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Motorcycle Safety Tips
Motorcycles are amazing machines. Many riders love the feeling of freedom and speed that they get from riding a bike. However, that freedom is sometimes the very reason that riding a motorcycle is so dangerous. There is very little protecting you from the road. Other drivers are often not as careful as they should be around motorcycles, either.
While motorcycle accidents are not necessarily more common than other types of crashes, they are far more likely to result in serious injury or death. In fact, a NTSA report from 2006 indicated that there were 35 times more deaths for motorcycle riders compared to those in cars or other vehicles. Because the risk is so high for motorcycle riders, it is especially important that they adhere to basic bike safety tips.
1. Always ride with people you trust and who have experience.
Ride with people that also have safety as their top priority. Those who get on a bike while intoxicated, for example, are not only a hazard to themselves, they put everyone else around them at risk. Bikers who have experience and know how to handle their bike will be far less likely to be involved in an accident as well.
If you are new to riding, be sure to go on a few practice runs before joining up with a group. Traveling with several bikes can be dangerous if you do not know what you are doing. Be sure to also only ride as fast as you are comfortable—riding “your ride” will help keep you safe.
2. Always have the right safety gear.
It is a good idea to wear clothing with padding that will help protect you in the event of an accident. Jackets with shoulder pads, elbow protection, and back protection can help cut down on bruising and lacerations. Abrasion-resistant pants with knee pads are also a good idea. Boots will help protect your ankles and feet as well. Gloves that fit property are also a must.
In Missouri, you are also required to wear a DOT-approved helmet every time you get on your bike. Your helmet should fit properly so that it does not come off in the event of an accident.
3. Dress to be seen.
One of the main reasons that motorcycles get into accidents with vehicles is because the other driver simply did not see the rider. Wearing bright clothing (and avoiding neutral colors like brown and black) will help drivers see you. Wearing the right clothing is critical at night and in bad weather.
4. Be Defensive
One study by the University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research concluded that car drivers were at fault in motorcycle-car accidents 60 percent of the time. Because so many accidents occur due to the fault of other drivers, it is especially important that motorcycle riders take extra steps to drive defensively. For example, do not ride next to semis as they have a lot of trouble seeing bikers. If you must pass them, do it quickly and be sure that you are in their mirror before you make your move.
Keep a safe distance from other cars and watch out for vehicles that are making sudden lane changes or slowing down quickly. Defensive driving is essential for bikers.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, you may have legal options. Contact our team today for more information about your potential legal remedies.