The thrill of riding a motorcycle draws many people out on the roads every year.
However, it’s no secret that along with the excitement and freedom motorcyclists feel while on the back of their bikes comes high risk.
When involved in a collision, riders are vulnerable to suffering significant injuries and death with no barrier to keep them from taking the brunt of the impact. With the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reporting 4,976 motorcyclist fatalities and 88,000 non-fatal injuries in 2015, it’s not difficult to understand the overwhelming need for greater motorcycle safety.
The biggest key to keeping more motorcyclists out of danger is for drivers and riders to be extra-vigilant in sharing the road with one another. All too often, motorists fail to recognize the rights of riders, resulting in a large percentage of vehicle-motorcycle accidents. But there are many things motorcyclists can do to minimize their exposure. Here are tips for both drivers and riders:
Proper Driving Practices
Being much larger and heavier than motorcycles, vehicles dominate the roadways, so it’s crucial for drivers to pay close attention to riders when behind the wheel. The best driving practices include:
- Always look twice – Motorcyclists are notoriously difficult to see. They frequently get caught in blind spots, and a simple lane change or turn can be disastrous.
- Stay a safe distance away – Tailgating motorcycles commonly leads to rear-end collisions. If a rider starts to brake or suddenly comes to a stop, drivers aren’t likely to have enough time to safely stop behind them.
- Avoid alcohol and distractions – Many accidents can be prevented by not drinking and driving or focusing on distractions within the car. Drivers should always find alternative transportation when they’ve been drinking and wait to take care of all phone calls and messages until after reaching their destination.
Even though motorcyclists can’t control the actions of other motorists on the road, they can take several precautions to keep themselves out of harm’s way as much as possible, such as:
- Wear the appropriate gear – The right gear can make all the difference in how severe injuries are if a rider is thrown from his bike. Always wear a helmet, pants, riding jacket, gloves, and boots for protection.
- Don’t ride above skill level – Riders should be aware of how experienced they are at operating a motorcycle and never try to push beyond this. Beginners won’t typically know how to get out of precarious situations.
- Drive defensively – Motorcyclists must understand their elevated risk and ride accordingly. They should be extra-cautious at intersections, use headlights at all times of the day, be on the lookout for road hazards, and obey all traffic laws.
At Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., our New Jersey motorcycle accident attorneys have extensive experience working with riders and their families after serious accidents have occurred. We know how to effectively represent victims to get them the compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one is in need of legal counsel, contact our office at (609) 240-0040 to schedule a consultation.