Motorcycle Safety for Riders & Drivers
Were you aware that motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in a crash than drivers or passengers in vehicles? This daunting statistic is just one of many that prove the dangers of motorcycle crashes. Without the added protection a car provides, motorcycle riders are completely susceptible to the brutality of a crash, and are often thrown from their bike, lodged underneath it, or propelled across the pavement with only their clothes and helmet for protection.
While crashes may sometimes be caused by slick roads, hazards, or rider error, the majority of motorcycle crashes involve a vehicle. Bikes are smaller and can sometimes slip into blind spots or less notable areas, causing car and truck drivers to overlook them, leading to dangerous crashes. In an effort to protect motorcyclists, we’ve come up with a brief list of safety tips for both riders and drivers alike.
1. Ride and Drive Defensively
Be vigilant and always keep an eye on the road, and the vehicles around you. As a motorcycle rider, keep a safe distance between yourself and any vehicles, and always make sure they see you, even make eye contact with drivers when you can. Drivers, never forget that motorcyclists are smaller than you, and therefore harder to spot. Check your blind spots before turning, and then check them again. Riders can come up quickly, so always makes sure you know if one is approaching before you turn.
2. Be Ready Before Each Ride
Motorcyclists, the only safety net you have between you and the road, should you crash, is what you have on your back. Make sure what you wear counts. Wear a DOT-compliant helmet and any other protective gear you deem necessary. Also, if riding at night wear reflective gear to ensure you are clearly visible. As for your bike, always do a quick check before each ride. Make sure all of your parts are in working order, including your breaks, lights, turn signal, and so on.
3. Be Weather Wise
Slick roads are dangerous for anyone, whether you’re in a car or bike. If the roads are slick and you are riding a motorcycle, it could cause you to slide out and seriously damage your legs and arms, and you could end up with a nasty case of road rash. Car and truck drivers can also lose control in treacherous conditions, creating a dangerous situation for themselves and the vehicles around them, motorcyclists included. If a motorcyclist finds an obstacle, it is more dangerous to swerve, being on two wheels rather than four, and could easily cause a crash.
To protect yourself, drive extremely cautiously on wet, gravelly, or icy roads, and always check the forecast before a ride or drive to ensure you are prepared.
4. Pass with Care
Motorcyclists will often move between lanes, which can potentially be dangerous if any surrounding vehicles make a sudden move. In order to do this more safely, riders can be sure their intentions are clear to the cars around them by signaling before turning, and giving each vehicle a wide berth.
Car drivers must be cautions when turning or changing lanes and should always signal, and check their blind spots before turning. Additionally, drivers should be cautions when passing a motorcyclists to closely, as the drift from the vehicle can put the motorcyclist off-balance, putting them in a dangerous position.
While these safety tips can help you stay safe on the road, accidents can and do happen, and are sometimes beyond our control. If you or a loved one is injured in a motorcycle accident due to the fault of someone else, please contact Goeing Goeing & McQuinn PLLC for a free consultation.