New Motorcycle Riders Need These Safety Tips!

Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP July 6, 2015

Motorcycle riding is an enjoyable activity for many riders; it is an efficient and convenient mode of transportation for others. Many deadly motorcycle accidents happen every year, indicating a need for better safety habits while riding. Attorneys who help clients involved in motorcycle accidents note that new riders as well as those not proficient in the handling of the motorcycle have more accidents than average. Here are a few safety tips directed to new motorcycle riders to reduce the risk of being involved in a motorcycle accident.

Important Motorcycle Crash Statistics

Based on data collected in 2013 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), there were nearly 88,000 motorcyclists injured in 2013. Over 4,500 people, or 56 out of every 100,000 riders, died in fatal motorcycle crashes.1 A motorcyclist is 26 times more likely to die in a traffic accident than those driving or riding in passenger vehicles.2

Increasing Motorcycle Riding Safety

Although it is not the only factor, the major cause of many motorcycle fatalities is not wearing a helmet. Organizations such as the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have the following suggestions to help new riders develop good safe driving habits.

  • Always Wear A Helmet – Though not a law in every state, it has been proven that helmet use does reduce fatalities in motorcycle accidents in states with all-rider helmet laws. Statistics gathered in 2011 reveal that in states without helmet laws, 59 percent of all motorcycle fatalities involved riders without helmets. In comparison, in states with all-rider helmet laws, only 9 percent of all motorcycle fatalities involved riders without helmets.2 It is clearly shown in available statistics that wearing helmets overwhelmingly prevents fatalities and severe brain injuries in motorcycle accidents.

  • Wear Protective Clothing – Not all motorcycle accidents are severe. Minor accidents with motorcycles can produce substantial injuries when the proper riding gear is not worn. Motorcycle riders should always wear protective boots or shoes, protective gloves, and thicker clothing that can better protect a rider if a fall should happen. Riding boots and jackets are recommended for frequent riders.

  • Drive Defensively – It it harder to see motorcycles than any other vehicles on the road and they are also harder to maneuver. Motorcycle riders need to drive defensively by: always being aware of other vehicle blind spots; never tailgate; and always anticipate that cars may act in an unexpected way. Awareness and quick reactions can prevent accidents.

  • Drive Sensibly – Motorcycle riders should be familiar with their motorcycle’s handling and be alert when driving on wet or loose surfaces. It is essential for riders to stay in one lane and never drive between traffic lanes. According to motorcycle accident attorneys, it is vital that motorcycle drivers never drink and drive. The impairment caused by alcohol can affect balance and decision-making, leaving riders at greater risk for having an accident.

Attorneys who handle the claims resulting from motorcycle accidents advise that new motorcycle riders can never be too safe. It is essential that they practice good riding skills and adhere to safety practices that will prevent motorcycle accidents. As most motorcycle accident lawyers will agree, riding can be an enjoyable activity when the necessary precautions are taken that will reduce the risk of serious motorcycle accidents, especially for those who are new to riding.

1National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – Traffic Safety Facts: Motorcycles, 2015

2Advocates For Highway & Auto Safety – Fact Sheet: Motorcycle Helmets, June 2013