Riding a motorcycle is one of the most exhilarating ways to get from place to place. However, an increased level of exposure makes accidents far more dangerous for motorcyclists and their passengers than for occupants of other motor vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), around 80 percent of motorcycle accidents result in injury or death.
It can be tempting to believe that you can easily avoid collisions if you are a particularly experienced rider. However, the danger often comes from other motorists. You can be the most seasoned motorcyclist on the road, but a single careless, distracted, or intoxicated motorist can cause a tragic collision.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to reduce your risk of a collision while riding. Some of these tips will help prevent you from causing injury to yourself, while others are intended to help you prevent other road users from injuring you. Of course, there’s no way to guarantee that you will be completely safe at all times. But if you do everything you can to adhere to the following tips, you will increase your odds of reaching your destination in one piece.
Increase Your Visibility
Due to their relatively small size, motorcycles are automatically less visible than cars or trucks. Even so, many riders do not do enough to help other drivers see them. Here are a few ways to increase your visibility:
- Get a jacket and a helmet with reflective material on them.
- Wear a reflective, hi-vis vest.
- Always keep your headlight on, even during the daytime.
- Avoid riding in the blind spots of other vehicles.
- Don’t split lanes.
- If possible, avoid riding at night.
Never Ride Under the Influence
According to the NHTSA, up to a third of motorcycle accident fatalities occur when the rider’s blood alcohol content is above the legal limit. Furthermore, one study indicates that motorcycle riders who are under the influence are more likely to get into accidents than operators of any other vehicle. The lesson is clear: never ride your motorcycle when you are under the influence of alcohol or any intoxicating substance.
Stick to the Speed Limit
Quick acceleration is the very thing that attracts many people to motorcycles in the first place. However, it pays to resist the temptation to speed. The faster you are going, the shorter your response time becomes in the face of unexpected dangers on the road. Furthermore, speeding greatly increases the impact force if you are involved in a collision.
Try to Avoid Riding in Adverse Weather Conditions
Passenger vehicles have several features that make it possible to travel with ease through heavy rain, snow, and high winds. For motorcycles, though, these kinds of inclement conditions can lead to devastating and fatal accidents. If the weather takes a turn for the worse, the safest option is to stay off the road. If necessary, opt for travel by passenger car instead.
Take an Advanced Safety Course
For people who are already in possession of a motorcycle license, the thought of spending money and time on an advanced safety course may seem unnecessary. But the things you can learn in these kinds of classes may save your life. An advanced course can help you to sharpen your skills in the following areas:
- Throttle control
- Brake control
- Low-speed turns
- Vision techniques
- Evasive maneuvering
- Lane selection
- Road speed cornering
Furthermore, taking an advanced motorcycle safety course may even reduce your insurance premiums.
And . . . Wear Your Helmet
While a helmet may not prevent an accident from happening, it is the number one piece of safety equipment for any motorcyclist. If you are in an accident, a good helmet can greatly reduce your chances of dying or receiving brain injuries. While you’re at it, you may want to invest in a high-quality set of gloves and boots, and a protective jacket as well.
Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Injury Lawyer Today
Even if you follow the above tips to the letter, there is always a chance that you will have a collision on your motorcycle. If you or someone you care about has suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident, the seasoned Fort Walton motorcycle accident lawyers of The Bruner Law Firm can help. Our skilled and knowledgeable legal team can provide aggressive, compassionate, and honest representation to those injured in motorcycle crashes and the families of wrongful death victims.
You should not be financially responsible for the harm and damage caused by another party’s recklessness or negligence. Call us today at (850) 243-2222 for a free consultation with a personal injury attorney, and we will be happy to help you understand what your legal options are.