Want to hear a sobering statistic? A person on a motorcycle is 29 times more likely to be killed than someone in a car.
With more cars on the road and higher rates of auto accidents, it is only getting more dangerous for bikers.
Just a few weeks ago, at the tail-end of April, a 59-year-old man struck a rider from behind, knocking him off his bike, then drove off. Thankfully, the police caught him not long after and he has been charged with multiple counts, including an aggravated DWI and leaving the scene of an accident. Still, that is likely little solace to the rider he injured with his actions.
If you decide to enjoy the warm weather by taking a ride on your motorcycle, remember that you are a lot more vulnerable that drivers. To be as safe as possible, remember these tips.
How to Protect Yourself When Riding a Motorcycle
Wear a Helmet –
40% of motorcyclists killed in 2015 were not wearing a helmet. A helmet can literally mean the difference between life and death – they prevent 37% of fatal injuries. Beyond this, it’s the law in New York.
Even if you’re driving across states, only three states in the country have no helmet laws. Wearing a helmet while riding your motorcycle is just as important as wearing a seat belt in car.
Wear the Right Clothes –
Suit up appropriately. The right clothes will help you if you’re thrown off your bike, but should also be worn to protect your skin from bugs, wind, the sun, and more.
Even on a warmer day, you should be wearing long sleeves and long pants made out of a heavy material (leather or synthetic works) that allows you to move around, but still offers protection. Also consider wearing brighter or reflective clothes that can be easily spotted by drivers on the road.
Your accessories matter, too. Wear sturdy boots and gloves that cover your hands, wrists, and ankles, and grab a pair of glasses or a face shield that can protect your eyes. Don’t rely on your windshield to catch everything that is flying your way – bugs or debris could get into your eyes from any direction, and sometimes this can lead to a crash.
Communicate with Drivers –
It’s not always easy to make yourself seen by drivers, especially on a busy road. Because of this, you should maintain a good distance and slowly merge or shift lanes.
Make sure you are seeing the road as well. Pay attention to both lanes in case you need to quickly switch. Stay alert and know if hazards on the road (including wet leaves, potholes, and so on) are coming up.
Also, use your turn signals, and use them early. Car drivers are responsible for 60% of accidents involving motorcycles. Keep this in mind while you are on the road. Bike as if all the cars around you have distracted or careless drivers.
Take Good Care of Your Bike –
When you are faced with a split second decision, you need to know everything about your bike’s habits and how it moves. Get to know your bike before you take it on long road trips. Know what types of weather inhibits it, and when parts need to be replaced. Check your bike before long trips to make sure your chain, brakes, shaft, lights, and signals are working.
Even if you are the safest biker on the road, you still face a high risk of getting into an accident. If you are injured due to another’s negligence while you’re on your motorcycle, reach out to a New York defense lawyer.