How to Avoid Having a Motorcycle Accident
There is a unique poignancy in saying goodbye to motorcyclists hitting the road on their bikes. Fear for a loved one’s safety as they whiz down a highway at 60 mph atop a chunk of metal balanced on two wheels next to hundreds of other larger chunks of metal isn’t misplaced. Many experienced motorcyclists agree that if you’re a motorcyclist, it isn’t a matter of if you will have an accident, but of when.
Recognize Your Increased Vulnerability to Accidents
Those who ride motorcycles clearly find the rewards worth the risk. Doomsday prophecies aside, an accident is not inevitable, although cyclists are statistically more likely to be involved in accidents. When accidents do occur, a cyclist is 75 percent more likely to be injured or to die than the driver of an automobile. A sobering statistic, and one accepted by those who choose this mode of transportation.
Education is Key to Avoiding Accidents
Fortunately, motorcyclists can take steps to increase their chances of remaining safe and accident-free while roaming the nation’s highways and byways. One way to mitigate the threats they face is through education. Education doesn’t need to be formal, although completing a recognized motorcycle safety class can lead to lower insurance rates. Education helps drivers stay safe so they never need a motorcycle accident lawyer.
How to Survive Riding a Motorcycle on the Highway with Larger Vehicles
First, recognize the dangers. If it’s a danger to any motorist on the highway, it’s a danger to a motorcyclist. Those riding motorcycles encounter all the ordinary issues associated with other forms of transportation, such as the potential for mechanical failure and a tire blowout. The No. 1 vulnerability motorcyclists face is their lack of visibility to other drivers. Their small size relative to other vehicles makes them difficult for other drivers to see. Just because you can see the vehicles around you doesn’t mean they can see you. Consider the following suggestions to increase motorcyclist safety and visibility.
- Avoid Blind Spots – Most vehicles traveling the road have blind spots – areas to the side and rear of their vehicles that are not visible through rear or side-view mirrors. Drivers must physically turn around to see whether there is a vehicle in their blind spots before changing lanes. Sometimes, they forget. Try to avoid being in another driver’s blind spot. This is one way to avoid the need to hire a motorcycle wreck lawyer.
- Make Yourself and Your Bike Visible – Start with the assumption that other drivers cannot see you. Draw attention to yourself and your bike by dressing in high-visibility clothing that’s bright, with impossible-to-miss florescent colors. They might not trend on the fashion scene, but potentially could save your life. Attach a visibility flag to the back of your bike to make it easier to see in traffic. Consider traveling in the company of other motorcyclists – several bikes are far easier to see and hear than just one.
- Be Proactive About Safety – Don’t depend on other motorists to keep you safe, and never assume other motorists see you. Avoid riding next to larger vehicles such as 18-wheelers. Not only do semi drivers have unique visibility problems, but their vehicles create dangerous wind turbulence for unwary motorcyclists and their bikes. Always maintain a generous following distance between yourself and the vehicles ahead of you. The twin habits of maintaining “cushion space” in conjunction with leaving yourself a way out may save your life one day.
- Be Predictable – Something every motorcyclist can do to increase their safety is to drive defensively, visibly and consistently. Always follow applicable traffic regulations. Use hand signals in addition to those on your bike to signal your intention to turn or change lanes. Don’t make sudden moves. Driving in a way that allows other drivers to predict your moves dramatically increases your chances of remaining safe.
- Ride Bikes You Know – A motorcycle accident is statistically more likely to happen when the driver is unfamiliar with the bike he’s on. Learn a new bike, or a friend’s bike, in unused parking lots and be intimate with its layout and handling before venturing first on low-traffic highways. Know your bike and what it can and cannot handle. Corner with care, especially in areas where sand or gravel remains after snow or ice is cleared. Even grass clippings encountered unexpectedly on a curve can endanger a motorcycle.
Hopefully, these tips will help you beat the odds and become one of the few motorcyclists to never experience a serious accident. Part of being prepared is educating yourself in advance; not only in accident prevention techniques, but also those related to accident survival. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, you should always search online for an “accident lawyer near me.” Then make an appointment with a knowledgeable professional like those at Hadley Law Firm to discuss your accident situation.