The longer, warmer days of the year are prime time to venture out on your motorcycle. There’s nothing quite like the thrill of hitting the open road on the back of a bike. However, to make sure your ride is as enjoyable as possible, safety must be your #1 concern.
Although the biggest danger to motorcyclists is the negligence of other drivers, there are things riders can do themselves to reduce the likelihood of getting into an accident and suffering significant injuries. Regardless of how far you’re going or how seasoned a rider you may be, it’s important to keep the following safe riding checklist in mind on every outing.
1. Wear the Proper Clothing and Gear
Having on the right gear can help to keep you from experiencing severe road rash or a brain injury if you are thrown off your bike. Protective clothing includes pants, a padded riding jacket, boots, gloves, and a helmet.
2. Examine Your Motorcycle for Safety Issues
Before heading out, it’s a good idea to give your motorcycle a quick once-over to make sure everything is working correctly. Inspect the tire pressure, fluid levels, turn signals, brake pads, and lights.
3. Be Mindful of the Weather
No matter what time of year it is, bad weather can roll in unexpectedly. Make sure you know what the conditions are supposed to be like during your ride, and if possible, avoid going out when the forecast calls for particularly harsh conditions.
4. Make Sure You Are Visible
Drivers frequently blame collisions on not being able to see the motorcyclist. To prevent this from happening, it’s best to wear bright clothing, ride with your headlamp on day and night, and stay out of blind spots. Refrain from sharing a lane with other vehicles and riding right alongside them.
5. Stay Alert to Your Surroundings
Simply being aware of your surroundings can help you stay away from potentially hazardous situations. You should constantly be scanning the road ahead and around you looking for stopped traffic, potholes, loose gravel, animals, and anything else that requires plenty of reaction time to make the right move.
6. Adhere to the Traffic Laws
It may seem obvious that you need to comply with all the traffic laws, but the freedom and exhilaration of riding a motorcycle often takes over and leads to speeding, tailgating, making unsafe lane changes, and turning without signaling. Each of these actions can have serious consequences.
Unfortunately, faithfully following this checklist is no guarantee that an accident won’t happen. Even the most cautious riders may suffer catastrophic injuries due to the carelessness of other motorists. In these instances, it’s essential to call an experienced New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyer for legal counsel. At Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., we understand what it takes to put together a case and prove liability. Contact our office at (609) 240-0040 so we can review your claim.