Riding a motorcycle is inherently and statistically more dangerous than driving an automobile. According to crash data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other safety groups, a motorcycle rider can be up to 35x more likely to suffer catastrophic injury or a fatal injury in a motorcycle accident than a driver of an automobile in an auto accident of similar force and intensity. With the risk of serious injury in a motorcycle crash so high, it is crucial that every motorcycle rider do what he or she can to help prevent motorcycle accidents.
If you are a motorcycle rider, please keep these 7 tips in mind to help stop accidents and lessen injuries:
- Visibility: Bright colors can go a long way for motorcycle accident prevention. If your ride itself is not painted a bright tint, you should be certain that some article on your person is quite noticeable. Bright clothing is particularly important when you are riding at night or in conditions with lower-than-normal visibility.
- Blind spots: Drivers learn to check their blind spots for automobiles of the average size. Since most motorcycles are twice or three times smaller than a sedan, the blind spot that a motorcycle can “disappear” in will be twice or three times larger. To keep up the theme, a motorcyclist must be twice or three times more careful not to linger in a blind spot. When you are preparing to pass, make it happen or fall back so you can be seen in the driver’s mirror.
- Left-turn caution: A great number of motorcycle accidents are caused by negligent drivers turning left on a green without an arrow. Motorcycles heading straight through the intersection are not likely to be noticed by the turning driver, who then cuts right in front of the rider. Whenever you are approaching an intersection that may allow unprotected left turns from opposing traffic, be cautious and assume nearby motorists are not.
- Safe speeds: Although the stereotype that motorcycle riders are reckless by nature is largely unfounded, it is true that many motorcycle accidents do involve a motorcycle rider who was speeding. No matter the vehicle of your choice, speeding is never a good idea and exponentially increases your chances of getting in a crash. Plus, it is illegal and can result in a ticket or license suspension.
- No lane splitting: Speaking of illegal activities you must never conduct, lane splitting is against the law in Pennsylvania. In case you are unaware, lane splitting is when a motorcycle rider drives alongside a vehicle, or in between two vehicles. Not only is this action illegal in Pennsylvania, it can also be quite dangerous and increased the chance of being sideswiped by a motorist who does not check mirrors and blind spots before turning or merging.
- Maintenance: Some motorcycle accidents are caused by the environment and road conditions. To help prevent crashes due to these factors, you need to keep your motorcycle in top-notch condition with regular maintenance. Pay extra attention to your tire pressure, especially at the beginning and end of winter. The air in your tires may expand or contract as the temperature fluctuates, increases the risk of a tire burst unless you adjust the pressure accordingly.
- Protective gear: No matter how careful you may be while riding your motorcycle, you cannot make other motorists around you be safe. At any time, you could be blindsided by a negligent driver. Always wear appropriate protective gear when your motorcycle to help reduce serious injuries in case of a crash. Safety gear you should wear includes but is not limited to a helmet, thick jacket, jeans, knee pads and elbow pads, and boots.
Our Schuylkill motorcycle accident attorneys at The Law Offices of Anthony Urban, P.C. are proud supporters of our communities. If you have been struck by a negligent motorist or hurt in a motorcycle accident for any other reason that was not your fault, please do not hesitate to contact our personal injury lawyers. We genuinely want you to be comfortable, fairly compensated, and on the path to recovery. You can even start with a consultation to learn more about your rights and our legal services without any payment upfront.