By: Ursula Nizalowski
Even though accidents can happen with just about every vehicle out there, motorcycle ones are notoriously bad. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) claims “Eighty percent of all reported motorcycle crashes result in injury or death” as quoted by State Farm. Why this happens is due to a combination of factors, including the driver and/or passenger not taking the right precautions. Because when a motorcycle reaches top speed, it can be incredibly difficult to brake and most likely cause the riders to fall off and injure themselves. So to prevent such accidents from occurring, here are some basic tips to follow as a motorcycle driver/passenger.
Don’t Drink Before Riding
A simple rule like this should be easy to follow, but unfortunately it’s not. Because for whatever reason, people don’t think about the consequences of having alcoholic drinks before driving a fast-moving vehicle regardless if it’s a car or motorcycle. It’s so bad that State Farm says, “More than 40 percent of motorcycle riders who die in single-vehicle crashes are alcohol-impaired”. Therefore, it’s much safer to not drink any alcohol before riding a motorcycle particularly for the driver.
Wear A Helmet
Yet another staple of safety that seems to get ignored, wearing helmets and other protective gear is a major necessity before going motorcycle riding. But Motorbike Writer does try to offer an explanation for why people don’t wear helmets by claiming that some “find helmets uncomfortable, don’t like the look of them, or simply don’t want to foot the expense”. That still doesn’t give these people an excuse, because not wearing helmets actually increases a person’s chance of getting into a motorcycle accident. So this is another precaution that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Be Seen By Drivers
Much like cyclists, motorcycle riders tend to get ignored by larger vehicles on the road such as cars and trucks. Because even though motorcycles have loud engines, they are relatively smaller than cars which makes them harder to see especially when they’re going at top speeds. The best way to arguably deal with this issue is to become more visible through clothing and lights. Some examples include wearing bright colors instead of the black leather clothes that are often sold and using a “high beam during the day” Motorcycle Cruiser suggests.
Avoid Getting Distracted
It’s a common problem to deal with all kinds of external factors when driving, including weather conditions and unpredictable actions from other vehicles. But for motorcyclists, being extra cautious is necessary since they have to assume other drivers can’t see them. Among the reasons for this assumption include a lack of visibility as discussed before, but also personal distractions on the other drivers’ part such as texting which can negatively affect the driving of motorcyclists in general. Therefore, it’s even more necessary for motorcycle drivers to pay close attention to their surroundings when passing other vehicles and avoiding road hazards.
Keep An Eye On Your Speed
Because motorcycles go really fast, it can be tricky to stay within the bounds of what is considered legally safe. And if one goes too far, there can be deadly consequences. For instance, “33 percent of all motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes were speeding” in 2015 according to NHTSA. So with those kind of statistics in mind, it’s better to drive at a steady pace.
Stay Within The Traffic Flow At Intersections
As previously mentioned, the relatively small size of motorcycles can make it difficult for cars and similar vehicles to spot them on the road. This is especially problematic when it comes to blind spots, which is the area that the driver can’t see from where they’re positioned. So when it comes to traffic-heavy zones like intersections, motorcyclists should “stay right next to a car’s front fender” in order to not be in the driver’s blind spot as advised by Motorcycle Cruiser.
While this advise should reduce the risk of getting into motorcycle accidents, there is no 100% guarantee. But that’s why attorneys like Rick Wagner are available for dealing with these kinds of situations.