May 5, 2022
Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month How Can Accidents Be Prevented?
May has been designated as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month for good reason. During the spring and summer months, motorcycle enthusiasts take advantage of the warm weather and long stretches of daylight. However, they need to be cautious because getting into an accident while riding a motorcycle can lead to serious or fatal injuries.
According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation, motorcyclists are 28 times more apt to die if they get into a crash than if they were drivers or passengers in a car. In 2016 alone, more than 5,000 motorcycle riders were killed in traffic accidents.
If you are someone who likes to ride a motorcycle, you need to take special precautions to protect yourself and anyone riding with you. Below are some of the most proven ways to avoid serious collisions and arrive safely to your destination every time.
Take Care of Your Bike
Chances are good that you have not ridden your motorcycle in a few months when you first start it up in April or May. Take the time to check it over and do a little maintenance work, if necessary. Nothing can ruin an enjoyable ride like breaking down by the side of the road.
Pay special attention to the health of your motorcycle tires. Your tires keep your bike grounded and help you avoid skidding out of control. It is better to invest in new tires than to depend on ones with a questionable amount of tread.
Wear the Proper Riding Gear
The proper riding gear can protect you in case of a collision. With that being said, the use of motorcycle helmets is a hotly debated subject. This is why helmet laws vary from state to state.
While riding in Pennsylvania, you are not required to wear protective headgear if you are over 21 years old. Nevertheless, think twice before going without a helmet. A helmet could make all the difference if you are thrown from your bike.
Watch Your Speeds
The faster you drive a car or ride a bike, the less control you are going to have if something goes wrong. It is difficult to stop in time if you are going too fast on the highway. Though feeling the wind rushing past your face can be exhilarating, maintain a speed within posted limits. A difference of five or 10 miles per hour can make all the difference in your reaction time to avoid a crash.
Keep a Healthy Following Distance
In addition to tempering your motorcycle speed, resist the desire to tailgate. Although tailgating is a common practice, especially in congested areas or during highway traffic jams, it can lead to accidents. A general rule of thumb is to leave two or three car lengths between you and the nearest vehicle.
Do Not Weave in and out of Traffic
Motorcycles are much smaller vehicles than cars, SUVs, or trucks. This means they can fit into smaller spaces. As a result, motorcyclists sometimes “make their own lanes” and weave in and out of traffic on multi-lane highways.
This behavior sets the stage for disaster. Other drivers do not expect motorcycles to be in places like the shoulder of the road, or in between legitimate lanes. Motorcyclists have a responsibility to follow the rules like all other drivers.
Keep Alert for Changing Weather
Weather can be changeable, especially during the spring and summer months. Sudden thunderstorms and hailstorms, as well as sudden fog, can make motorcycling dangerous. Be sure to keep up with the weather from hour to hour. A wet road can turn slick, which can set the stage for a crash.
Avoid Aggressive Drivers
As a motorcycle rider, you will be side-by-side with many other types of drivers. If you find yourself riding near a driver displaying aggressive tendencies, like honking the horn or tailgating, put some distance between you and the driver.
It can be difficult not to let aggressive drivers cause you frustration. Staying calm is your safest and wisest course of action.
Get the Advantage of Taking a Motorcycle Safety Course
Are you new to riding a motorcycle? Need a bit of a refresher after not riding for many years? Plenty of reputable organizations offer motorcycle riding safety courses.
Motorcycle safety courses can help remind you of all the “little things” that you might forget or have forgotten. It never hurts to get an education. Be sure to ask your vehicle insurance carrier if taking a safety course could make you eligible for discounts on car insurance premiums.
What Should You Do as a Conscientious Driver?
Even if you love motorcycle riding, you will not always be able to jump on your bike. Instead, you will be driving your car. In that case, keep the following hints in mind to protect yourself and the motorcyclists who are on the road with you:
- Stay alert to where motorcycles are.
- Avoid distracted driving so you can react quickly.
- Look for motorcyclists before merging or changing lanes on the highway.
- Do not tailgate behind a motorcyclist.
- Anticipate that motorcyclists may have to slow down on turns.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident?
In the event that you end up getting into a motorcycle accident, do not panic. First, try to move your bike to a safer location if possible. Call 911 or make sure someone else on the scene does.
If you have been seriously hurt, try not to move too much. Accept medical treatment from emergency personnel who arrive on the scene. Your injuries may be more extensive than you realize.
After your accident, continue to get treatment and consider calling a lawyer who handles cases for survivors of roadway crashes. That way, you can let your lawyer deal with your case while you recover from your experience.
Ride Safely This Year and Every Year
Going out for a motorcycle ride should be a rewarding experience. Spend time preparing to lower your likelihood of being involved in a preventable collision.
The Norristown Car Accident Lawyer at Anthony C. Gagliano, III P.C. Support the Rights of Motorcyclists Injured in Crashes
Did you get hurt in a motorcycle crash in Pennsylvania? Our firm’s Norristown car accident lawyer at Anthony C. Gagliano, III P.C. is ready to help. Call us at (267) 861-7100 or fill out our online form to arrange your personal consultation. From our office in Philadelphia, we handle motorcycle accident cases throughout the Philadelphia region including Montgomery County, Delaware County, and Norristown.