yield plenty of results for nearby motorcycle safety courses. Enroll in one – they can teach you emergency-evading maneuvers that could save your life.
- Back brakes first. If you are riding at a significant speed, hitting the front brakes too hard will send you flying over your handlebars.
- Avoid bad weather. Rain doesn’t just reduce your tires’ traction with the road, it can severely limit your visibility. Check the forecast before you go riding to make sure you aren’t unexpectedly caught in a storm.
- Inspect your ride. Do a quick inspection of your bike before you take it for a spin. Make sure your tire pressure, mirrors, lights, belts, and chains are all in proper riding condition.
- Eyes on the prize. Always keep your eyes on the road. A small bump, pothole, or patch of sand is all it takes to send you flying off your bike.
- Drive defensively. Motorcycles can be difficult for other drivers to see, and offer little-to-no protection in the event of an accident. Always keep an eye out for cars changing lanes without warning, and maintain a safe following distance to give yourself adequate time to stop.
- Be in the right frame of mind. You should never operate any motor vehicle if you are under the influence, drowsy, angry, or otherwise distracted. Operating a motorcycle takes 100% of your focus, 100% of the time.
Unfortunately, you can do everything right and still end up on the wrong end of a motorcycle accident. If another driver’s negligence caused you personal injury, you are entitled to compensation for medical bills and other damages. If you live in North Carolina or South Carolina, call the personal injury attorneys at Stewart Law Offices for a free case evaluation at (866) 783-9278.