For motorcycle enthusiasts, it’s all about the ride. West Virginia offers amazing views that are ideal for long-haul rides. But despite the smaller profiles, motorcyclists have additional risks that lead to accidents with higher percentages of injuries and fatalities. Understanding motorcycle safety tips can increase your ability to avoid an accident.
Motorcycles require a higher level of skill and expertise than a passenger vehicle, as well as additional precautions. No matter what precautions you take, there’s a good chance that you’ll find yourself off your motorcycle at least one time. Therefore, safety should be at the top of your list before you hop on your bike for a ride.
We offer these suggestions to follow for optimizing your safety every time you ride.
1. Wear a helmet. Yes, every time you ride, no matter what. Not just any helmet, of course, but the right one for you. Make sure it’s comfortable and fits well. Wearing a helmet reduces the chances of a fatality by 37%. A full-faced helmet with a face shield also protects your eyes. Look for one that is DOT-certified (most will have a sticker on them indicating that it is.) Replace your helmet every three to five years so that you have the protection available.
2. Wear additional safety gear. Gloves, goggles, boots that go over the ankles, and leather gear all go a long way in protecting you in addition to your helmet.
3. Follow all traffic rules, drive the speed limit and use turn signals. It sounds elementary, but these are basic rules of the road for everyone. Speeding accounts for nearly half of all motorcycle fatalities.
4. Exercise extra care at intersections. It’s where the majority of crashes occur between motorcycles and cars, particularly when someone is turning left in front of you. Look at traffic on all sides, and always ensure that you have the space and time to proceed.
5. Take a motorcycle safety course. Better—take an advanced riding course to perfect your skills and learn additional maneuvers such as avoiding collisions, advanced braking and turning, and other control techniques.
6. Before every ride, do a pre-trip inspection. Make sure your bike is in good working order before you touch the ignition—lights, turn signals, brakes, mirrors, fuel, oil, tire pressure, handlebars, and of course, the horn to signal others. Be consistent with oil changes and make sure everything is running in top condition.
7. Carry a first-aid kit with bandages, sanitizing wipes, gauze, adhesive tape, and hand sanitizer to take care of minor injuries.
8. Increase your visibility. The usual comment from the driver of a passenger vehicle is that they didn’t see the motorcycle rider. Bright, reflective clothing is one of the easiest ways for drivers to see you. Riding with your headlights on even during daylight hours, avoiding a driver’s blind spot, and consistently using signals also increases your visibility to passenger vehicle drivers.
9. Check the weather before you ride. Inclement weather causes increased danger to a rider because of the decreased visibility and traction while riding. Better to ride on a different day when the weather is better.
10. Be aware of escape routes and possible “traps.” Drivers of passenger vehicles frequently miss motorcycle riders, no matter how safely they ride.
While even the safest riders can have accidents, practicing safety can help prevent them and even reduce or prevent some of the most common injuries.
Charleston’s Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
West Virginia is one of the best states for motorcycle riding. Unfortunately, accidents do happen even in the best of conditions and even exercising good motorcycle safety practices.
The Love Law Firm is ready to help you through a motorcycle accident. Call us today at 304-344-5683, or use our online contact form to schedule your appointment with one of our attorneys. (You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.) We’ll discuss your case with you, explain your options and what to expect in an accident settlement. Our contingency fee arrangement means that if we don’t win your case, you won’t owe us a fee.