Many people enjoy riding motorcycles. They can be enjoyable. They are also fuel-efficient and convenient for specific trips.
Unfortunately, the risk of getting in an accident as a motorcycle driver is significantly high. The Insurance Information Institute reports that the per capita rate of motorcycle driver fatalities is 6.2 times higher than that of passenger car drivers. So, the harsh reality is that there are a lot of risks when driving a motorcycle that you have to be aware of.
You can get legal assistance if you are in an accident. A motorcycle accident lawyer in Los Angeles from The Barnes Firm shared some insights on this. “Always speak with an attorney right away if the other party is at fault. You can’t afford to leave a lot of money on the table if you have suffered damages and the other party was uninsured or the insurance company doesn’t want to compensate you,” Barns advises.
Fortunately, there are some measures that you can take to reduce the risk of being in an accident. Some essential guidelines are listed below.
Make sure that you are visible to other drivers on the road.
One of the biggest reasons motorcycles are more likely to be involved in accidents is that they are not seen as quickly. Therefore, you need to do everything possible to make yourself more visible. Some of the ways that you can do this include:
- Always having your headlight turned on. Laws in most states only require headlights to be turned on between half an hour after sunrise and half an hour before sunset. However, motorcycles should have them on every time they go on the road. Your headlight makes you more visible and less likely to be sideswiped by a car or truck when you are near their blind spot.
- Adding reflective elements to your bike. This will make it easier to see, especially if there are streetlights around or it is after dark, and cars have their headlights on.
- Wearing bright color clothes when you are driving. Black jackets might be fashionable to motorcycle riders, but they make you more likely to get in an accident. You don’t want to risk dying for the sake of being fashionable.
Your chances of getting in an accident as a motorcycle driver will decrease considerably if you make sure you are visible.
Never ride a motorcycle without a helmet on.
Helmets are crucial for motorcycle riders. You will cut the likelihood of a traumatic brain injury in half by putting one on.
However, a poor-quality helmet will not do you much good. Here are some guidelines for keeping the right helmet:
- Make sure that it has been approved by the Department of Transportation. They will have rigorously scrutinized it to ensure it will hold up under an accident.
- Get a helmet that is white or another light color. This will help you stand out in traffic and minimize the risk of getting hit.
- Never keep a helmet for more than five years. The padding will deteriorate over time and provide less cushion if you get in an accident.
- Promptly replace your helmet after a crash. It might have structural issues from the impact.
The importance of wearing a motorcycle helmet cannot be overstated. Always wear one when riding a motorcycle, because it can save your life.
Take safety courses.
There don’t appear to be any states that require you to take safety or training courses to get a motorcycle license. You just need to pass the requisite tests.
However, it is still a good idea to take them anyways. You will have a much better idea of how to respond to issues you will encounter on the road.
Pay close attention to the weather.
Riding a motorcycle in the rain or snow is many times more dangerous than driving a car. Motorcycles are lighter and have less inertia, so they are going to slip much more easily if you are driving on ice or hydroplaning. Bad weather will also significantly worsen your visibility.
You should always pay close attention to the weather before driving a motorcycle. This is especially important if you are a new rider.
Follow traffic rules even more closely than people driving cars.
Ideally, everybody would follow the rules of the road. This would significantly reduce the risk of traffic accidents.
However, the risk of an accident is a lot higher if you’re driving a motorcycle than a car. You need to always drive the speed limit, properly use your signals and obey other traffic rules.
Be alert for safety hazards.
Again, the probability that you’ll end up in an accident is a lot higher when driving a motorcycle. You have to compensate for this risk by being even more alert. Pay close attention to everything that is going on. Look for potential hazards in advance, so you can start slowing down ahead of time.
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