There are many reasons why riding a motorcycle can put a rider at risk – a greater risk, in fact, than for those who drive or ride in passenger vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 80 percent of reported motorcycle crashes result in injury or death. The increased dangers that come with biking give us all the more reason to learn how to avoid motorcycle accidents as best we can.
Five Tips To Reduce Your Motorcycle Crash Risk
- Do not drive under the influence. Half of the motorcycle accidents in the U.S. involve alcohol. Statistically, the best way to avoid an accident is to drive responsibly. Avoid drinking any kind of alcohol when riding your motorcycle. Your risk of causing a crash skyrockets when you drink and ride. Riders with more than one beer in their systems are about 40 times as likely to crash as sober riders.
- Look behind you when stopped. Stop to the side rather than the center of a lane, rapidly flash your brake light by tapping a brake lever, keep the bike in gear and your right hand on the throttle. Pay attention to what’s coming up behind you and be prepared to scoot away should it appear someone’s about to come plowing into you.
- Ride at a reasonable pace. The faster you go, the less time you have to react. Only ride your motorcycle as fast as you can see and use visual clues to make sound judgments. If you’re going through a turn too quickly, you may end up flying off the road. To prevent this from happening, avoid driving too quickly to correct a bad turn. The faster you’re going, the less time you’ll have to adjust for a sharp turn.
- Maintain your bike. Motorcycle maintenance is as important as motor vehicle maintenance and should be taken seriously. Make sure you are ready to roll, safely, before hitting the road. Do a quick walk-around the motorcycle and ensure your horn, signals, and other lights are all working correctly. Be sure to also check the chain, belt, brakes, and the tires. Contact a motorcycle mechanic and avoid riding the bike until it is repaired if any of these components aren’t working.
- Wear the right riding gear. Be sure to buy gear that fits and that meets safety standards. The weight of the helmet during a long ride, for example, can deter riders from wearing it. Some find helmets uncomfortable, don’t like the look of them, or simply don’t want to foot the expense. Yet the chances of a motorcycle accident causing serious injury or death greatly increase if you don’t wear your helmet. Helmets reduce your risk for an accident being fatal by 37 percent and for serious injury by 69 percent. Wearing other protective gear also lessens your risk of experiencing serious or fatal injury in an accident. Reflective jackets allow other drivers on the road to easily spot you, while protective pads help guard against injury.
Texas Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawyer
Even when we do our best to ride safely, we cannot control the behavior of others. When trying to learn how to avoid motorcycle accidents – whether taking a safety course or paying close attention to the road – our best isn’t always enough. If you or someone you know was injured or killed in a Texas motorcycle crash, we can help. Please contact our Corpus Christi motorcycle lawyer John T. Flood for a confidential and free consultation.