What should you be aware of to avoid getting involved in a motorcycle accident?
There’s an old joke that asks: “How can you recognize a contented motorcycle rider?” The answer: “By the bugs in his teeth.” Of course, with today’s more advanced motorcycle windshields and full-faced helmets, flying insects are not as much of an issue as they once were. However, motorcyclists still face most of the same challenges they always have. In reality, it’s not so easy to be a rider.
Number one on the challenge list: In a collision between a car and a motorcycle or a motorcycle and any object— including the road— the motorcyclist will lose — every time. Motorcycles may offer you the joy and freedom of feeling the wind on your face and the warmth of the sun on your back, but they also provide little protection in the event of a collision, fall, or lay down.
Wearing full protective motorcycle safety gear can help.
It’s certainly far better than not wearing a helmet or riding in sandals, shorts, and a t-shirt—but if you’re going to ride a motorcycle, your goal should be to actively protect yourself from ever being in a motorcycle accident. Motorcyclists are 26 times more likely to die in a crash and five times more likely to be injured than people riding in a car. And while the number of fatalities in car crashes has been on a steady decrease since 1999, the number of riders killed in motorcycle accidents has doubled in that same time.
Avoiding ever being hit or involved in a motorcycle accident requires extra diligence on your part. Here are some tips to help you stay alive and well:
- Don’t expect the driver of a car to watch out for you. In 66 percent of motorcycle accidents involving another vehicle, the driver of the vehicle violated the motorcyclist’s right-of-way and caused the accident. Motorcycles are smaller than cars and therefore more difficult to see. Exercising added care at intersections should be a primary concern as that is where 70 percent of motorcycle versus car collisions occur.
- Stay in your lane. In heavier traffic, it may be tempting to ride between the lanes rather than sit and wait. Don’t do it. Remember: you aren’t the only one who may be feeling impatient. If you’re zipping along between cars and a driver suddenly decides to change lanes, you’re the one who’s going to get zapped. It’s not only dangerous, but it’s also illegal.
- Know your limits. Excessive speed, potholes, road hazards, oil slicks, snow, rain, and being an inexperienced motorcycle rider can hurt or even kill you. Many motorcycle accidents are caused, in whole or in part, by a rider’s lack of basic skills, high-risk riding (swerving in and out of lanes, speeding, and fast acceleration), not paying attention to road conditions, or not acknowledging the operating limitations and features of a motorcycle.
- Know your ride. Like any motor vehicle, design or manufacturing defects can occur in motorcycles. If you experience wheel wobbling at higher speeds, don’t ignore it. It could be a misalignment of your front and rear tires, or it could be something far more serious. Take the time to check it out. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
If you or a loved one are injured in a motorcycle accident, it’s essential to seek medical attention and the advice of proven, trial-tested personal injury attorneys like those at Fernandez & Hernandez Attorneys At Law. You can reach them for advice 24/7 by calling 813.755.9500. Hablan español.