Practicing Motorcycle Safety
Driving a motorcycle may be a symbol of speed and freedom, but it doesn't always mean that it is always the safest venture. Due to the negligence of car drivers, many motorcyclists find themselves paying the price for their mode of transportation. In fact, per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were over two million who found themselves injured in a motor vehicle accident in 2007 alone. Four percent of all of these injuries were attributed to motorcyclists. For this reason, we at Arnold & Itkin look to advocate for the rights of those who have wrongfully suffered motorcycle injuries—regardless of whether they were aboard a sport bike or a cruiser.
Tips for Motorcycle Safety: Protecting the Driver
Many motorcycle accidents are caused by the negligence or carelessness of a car driver. At our firm, however, we also know that there are tips that can be followed by motorcycle drivers in an attempt to maximize their safety and to take preventative measures to protect themselves against such an accident from occurring. Remember, when you are on a bike, you must consider road safety as being just as important as if you were behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.
Some common safety tips that should be followed by all motorcyclists include the following:
- Pick a motorcycle that fits you! This seems like the most obvious, but the truth is that when you are choosing a bike, you should pick one that fits you. Not one that you find the most attractive, but one who has limitations that suit your riding ability. If you're getting your first sport bike, get an entry level lightweight. Also, take size into consideration as your feet should be able to touch the ground comfortably when sitting on your bike.
- Never carry a passenger if your bike isn't build for it. Make sure that your bike is built to carry extra weight. Also, make sure there is designated space for a passenger, along with all necessary safety amenities for the passenger to use.
- Use smart riding techniques. There are certain actions that a motorcyclist needs to consider that a vehicle driver never needs to think about. Some are just things that should be exaggerated for a motorcyclist, but considered by both. For example, avoid tailgating and leave a safe amount of room between you and other vehicles. Also, even though it's tempting, try to stay away from riding between lanes—no matter how slow the traffic.
- Make the assumption that other drivers can't see you. Don't rely on other operators to adjust to you. Instead, always assume that you're invisible and drive defensively to help protect yourself. This includes staying a safe distant away, avoiding blind spots and always using your headlights, no matter the time of day or the weather.
- Wear protective gear—all of it! When riding a motorcycle, you should be fully and adequately covered. This includes wearing a DOT approved helmet, eye protection, gloves, boots that cover your ankles, long pants and long sleeves. When you're covered, you can help lessen injuries, such as road rash, should an accident occur.
- Enroll yourself in a training course. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) offers standardized courses throughout the nation that train students on how to properly handle their bikes. Find a local course and get yourself enrolled.
Before You Get on the Road
Before you ever get on your motorcycle and hit the road, it is crucial that you get licensed with the proper state agency. This process includes making sure that you are informed on motorcycle roadway safety, know how to operate a bike, and understand the rules that apply to motorcyclists. In order to obtain this license, you must pass a knowledge test and complete a motorcycle safety course and / or riding skills test.
Once you have a license, you should make sure that you are comfortable with your specific bike. You should know how to work the bike before taking it out on busy streets and highways—this includes understanding the gears, how to maneuver, riding in different weather settings (wind, rain, hazardous road conditions, etc.) and more. Lastly before you take the road, make sure that the bike itself is safe for driving. This includes making sure your brakes are working, tire pressure is good, fluid levels are correct, and tread is in the right condition. Scheduling regular maintenance for your bike can help prevent loss of control and even a serious accident.
Injured in a Motorcycle Accident? Give Us a Call!
Unfortunately, even if you follow all of the above safety tips, it doesn't mean that you will never be involved in an accident. Sometimes they are unavoidable and in other cases, the negligence of a third party can leave you suffering from the consequences. Should this occur, it is in your best interests to get the involvement of our firm as soon as possible. We know what you are facing and we are prepared to help you evaluate your case to determine the best course of action. Give a Houston motorcycle injury lawyer from our firm a call today to learn more about how we can help. The sooner that you get us involved, the faster that we will be able to help you on your way to your successful resolution. We know what is at stake and will do everything we can to help maximize your overall compensation.
To schedule your initial case consultation, please contact an attorney from our legal team.