As a motorcyclist, you should always be extra careful on the road due to several factors. Due to a motorcycle’s small size, you are less visible to road users than other vehicles. In addition, you are prone to weather hazards by being more exposed than those in closed cars.
In the event of an accident involving a car, you are likely to suffer more injuries compared to the driver. This is because you have minimal protection besides your safety gear, and are not cushioned by a covering material such as in cars.
Thus, it is crucial to be cautious on the road and observe the guidelines below to ensure your safety as a motorcyclist.
Wear a Helmet and Other Appropriate Gear
The importance of proper safety gear when riding a motorbike cannot be understated. Head injuries are the leading cause of death and disability among motorcycle crash victims. All these can be reduced or prevented by wearing a helmet.
Helmets have been proven to save lives by lowering the seriousness of an injury, especially to the head and face. Always ensure you have worn a helmet when on the road and a reflective jacket or bright clothing too, to increase your visibility to other road users. Leather clothing and gloves can also mitigate some of your injuries in case of a crash.
Observe the Traffic Rules
Observing traffic rules will go a long way in ensuring your safety. Adhere to the speed limits and avoid risky maneuvers like lane splitting, which may prove costly and dangerous in the event of an accident.
When changing directions or lanes, always signal your intention beforehand, and most importantly, follow the traffic lights. Also, you need to be aware of local traffic laws, which may vary according to your location.
Be Wary of Other Road Users
You should never assume that other drivers will see you and react accordingly.
About two-thirds of motorcycle accidents originate from a driver violating the rider’s way. If possible, drive with your headlights on to notify oncoming traffic of your presence. Stay out of the other drivers’ blindspot and watch out for turning vehicles as well!
Sobriety and Riding
Do not drink and ride. You need to remain fully alert when on the road and free from any intoxication. Being sober will ensure you react to situations much faster, which can be the difference between a close shave and a fatal crash. You will also save yourself the hassle of dealing with a DUI charge should the police stop you.
Rider fatigue is also part of the sobriety equation. Before going out on the road, ensure that you are in a proper physical condition to ride. Drowsiness is almost similar to being under the influence when it comes to reaction time. Plenty of rest is necessary especially before embarking on a long ride.
Assess Your Motorcycle’s Roadworthiness
Always perform a check before riding to ensure everything is working as it should. Things to look out for include the brakes, tires, horns, and indicator lights.
Further, ensure that your motorcycle gets routine maintenance checks by a professional for parts that may need replacement.
In the Event of a Crash
No matter how cautious you are, accidents are sometimes inevitable. If you are involved in a motorcycle crash, seek medical attention immediately, whether you feel fine or not.
Next, find a motorcycle accident law firm to advise you on the legal complexities involving the accident. Depending on the circumstances and extent of your injuries, you can hold the driver at fault liable and sue for damages. A motorcycle accident attorney will ensure you are well represented in instances where you don’t understand the state laws where the crash occurred, which may differ from your home state laws.