Motorcyclists Have at a Higher Risk of Injury
When riding a motorcycle, the rider has significantly less protection than someone in a car or truck. Consequently, when a motorcyclist is involved in a traffic accident, they are more likely to be injured, even in less significant accidents. It is not uncommon for motorcyclists to suffer injuries after being thrown from their bikes or colliding with another vehicle. Furthermore, motorcyclists take up less space on the road, making them less visible to other motorists.
At Mitchell & West LLC, we want everyone to enjoy their hobby without worrying about injury. However, we have to accept the reality that motorcycle accidents are common. Below, we provide a few tips on how to say safe while on the road.
Tip #1: Perform Safety Checks Before Hitting the Road
Before you take your bike out, you want to give it a once over and ensure it is in good working order. This includes checking all fluid levels, indicator lights, brake lights, headlights, and signal lights. You also want to make sure that your bike is clean and dirt or mud is not obscuring any of your lights. If you have accessories, make sure they are all installed properly and securely. Make sure all bike maintenance is up to date, and do not ride a bike that is in disrepair or that you know to be unreliable.
Tip #2: Wear Appropriate Safety Gear
Though we enjoy gorgeous weather year-round in the South, you should don appropriate safety gear when preparing to take your motorcycle out. Most importantly, you should always wear a helmet, preferably one with a full-face guard. It is recommended that you wear long pants and long sleeves. Heavy-duty motorcycle suits and gear provide you with padding and a sturdy layer between yourself and the elements. Should you be in an accident, a helmet, sturdy boots, and protective jackets and/or pants can be a lifesaver.
Tip #3: Increase Your Visibility
One of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents is another driver simply not seeing a motorcyclist. To help reduce the chances of this happening to you, you can incorporate reflective patches and bright colors into your motorcycle gear and outfits. Orange safety vests are an inexpensive, easy way to increase your visibility on the road.
Another way to increase your visibility to other motorists is by ensuring that your motorcycle’s lights and indicators are working and visible. Saddlebags and other accessories can obscure motorist’s ability to see your brake lights or indicator lights. This can lead to accidents.
Tip #4: Avoid Riding in Inclement Weather when Possible
Because motorcycles are less stable than four-wheeled vehicles, and because motorcyclists are not protected from the elements as they are in a car, riding in bad weather can be particularly dangerous. Rain and wind can affect your ability to see and be seen. Bad weather can also cause your bike to respond differently, such as braking and turning. If you can, only ride your bike in good weather.
Tip #5: Do Not Ride Tired or Under the Influence
Motorcyclists need to be alert. In addition to looking out for hazards on the road, they also need to be aware of what other motorists are doing. You want to avoid riding your motorcycle when tired, and you never want to drive while under the influence. Make a plan and be ready to either call a friend for a ride or call a cab. You can always pick up your bike the next day.
What to Do If You Are Injured in a Motorcycle Accident
Unfortunately, even when we do our best and take all possible precautions, accidents still happen. If you or a loved one is injured in a motorcycle accident, you should speak with a trusted lawyer. Your lawyer can help you negotiate with insurance companies. If your accident resulted from negligence or recklessness, they may be able to help you hold the responsible party accountable.
Just because you have insurance does not necessarily mean all your needs will be met. Insurance companies are notorious for not paying out when they should. As such, it is a good idea to speak with an experienced attorney to ensure you receive the care and compensation you are entitled to. Mitchell & West, LLC is prepared to help.