Riding a motorcycle is an exhilarating experience. There is nothing quite like the feeling of the open road. Unfortunately for thousands of motorcyclists each year, motorcycle accidents dampen their spirits and sense of adventure.
Motorcycle accidents are unfortunately common, and they are among the most injurious and fatal types of auto accidents. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in an auto accident than drivers of other vehicles.
In 2017, 5,172 motorcyclists died in motorcycle accidents. An alarming 89,000 motorcyclists were injured in accidents.
Sadly, even the most experienced and conscientious motorcyclists can suffer injury or die in these tragic accidents. What is even sadder is the fact that the vast majority of motorcycle accidents are not the fault of the motorcyclist. The common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Cars turning left in front of a motorcycle
- Cars changing lanes and striking a motorcycle
- Someone opening a car door into the lane where a motorcycle is traveling
- Hazards on the road cause the motorcycle to wipe out (grass, gravel, sand, etc.)
Tips for Avoiding a Motorcycle Accident
So, we know that motorcycle accidents are a terrible cause of injury and death. We also know that many of these accidents are the fault of someone other than the motorcyclist. So what can be done to prevent a motorcycle accident? Put together by motorcycle accident lawyers, here are some tips:
Keep Up with Routine Maintenance – Routine maintenance does more for you than just extending the life and use of your motorcycle. It also can help you prevent a motorcycle accident. Maintenance-related motorcycle accidents often result from:
- The engine overheating or seizing
- Tire blowouts
- Jammed sprockets
Wear Proper Gear – So, what you wear while riding your motorcycle may not prevent an accident from happening, but it can reduce the risk of suffering a serious injury or dying in an accident. Always wear appropriate gear, including:
- Long pants
- Pants and sleeves made from a thick material
- Eye protection
- Durable boots (preferably ones that cover your ankles)
- A Department of Transportation-approved helmet
Using the right gear can dramatically reduce the chances of serious injury. Your helmet is the most important piece of gear. Without one, you are twice as likely to suffer a brain injury if you are in an accident.
Be as Visible as Possible – Motorcycles are less visible than vehicles in most every circumstance. But they are also less visible in blind spots and around corners. One of the best ways to prevent a motorcycle accident is to be as visible as possible. Some tips for doing this:
- Use a light modulator – this causes your headlight to alternate between high and low beams for added visibility. It also causes your tail lights to blink in succession before lighting up solid red.
- Wear bright colors – We know how much you love your black leather, but it does not help you be visible to other drivers.
- Add reflective elements to your bike, helmet, and clothing
- Ride in the section of road that makes you most visible to other drivers
Be Alert – You can do everything in your power to avoid a motorcycle accident and still fall victim to the careless driving of others. Be alert at all times. Watch out for:
- Drivers who are swerving, speeding, or seem reckless
- Intersections where visibility is limited
- Avoid operating your motorcycle after consuming alcohol
- Avoid operating your motorcycle when you are fatigued
Be Aware of Conditions – You can also avoid a motorcycle accident by being aware of conditions that may make your ride more hazardous. Consider factors like:
- Weather conditions
- Road construction
By utilizing these tips, you increase your chances of avoiding a motorcycle accident. Consequently, you reduce your chances of suffering serious injuries or being killed as a result of carelessness.