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Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law
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How Can You be Safe on a Motorcycle?

Motorcycle Accidents & Safety Tips

Summertime calls for road trips and fun in the sun, but this can come at a cost for motorcyclists. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported in 2019 that motorcyclist deaths are highest between the months of June and September, which the second-highest number of deaths occurring in July. August has seen the highest number of motorcyclist deaths in 2019, totaling 647 deaths altogether.

See below for an exact breakdown of motorcyclist deaths by month in 2019:

  • January: 142 deaths
  • February: 176 deaths
  • March: 328 deaths
  • April: 418 deaths
  • May: 581 deaths
  • June: 630 deaths
  • July: 647 deaths
  • August: 673 deaths
  • September: 616 deaths
  • October: 386 deaths
  • November: 245 deaths
  • December: 172 deaths

What Causes Motorcycle Crashes?

The federal government estimated that motorcyclists were 27 times more likely to die in a crash than passenger car occupants per vehicle miles traveled for reasons described below. With these statistics in mind, it is important to understand the root causes of these fatal incidents. Knowledge is power, but in this case, knowledge can be life-saving. That being said, we explain common causes of motorcycle crashes below so you can better avoid getting hurt or killed this summer:

  1. Vehicle differences (motorcycle vs. passenger vehicle): Motorcyclists are at a disadvantage on the roads because they can be hard to spot. These small bikes easily are covered by motor vehicles of all shapes and sizes. As such, the odds can be stacked against them in the event of a vehicle-motorcycle collision.
  2. Lack of experience: Newbies should especially beware of the risks and hazards they could face while riding. Taking up a new hobby like motorcycling is a tough learning curve, but it’s important to get adequate training and experience before riding on highways with other vehicles.
  3. Lane splitting: Riding in between lanes is dangerous for various reasons. Drivers could be switching lanes, motorcyclists can hit the side mirrors of a vehicle and more.
  4. Speeding: The rule of thumb for any operator on the roads is to follow the speed limit. After all, speed limits exist for a reason.
  5. Intoxication: Operating any machinery on the roads while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a recipe for disaster. Drugs and alcohol impair your judgment and coordination skills, which can wreak havoc for motorcyclists.
  6. Unsafe lane changes: Failing to use turn signals, failing to keep a safe distance, and switching into lanes too quickly are examples of unsafe lane changes that motorcyclists often make.
  7. Road conditions: Slippery, cracked, or uneven roads can be deadly for any person using the roads, especially motorcyclists.
  8. Improper or lack of motorcycle license: All motorcyclists need a valid license before riding, as lacking a motorcycle license could indicate inexperience, negligence, or criminal activity. Inexperience and negligence are two significant red flags for motorcyclists.
  9. No helmet: Safety comes first and foremost. Having inadequate safety gear will only cause destruction in the event of a motorcycle accident. Besides helmets, motorcyclists should also wear protective clothing, knee pads, elbow pads, and strong, sturdy footwear.

9 Motorcycle Safety Tips That All Riders Should Know

As you can see, motorcyclists take substantial risks by simply choosing to get on roads. They are exposed to serious hazards that drivers otherwise aren’t, but motorcyclists can follow certain precautions to help mitigate their risks of getting into a fatal accident. Below, we describe 6 motorcycle safety tips that every rider should keep in mind:

Ride sober: As with any type of machinery, you must operate your motorcycle sober. Any amount of drugs or alcohol ― including prescription medications ― in your system can impair your judgment and coordination. This can be fatal.

Wear safety gear: As we mentioned before, it’s important to gear up. Wear a helmet, jacket, boots, gloves, and guards for your elbows, knees, and shins. If you were to get into an accident, this gear can save your life.

Ride defensively: Never assume that others can see you. It’s important to be vigilant for inattentive drivers because even if you’re being safe on the roads, other people might not be.

Follow the rules of the road: Obey the traffic rules, as you are not above the law. Many motorcyclists assume they can steer clear of our state’s traffic laws and get away with it, but that doesn’t mean they’ll come out unscathed. As such, avoid violations such as speeding, tailgating, failing to signal, and more.

Conduct a pre-ride check: Before you hit the road, run a mental checklist to ensure you are good to go. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation uses the acronym T-CLOCS to help you remember what to do in your motorcycle pre-ride check:

  • T: Tires and wheels
  • C: Controls
  • L: Lights and electrics
  • O: Oil and other fluids
  • C: Chassis
  • S: Stands

Take breaks: If you have a long journey ahead of you, make sure to take rest breaks. Whether you stop for 5 minutes or 30 minutes, any amount of time you can get to stretch, eat, and hydrate will go a long way.

What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident

In the event that you get into a motorcycle accident (it happens to the best of us), you should know what steps to take following your incident. Every step you take following your accident matters, as your actions can help your chances of receiving substantial compensation for your losses. For these reasons, we explain the steps you should take after a motorcycle accident below:

  • Call the police to file a police report
  • Gather the other party’s contact details, insurance information, and driver’s license information
  • Record the accident by taking photos and videos
  • Get medical help, even if you don’t feel injured right away
  • Obtain copies of your medical, motorcycle repair, and insurance bills/reports
  • Call our attorneys

The last step in this list is among the most important things you can do after your accident. When you call our attorney for help, we can walk you through your next steps and explain everything you need to know for the claims process. From start to finish, we can represent your rights as the victim and fight for maximum compensation to help you get back on your feet. Wait no longer to restore your peace of mind today!

To get in touch with us, contact our firm online or at (505) 219-2176.