If you know someone who rides a motorcycle, you’ve probably heard at least one story of how they laid a bike down. It’s unfortunate, but the fact of the matter is that motorcycle riders are much more vulnerable to suffering severe, even fatal injuries when they collide with vehicles or objects. Even riders who mind every safety rule can turn into a victim in the blink of an eye when other drivers behave negligently.
There are many tactics learned and passed down through experience over the years to help keep motorcyclists safe. While there is never a guarantee that you’ll come home unscathed after every ride, there are safety measures that you can take to significantly increase those odds and minimize your risk of a motorcycle accident.
Take a look at these tried and true recommendations from Sturgis Rider News to give you an edge on staying safe out on the roadways to avoid accidents:
- Ride with experienced and trusted motorcyclists. Trusting that someone you ride with possesses and uses good judgment can mean the difference between peril and self-preservation.
- Wear bright colors, reflective clothing and accessories that can be seen easily both day and night. Also, keeping your headlights on at all times draws attention to you and your location on the road. Pull off the road in bad weather. If you can’t be seen, you can’t be avoided, and you certainly can’t control whether you or another vehicle could lose control on wet or icy surfaces.
- The right driving gloves are a necessity. Gloves that feel good and fit properly will allow you to properly grip handles and maneuver your bike. You may need different gloves for different seasons. You want to maintain the right level of warmth in the winter to allow your hands to function just as in warm months, you don’t want your hands to become sweaty and slippery inside the glove preventing you from maintaining hand control.
- Only ride when well-rested and sober. Make stops every couple of hours to walk around, stretch your legs, take a mental break and even grab a snack. Riding impaired by drugs, alcohol or exhaustion places you in danger as well as everyone on the road around you.
- Keep a safe distance of 20 feet or more from other bikers you ride with, and keep even further distance from cars and trucks sharing the road. Even the most experienced riders wearing easily seen clothing can’t outmaneuver blind spots. Be vigilant when passing vehicles or while being passed. If you think a vehicle is moving closer, trust yourself and adjust your position to best avoid a collision before it could happen.
- Signal how many riders are with you to oncoming drivers if you are not alone, and assume there are always other oncoming vehicles or riders if you do not receive an acknowledgment in return. Use hand signals in addition to tell other drivers what your intention is and to draw attention to yourself to become more visible.
- Strategically taking curves adds a level of safety. Start a curve on the outside, then move to the inside as you come around, then back to the outside as you come out of it. This minimizes sharp maneuvers that can increase your likelihood of tipping over.
- Be vigilant at stop lights, intersections and other areas where collisions are likely to occur. Remaining aware of your surroundings at all times can help you leave pockets of space to make quick getaways if you anticipate a collision.
- Driving where you want to actually go instead of what you’re looking at can help you avoid collisions and other accidents that can send you reeling. You want to be more attentive of where open spaces sit rather than staring at objects you want to avoid.
- Be in control of your own riding experience. Don’t allow other riders to dictate what you’re comfortable with. If you need to find another group to ride with that’s more your speed, do so.
- Passengers, stored luggage or other weight added to your bike can change how you need to maneuver. Be prepared to adjust how you take turns, make stops, and the speeds and distances you need to change in order to compensate for added or shifting weight.
Injuries from vehicle accidents can be physically and financially devastating. When a motorcycle accident wasn’t your fault, you need legal help that can get you back on your feet as fast as possible. The knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorneys at Harris Lowry Manton LLP are here to help crash victims in Georgia receive fair compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages relevant to your injuries.
To schedule your free, no-obligation case consultation with one of our dedicated motorcycle accident attorneys, call our Savannah office at 912-651-9967, our Atlanta office at 404-961-7650, or we invite you to reach out to us through our contact page to tell us your story.
One of the nation’s top trial attorneys, Jeff Harris is an award-winning litigator who handles high-profile, complex cases across a wide variety of practice areas. He excels at securing justice for clients who have been seriously injured or killed, holding responsible parties accountable for their actions as well as their negligence.
Read more about Jeffrey R. Harris here.