Safety Tips for Motorcyclists

According to a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 5,932 motorcyclists lost their lives in motorcycle accidents in 2021. Additionally, motorcycle accidents accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities during that year. Riding a motorcycle is inherently risky for a number of reasons. From no exterior vehicle protection to being far outsized by other motor vehicles on the road, riding a motorcycle is undoubtedly dangerous. Despite the number of risks that come with riding a motorcycle, millions of people still ride motorcycles every single day. If you are riding a motorcycle, there are some important safety tips that you should follow in order to protect yourself and help reduce the likelihood of a fatal motorcycle accident occurring.

Conduct a Pre-Inspection

Before you hop on your motorcycle, it is important to do a preliminary inspection of your motorcycle to ensure that it is in good working order. First, make sure that you have an adequate amount of fluids, including fuel, coolant, transmission fluid, engine oil, and hydraulic fluid. Next, look at your motorcycle’s tires and wheels, making sure that they have good air pressure. Then, you will want to check your brakes to make sure that there are no malfunctions. Lastly, make sure that your lights and turn signals are working properly. This is especially important when driving at night.

Wear Protective Gear

The next thing you can do to protect yourself as a motorcyclist is wear protective gear. This includes items such as a riding jacket, boots, gloves, and face shields. Most importantly, all motorcyclists should wear a helmet; almost all states have specific laws that require motorcyclists to wear one. Additionally, most states require motorcyclists to wear one that is compliant with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The NHTSA reports that helmets reduce the risk of motorcycle fatalities by 22 to 42% and brain injuries by 41 to 69%, therefore making the use of a helmet even more important.  

Obey Traffic Laws

This next tip should be a straightforward one – obey traffic laws! Just because you are a motorcyclist, does not mean that you are exempt from following the rules of the road. This includes stopping at traffic lights, using turn signals, and following right-of-way laws.

Stay Visible

The last safety tip that all motorcyclists should be sure to adopt is to ensure that they remain visible on the road. Due to their size, motorcyclists and their motorcycles can be easily missed. This becomes particularly dangerous on highways where individuals are traveling at high speeds. To help increase one’s visibility on the road, motorcyclists should wear brightly colored clothing and reflective gear. This will hopefully catch other drivers’ attention, therefore alerting them that there is a motorcyclist nearby. Additionally, all motorcyclists should be conscientious about riding in the blind spots of other vehicles. By doing this, they will help to reduce the chance of being hit by another motorist. 

What To Do if You are in a Motorcycle Accident

If you wind up in a motorcycle accident and sustain any injuries, call emergency services immediately. If you are able, try to document the accident scene and gather the personal contact information of any individuals who were involved with or witnessed the accident. Then, you should pursue legal assistance for your motorcycle accident claim. Brumley Law Firm states that “many people hold biases against motorcycle riders, often assuming they are reckless and dangerous drivers.” Unfortunately, this bias is often used against motorcyclists in court and when filing an insurance claim. Therefore, seeking legal assistance is pivotal in getting the compensation and justice you deserve and ensuring that you are not discriminated against for simply being a motorcyclist.

Author: Brandon Park