As the warm weather approaches, so does Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. This annual event is hosted in May and serves as a reminder to always ride safely. Motorcycle riders are more vulnerable to catastrophic injuries because they are not sitting inside vehicles. For this reason, it is crucial to become familiar with motorcycle safety tips. Now is the perfect time to read up on this information to help prevent motorcycle accidents. Average motorcyclists start riding again when the weather is warmer. This means more of them will be out on the roads during spring and summer, and many riders may be out of practice.
What Causes Motorcycle Accidents?
Problems can happen when motorcycles are not properly maintained. Bike owners need to perform inspections before every ride, especially after a lot of time has passed. Neglecting to check the tire pressure, brakes, fluids, blinkers, and handlebars is a mistake.
Another contributing factor for motorcycle accidents is when riders are not experienced enough. It is a good idea to take a motorcycle safety course or a refresher course in preparation for riding. Also, motorcyclists should keep in mind that having a passenger on the back requires more skill. Choosing the right motorcycle is also important. It is wise to invest in a quality bike with anti-lock brakes and the right fit.
When on the motorcycle, riders should be alert for hazards, like oil slicks, gravel, railroad tracks, manhole covers, and potholes. The rules of the road need also to be followed at all times. This means never drinking and riding and avoiding risky moves, like riding in between lanes, weaving in and out of lanes, and riding on the shoulders of the road.
Special care also needs to be taken at intersections. Intersection accidents often happen because drivers do not see motorcyclists when turning. To prevent this, riders can decelerate when approaching intersections, even when they have the right-of-way. The rider’s hands should remain on the controls in case they have to change direction or stop. Motorcycle riders should always assume that they cannot be seen by drivers.
Wear the Proper Gear
Riding without a helmet is dangerous. A good pair of glasses, goggles, or a face mask also protects the eyes and helps with visibility. Wearing protective gear, like leather jackets and pants, gloves, and boots with non-skid soles, is also safer and can make injuries less severe.
The helmet qualifies as the most important safety equipment that riders can wear. Thousands lose their lives each year because they were not wearing helmets. Twisted Road emphasizes that motorcycle riders should always wear full-face helmets for added protection. Even when accidents happen at slow speeds, not wearing the right helmet increases one’s risk. Although open-face helmets might look better, they do not provide the same kind of coverage. It was pointed out that the most common spot for a motorcycle helmet to be impacted is at the chin.
When riding at night, riders are advised to wear reflective or bright clothing, which makes it easier for others to see them. Reflective tape can even be used and is also helpful. The headlights should stay on during the day and night as well.
Avoid Common Hazards
Distracted driving is a main cause of motorcycle crashes. Riders and drivers who are busy with their cellphones and other devices are at risk. It is also important to use the indicators for all turn signals and lane changes and to stay out of drivers’ blind spots.
Another good rule of thumb is to stay off the roads and highways when the weather is bad. It is much harder to see in the rain. High winds and wet roads can also be dangerous.
Since riding a motorcycle requires consistent energy and focus, it is also important to be well-rested before taking a ride. Long rides can be exhausting. Riders who start to get tired can take breaks to get hydrated, stretch out, or even take a nap. Riders need to constantly check their mirrors and be aware of their surroundings, so staying alert is the only way to truly drive defensively.
How can Drivers Avoid Motorcycle Accidents?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), when motorcycles collide with other vehicles, the non-motorcycle driver is usually violating the motorcyclist’s right-of-way. This is because they may not see the motorcyclist, the driver is distracted, or the driver does not anticipate the rider’s movements. Checking the mirrors before turning and changing lanes is the safest course of action.
While it is true that some motorcycle riders weave in and out of traffic or speed, most do their best to ride safely. Whether they are following the rules of the road or not, they should be given a wide berth. Following motorcycles at a close distance is very hazardous, especially at high speeds. Since they are in much more vulnerable positions, giving motorcyclists extra room is important. If a motorcycle accident does occur, the victim should speak to a lawyer.
Delaware Personal Injury Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Offer Sound Legal Guidance to Motorcycle Accident Victims
Even the most safety-conscious motorcycle riders and automobile drivers get into accidents, and the aftermath can be devastating. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, a Delaware personal injury lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow can help you. Call us at (302) 427-9500 or complete our online form for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.