As Texans enter the fall season, many motorcycle riders are taking advantage of the cooler weather by going on a bike ride. While motorcycle rides can be an immensely enjoyable activity, they are also inherently dangerous due to the high speeds and lack of protection for the rider. When a motorcyclist gets into an accident with another vehicle on the road, the cyclist stands little chance of coming away unscathed. In fact, a comprehensive report from the Hurt Study found that motorcyclists involved in multiple vehicle accidents are injured in 98% of the cases. For that reason, it is crucial for motorcyclists to take as many safety precautions as possible to avoid injury.
Here are some useful tips for motorcycle riders that will help keep you safe on the road.
- Sharpen your skills. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced rider, it is essential to improve your riding skills. A motorcyclist often has to make split-second decisions to avoid a hazard, so ensuring that you can perform proper evasive emergency maneuvers is critical to avoiding an accident.
- Wear a helmet. This is a typical safety tip that many riders, unfortunately, do not follow. Studies have shown that motorcyclists who are not wearing a helmet are 40% more likely to be killed in an accident than those who are wearing protective headgear.
- Wear other protective gear. While protecting your head is most important, don't forget about the rest of your body as well. Wearing motorcycle boots, long pants, gloves, and a quality leather motorcycle jacket will help protect your body from cuts and scrapes in the event of an accident.
- Watch your speed. It's tempting to go full throttle, particularly on open roads with the wind at your face, but riding too fast is also dangerous. Roughly one-third of all motorcyclists who were involved in fatal accidents were traveling at speeds above the posted limit.
- Don't ride in inclement weather. Slick roads can be particularly dangerous for motorcycle riders. It's not likely that a motorcyclist would start a ride in bad weather, but weather can be unpredictable. If you are out on the road and run into dangerous weather, pull over to the side of the road or drive cautiously until you reach a safe stopping point to wait out the bad weather.
- Stay alert. Most motorcycle accidents involving another vehicle occur just because the other driver did not see the motorcycle. Keep your eyes open for other cars on the road and drive defensively. By being aware of your surroundings at all times and anticipating dangers, you can reduce the likelihood of getting in an accident.
- Ride in a pack if possible. Because motorcycles are so small compared to other cars on the road, they can be more difficult to see. By riding with a group of other motorcycles, you increase your visibility to other cars on the road.
- Don't drink and ride. Alcohol impairs your judgment and motor skills, so riding a motorcycle (an already dangerous activity) while under the influence of alcohol never a good idea. While this seems like a common sense safety tip, unfortunately almost half of all fatal motorcycle accidents were caused at least in part by alcohol impairment.
Motorcycle riders will always be at risk of being injured in an accident while on the road, but following basic safety tips and staying cautious can reduce the likelihood of serious injury. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, it is important to consult with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer to determine who was at fault and whether or not you have a legal claim to compensation. Contact our motorcycle accident lawyers today for a free case evaluation.