What Can I Do to Help Prevent Injury in a Motorcycle Crash?

MotorcyclistsAs the weather warms up, you may feel it is time to dust off your motorcycle, hit the road and ride like the wind. But it is important to ride safely. Motorcyclists are vulnerable on the road with very little protection compared to other vehicles they share the road with. In 2016 alone, there were 172 motorcycle-related fatalities in Georgia.

Our Savannah motorcycle accident attorneys at Roden Law want you to be safe out on the road. Here are five safety tips to consider when riding on Savannah roads. If a crash occurs, contact us right away to go over your possible legal options.

Gear Up

One of the easiest ways to prevent a motorcycle accident fatality is to wear a helmet. Without a helmet, you are much more likely to suffer from traumatic brain injuries if you are in an accident. The helmet should be a Department of Transportation-approved helmet. Replace your helmet every five years.

Additionally, your clothing should increase visibility because many motorcycle accidents are caused by drivers who say that they did not see the motorcyclist. Whenever possible, clothing you wear on the motorcycle should be reflective and brightly-colored. Other protective gear you should wear includes:

  • Leather pants and sleeves – Wear long pants and sleeves to protect yourself from road rash in case you are thrown from your bike.  
  • Face shield or eye protection – Use a full-face shield or goggles to protect yourself from debris while driving.
  • Gloves – Wear tight-fitting gloves that protect your hands but are full-fingered. Gloves should be constructed of abrasion-resistant material.
  • Boots – Wear durable and waterproof boots that cover your ankles.

This clothing/gear can be your first line of defense in case of an accident.

Get Training and Drive Defensively

Motorcyclists must have additional skills beyond those required for drivers of passenger vehicles. You need to know how to quickly react when there are hazards, how to avoid hazards in the roadway, how to take turns and how to use evasive maneuvers to get out of a dangerous situation.

Take a training course to learn basic and advanced riding techniques. Look for a Motorcycle Safety Foundation riding course, local community college training course or other available courses in your area. These steps are particularly important if you are a new rider.

Once you get out on the open road, it is important to drive in a defensive manner. Some defensive driving techniques include:

  • Keeping an eye on road conditions ahead of you
  • Being aware of what is going on around you at all times
  • Watching out for turning vehicles
  • Staying far enough back from other vehicles so that you are not in their blind spots
  • Making eye contact and using hand signals when turning
  • Avoiding frequent lane changes
  • Not splitting lanes
  • Considering how you would react in an emergency that may appear ahead of you so you are prepared

Avoid Bad Weather

Bad weather can create a tremendous hazard for motorcycle riders. Bad weather can create slick roads that decrease the traction tires have and can cause motorcyclists to lose control. Additionally, bad weather can negatively affect visibility. When possible, avoid bad weather altogether. If you get stuck in bad weather (wind, rain, sleet, snow, etc.), it is important to know how to ride safely before you are actually out on the road.

Do Not Drink and Ride

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 25 percent of motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes were impaired by alcohol in 2016. Even drinking a small amount of alcohol can affect your senses, judgment and balance, so it is important to completely refrain from drinking when you plan on riding.

Stay Alert and Avoid Common Mistakes

When riding, it is important to stay alert at all times. As a motorcyclist, you have more potential dangers in front of you, including potholes and road hazards. Take frequent breaks to avoid driver fatigue and avoid distracted driving.

Also, be aware of common mistakes and know how to avoid them. Know how to respond to hitting gravel around a corner, entering corners when you are driving too fast and other common hazards. Be aware of opening car doors and drivers turning left in front of you.

Contact an Experienced Lawyer for Help with Your Claim

Even if you, as a motorcycle rider, take all of the precautions possible, you may not be shielded from the negligence of other drivers. The experienced motorcycle accident lawyers at Roden Law are available to help you pursue maximum compensation against negligent drivers. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.