Responsible motorcyclists know that their vehicles are more vulnerable to collisions than cars and trucks, and that they are at greater risk of injury in a crash. They make safety their first priority. They've identified the practices that reduce the risk of injury and death for themselves and their passengers, and they're proactive in practicing these safety-oriented behaviors:
- Always wear a helmet
- Increase their visibility
- Drive sober
- Learn safe handling skills
- Avoid risky driving conditions
- Avoid excessive speeds
No matter how effective and safe your helmet is, it only protects you if you wear it.
Learn to ride safely The Motorcycle Safety Foundation, a nonprofit foundation supported by motorcycle manufacturers, advocates for all motorcycle owners and riders to learn to ride safely. They've developed RETS, Rider Education and Training System to teach new riders how to ride safely and to help long-time riders upgrade their skills. RETS courses are available all across the US; you can find one near you on the MSF website, www.msf-usa.org
Don't drive in dangerous conditions Rain and high wind make it harder to control your motorcycle. The most dangerous time to ride is when the rain has just started. The rain lands in all the little pockets and uneven spots in the road surface, and the grease and oil floats on top, making the roadway especially slick. When it starts to rain, duck under an underpass or stop for coffee, and wait it out.
A strong wind of 20 mph or more can push a motorcycle around. Gusts are especially dangerous because they're not predictable. Wait out a wind if you can. If you must ride, keep the motorcycle to the side of the lane that the wind is coming from, so that if a heavy gust shoves you, there will be some room to maneuver.
Don't speed A 2003 NHTSA study found that 36 percent of all motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes were speeding, approximately twice the rate for drivers of passenger cars or light trucks. The faster you're traveling, the shorter the time you have to react to other vehicles, changes in the road, and other hazards. The faster your bike is traveling at the time of a collision, the harder your impact when you hit the ground. Use the speed you need, and nothing extra.
Choosing a safe bike Choose a motorcycle that's a comfortable fit and does the job that you need it to do. When you're astride the vehicle you should be able to touch the ground with both feet. If you expect to carry a passenger, make sure the motorcycle you select has a passenger seat and foot pegs for the passenger. Check the controls, and make sure you can reach and operate them easily and comfortably.
Buy the power you need, but only as much as you can handle safely. Large motorcycles are heavy, and you must be able to push your bike and pick it up if it falls over.
As a personal injury lawyer in San Diego California, Thomas Penfield has helped a wide range of accident victims. As a seasoned motorcycle accident lawyer Thomas understand the intricacies involved with complex motorcycle injury litigation, and seeks to relieve his clientele of anxiety and uncertainty about their case.