The emergence of summer means different things to everybody around the world, and for 8.4 million registered motorcycle owners in the United States, it means prime riding conditions. Here’s how to stay safe this summer as both a rider and a driver as nothing ruins a summer day quite like an unexpected motorcycle crash.
What are the facts?
It’s not surprising that when a motorcyclist crashes they get more injured than their car counter parts. Motorcyclists are injured 96% of the time in collisions and are at 35X the risk of death as someone riding in a passenger vehicle. In 2014 alone there were 4,200 motorcyclist deaths and 92,000 injuries. Motorcycle registration is, however, on the up. So here’s how to stay safe during a favorite summer pastime.
Riding your motorcycle safely
1. Being in the right mindset is perhaps the most important thing you can do when riding your motorcycle. Stay alert and avoid any and all distractions. The less you are focused on external factors, the better you can focus on keeping yourself safe.
2. Make yourself visible. Motorcycles make up just 1% of vehicles on the road but account for 10% of all fatalities. Motorcycles have a tendency to fit nicely in blind spots and a rider dressed in all black leather makes the problem harder. Consider wearing something reflective or investing in a headlight strobe.
3. Gear up. Proper equipment is your best friend if you happen to get in a wreck. Purchase a full face helmet with chin guard approved by the department of transportation. These types of helmets saved more than 2,000 lives in 2008 alone. Cover your skin too. Leather or synthetics boots, jackets, gloves, and even chaps are a must to protect your skin from the unforgiving asphalt.
Driving around motorcycles safely
1. Motorcycles are hard to see, and as a responsible driver it is your job to make sure you see them. Make sure you always check your blind spots before making a lane change. It is not enough to just glance in the side mirror, make sure to physically turn your head to check for riders.
2. Watch your turns! 44% of two vehicle motorcycle collisions resulting in death happened when the motorcycle was going straight and the car was turning left. At night, make sure if you see a single light ahead instead of a pair of headlights you think motorcycle!
What to do if you find yourself in a wreck
If you do find yourself in a motorcycle wreck, regardless of which party you are there are a few things you should do. First, make sure to exchange information, call the police, and take lots of pictures of the accident. Next seek medical treatment and make sure to follow through on all treatment plans. Finally, it may be a good idea to seek legal advice if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident or any other auto accident. At Franklin D. Azar & Associates, we have helped hundreds of motorcycle accident victims get the compensation they deserve. Call today for a free consultation.