Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
5 Best Ways to Prevent Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle riding can be fun as well as an economical mode of transportation. A major drawback is that even the most experienced riders are exposed to the risk of serious accidents. Statistics for motorcycle accidents for 2013 in Texas show that there were 495 fatalities to motorcycle drivers or passengers. Of that number, 53% were not wearing helmets when the crash happened.1 Injury lawyers who handle motorcycle accident injuries caution that good judgment and riding skills are the best way to keep riders from becoming another motorcycling casualty.
To avoid becoming a statistic, motorcycle riders should remember these safe riding habits:
Expect the Unexpected – Motorcyclists should be ready to respond to these common occurrences: cars turning left in front of a motorcycle; cars passing other cars without noticing oncoming cycles; and drivers opening parked car doors in front of passing cycles. Riders must be aware that they may not be seen by other vehicle drivers and they may need to take immediate evasive action to avoid a collision. Motorcycle operators must be prepared to stop or swerve without losing control of the cycle in order to avoid colliding with a car that has not yielded the right-of-way.
Learn Good Riding Skills – Operators must develop riding skills and learn about their bikes and what to expect from them, including how to maneuver in different conditions or situations. Injury lawyers who work with clients injured in motorcycle accidents suggest that vital skills such as: taking curves; negotiating potholes, gravel or soft shoulders; braking without locking front brakes; and handling trouble spots are needed to prevent accidents.
Be Visible to Other Drivers – Motorcyclists regularly face situations such as being rear-ended and forced off the road while being passed – and the results can be deadly. One of the best ways to avoid such situations is by being very visible to other vehicle drivers. You can avoid rear-end collisions at traffic lights by stopping between traffic lanes or toward one side of a single lane to offer an escape path. Stopping with ample distance betweinjen the motorcycle and any car in front can prevent dangerous sandwiching if rear-ended. As a rider, you must be extremely cautious of your own blind spots as well as those of nearby motorists to prevent being sideswiped.
Keep the Speed Down – Slick, rainy, or icy road conditions can be understood as a factor in many motorcycle accidents, although this is not when most incidents happen. Riders can be tempted to speed or take unnecessary chances when there are dry roads and perfect weather conditions. Most riders are exceptionally cautious on bad roads – or avoid bad roads because of such conditions. Hot-dogging, speeding, or any dangerous riding behavior is risky at any time and should be avoided.
Drinking and Driving – According to NHTSA, Texas was the #1 state in the nation for motorcycle fatalities and 37% of the people who died had a BAC of .08 or higher.2 Operating a motorcycle requires balance and coordination, both of which are affected by alcohol, illegal substances, and some prescription drugs. The implication here is unmistakable – do not drink and operate a motorcycle.
Motorcycles are intended to be fun, economical transportation but accidents do happen. Lawyers who help clients injured from motorcycle accidents recommend that anyone operating a motorcycle must learn and practice good riding techniques at all times.