How to Stay Safe on a Motorcycle
Motorcycle safety is not a one-way street. Enjoying riding safely depends on both the motorcyclist and the motorist. Since 2020, 5,458 motorcyclist fatalities were recorded nationwide along with roughly 80,000 injured riders. With eight million motorcycles on the road nationwide, someone is paying attention. Let’s look at motorcycle statistics, rider safety protocols and drivers who pay attention to motorcyclists sharing the road with them.
Pennsylvania has more than 360,000 motorcycles registered in the state. Roughly half of all motorcyclists favor the cruiser, however, the touring bike comes in at a decent second. While new motorcycles are tempting, about 63 percent of registered motorcycles on the road are 10 years old or older.
Of all motorcycle accidents, approximately 34 percent are fatal, and motorcyclists have a much higher risk of dying than other motorists. Of all fatalities, 23 percent of motorcyclists have a BAC level over the legal limit for alcohol.
Motorcycle Safety Implementation
Learning how to implement motorcycle safety is important, especially since a motorcyclist is so vulnerable. Some ways a motorcyclist can stay safe on a motorcycle are:
- Buy the right motorcycle: The power and weight of the motorcycle are essential considerations. Having a bike that is too hard to handle will take the fun out of it for you.
- Protective gear: You have little to no protection when riding a motorcycle, so it is important to make sure you wear protective gear. This includes gloves, boots, an abrasive-resistant jacket and long jeans. You’ll be glad you did it if you lose control of the bike.
- Get a proper helmet: A helmet that covers your face is the best. Don’t be foolish and think that running to the corner store absolves you from wearing a helmet. Aside from being required in many places, the majority of accidents happen in close proximity to your home. Whether it is at slow or high speeds, a motorcycle helmet gives you protection from traumatic brain injury. Also, make sure the helmet is DOT approved and was never involved in a past accident.
- Rule out inclement weather: Weather is not your friend when you are riding a motorcycle. Check the weather before you leave and periodically during the day if you are on a long trip.
- Don’t be fatigued: Riding can be tiring, and you need to be sharp. Ways to maintain a clear focus include getting enough sleep the night before, stopping periodically to stretch and staying hydrated. Don’t forget to nap if you are fatigued enough to impede motorcycle safety.
- Don’t drink: Staying sober makes for a safe motorcycle trip. The loss of cognitive judgment and impaired reflexes alone can lead to an accident.
- Pre-trip inspection: Check the tire pressure, brake, turn signal lights and fluids to ensure the bike is safe.
- Prior to riding checklist: This checklist is one that you use once you are sitting on the saddle. Check the brakes and clutch. If they are good, adjust the mirror and head out. If not, dismount and fix them.
Motorists Need to Adjust Their Thinking for Motorcycle Safety
The biggest problem motorists have when it comes to motorcycle safety, aside from drunk and distracted driving, is their expectations. Many motor vehicle operators say they did not see the motorcyclist. If they truly did not, it’s because they were not expecting it. Drivers need to be alert to motorcyclists sharing the road with them and slow down when they see them. Another major problem occurs when motorists tailgate motorcyclists. Being hit by a passenger vehicle or a small truck can eject the motorcyclist and lead to a fatality.
Travis Law Firm
Now that you’ve learned some motorcycle safety tips, we hope your journeys will be fun. However, if an accident happens, you know you can turn to the Travis Law Firm for help. Call us at (814) 277-2222, or contact us online to schedule a free case review. We will examine your situation, answer your questions and discuss your options moving forward. Remember, when you retain us, you do not pay a thing unless you win.