“Ride to live, live to ride” is an apt biker motto for road safety. Motorcyclists are twenty-seven times more likely to die in a crash than drivers of other vehicles, per a 2014 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study. But preventive measures greatly reduce these numbers.
Detailed below are the top factors that affect crash likelihood and injury severity.
In motorcycle accidents, “failure to see” is a common defense refrain heard from the drivers of cars, trucks, and other vehicles. While all drivers must be on alert for any type of vehicle, the fact is that drivers’ eyes anticipate larger vehicles, and bikers are especially vulnerable on left turns when they suddenly come up against drivers.
Although potholes are an annoying inconvenience for other vehicles, for motorcycles they are often fatal, as taking a sudden jolt causes riders to spill or even flip.
Similarly, riding in wet or icy conditions or encountering road work mandates slowing substantially to adjust reaction time.
Although some states make helmet wearing optional for legal adults, the NHTSA recommends getting DOT-compliant ones. Along with limb injuries, brain damage is a sad reality of crashes for riders who don’t have the protection of a car frame or airbags.
Leatherwear didn’t come about to suit a rebel biker look but rather as a tough hide to protect against the road. Road rash is an unfortunate reality of collisions, and while it sounds benign, a third degree rash definition includes exposed bone. Tough synthetic fabrics join the fashion arsenal to keep you safe.
High Visibility Reflectors
Making yourself more visible to other motorist can make all the difference to staying safe in nighttime rides.
Impaired riding from drugs, alcohol, some medications, and a lack of sleep add up to an increased chance you’ll fall. Not only can alcohol cloud your judgment and reaction time, it also hampers vision. Sleeping under five hours has been found by AAA to be as hazardous as drunk driving, and combining certain meds leads to drowsiness.
What Else You Can Do
“Four wheels move your body but two wheels move your soul” is another biker adage. Here are tips to help prevent a soul from leaving a body in a crash:
- Maintain bike properly to prevent part failure
- Don’t speed
- Slow substantially on curves
- Anticipate cars backing up
- Anticipate being “doored”
- Mind road signs and rules
- Adhere to lane splitting laws
- Be especially wary of lane changes
- Don’t follow too closely
Take a Skills Course
State-sponsored classes are not just for beginners. Seasoned riders take upper level classes to move their skills to a higher plane. Students often meet other enthusiasts who become riding buddies. Click here to find a New York course or to become an instructor.
Choose the Right Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP has extensive experience in all types of traffic accidents and has the experience necessary to seek maximum compensation in motorcycle crashes. In these cases, you are not only fighting stingy insurance companies but also a bias against the perceived negligence of lawless bikers.
We know the challenges you face every day as a rider and won’t let unfair perceptions get in the way of your rights. Motorcycle accidents often come with long-lasting injuries that will need treatment well into the future. Contact our office for a free and informative case consultation by calling 1-800-VICTIM-2 (842-8462) or by completing the contact form on this page.