For many people who ride a motorcycle, it isn’t just about getting from one point to the next. It’s about the freedom of riding down the open road and finding the best empty back roads to explore. It’s about being a part of a community of people who also enjoy the thrill and excitement of riding motorcycles, regardless of whether it’s a long road trip or a short jaunt to the beach.
While switching gears and hitting the highway unencumbered on a motorcycle can be truly liberating, safety is a huge concern. Although drivers of other vehicles have a responsibility to watch for motorcycles on the road and to practice cautious driving around them, accidents involving motorcycles occur all too frequently. In 2015, there were almost 5,000 fatalities caused by motorcycle accidents. Another 88,000 people were injured in motorcycle accidents. In May, as the weather warms up and more riders dust off their bikes after the winter, we celebrate motorcycle safety awareness month. This blog provides a few suggestions to help keep motorcyclists safe on the roads.
When you’re riding a motorcycle, your level of protection is greatly reduced compared to the occupants of other vehicles on the road. The steel frame around you that a car provides is gone. Although doubtless that is part of a motorcycle’s allure, it also leaves riders exposed to direct impacts with the road and other vehicles. Make sure that you’re wearing the right safety gear, starting with an approved helmet that fits properly and was bought at a dealer you trust. Opt for protective clothing. In addition, perform regular maintenance and safety checks on your motorcycle. These small steps can help prevent accidents and reduce injury in the event of an accident.
It’s no surprise that distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents on the roadways, and the problem seems only to be getting worse. Unfortunately, many people use their time driving to multi-task and do other things. It’s important to watch out for drivers who might be texting, reading directions, or simply not watching the road, as they may not see a motorcyclist or react in time to avoid a collision. This can help save lives.
Cars following too closely behind motorcycles cause rear-end collisions that can be particularly deadly for motorcyclists. Drivers of passenger vehicles often do not realize that a motorcycle can stop much faster—and in a much shorter distance—than a car or truck. If someone is following you too closely on your motorcycle, pull over and let them pass instead of getting rear-ended if you have to brake.
When you take a passenger for a ride, the weight and balance of the motorcycle change. First, in order to ride safely, make sure you have a passenger seat and footrests. Second, make sure you’re comfortable driving with a passenger sitting behind you, as a passenger may shift their weight the wrong direction or otherwise compromise your balance. It’s helpful to practice on smaller roads and in parking lots before committing to a long ride with a passenger.
If you or someone that you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, it can be overwhelming. Between working with doctors to stabilize your injuries, taking time off work to rest and heal, and dealing with insurance companies, the level of stress can seem insurmountable. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Piazza, Simmons & Grant, LLC are dedicated to helping people who have been seriously injured in accidents and can help you navigate this difficult time. Call us today at 203-348-2465 or contact us online to set up a consultation.