At Sevenish Law Firm, P.C., we take motorcycle safety seriously. Our founding attorney, Randy Sevenish, is the lawyer who also rides. His dedication to motorcycle accident victims does not stop with the legal process. He created his own handbook for motorcycle safety titled Protecting the Motorcyclist 101.
Check out some of the motorcycle safety tips he recommends. If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident, you can discuss your case with us for free.
Maintain Your Motorcycle and Check It Before Heading Out
Before you head out on the road, it is important to conduct regular motorcycle maintenance. This includes everything from regular oil changes to brake inspections. Furthermore, there are a few things you should check before heading out on each trip. Running through a simple mental checklist like the one below could save your life:
- Check your tires and make sure they have the right amount of tread and air pressure.
- Check to make sure all your controls are working properly.
- Check your lights and any other electrical components.
- Check your oil and other fluid levels.
- Check the body and the stands to make sure they are not damaged.
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Wear Protective Motorcycle Gear
Not all states require motorcyclists to use protective gear, but it can never hurt to be safe. Above all, wear a helmet, and make sure it meets the requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 218 set by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This administration regulates motorcycle gear to improve road safety.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motorcycle helmets prevented over 1,800 fatalities in 2017.
Take a Motorcycle Safety Course
Certified instructors teach motorcycle safety in every state, and any rider can benefit from these courses. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) offers in-person and online courses. You can look up courses near your ZIP code through its website.
If you’re in the area, you can attend motorcycle safety courses in Indiana.
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Check the Weather Before Heading Out
Before any motorcycle trip, check the weather before you head out. It’s no secret that bad weather conditions cause motorcycle accidents. From sleek roads due to heavy rain to slippery ice during the winter months, weather-related road hazards increase the risk of accidents.
If you have the option to drive a car or stay home during bad weather, consider doing so. All it takes is one incident to cause a fatality on the road. Being cautious can save your life.
If you must ride your motorcycle during bad weather, try to take extra precautions during your trip. You can read up on how to winterize your motorcycle, for example.
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Make Yourself Visible to Motorists
According to the NHTSA, most fatal motorcycle accidents occur due to motorcycle visibility. This usually becomes problematic when a motorist makes a left turn as a motorcyclist is going straight, overtaking another vehicle, or passing another vehicle. Motorcyclists, in these instances, become nearly impossible to see in a motorist’s blind spot.
To help make yourself more visible on the road, drive slowly, use your turn signals, and avoid overtaking or passing other vehicles during heavy traffic.
Obey the Traffic Rules and Don’t Take Unnecessary Risks
Just like motorists, motorcyclists must follow the rules of the road. Sometimes, motorcyclists choose to weave through traffic or squeeze between two cars in adjacent lanes to get to their destinations faster. Even though a motorcycle’s size allows for these maneuvers, some state laws do not. Furthermore, these tactics can increase the risk of an accident.
Remain Vigilant and Look Out for Road Hazards
Sometimes, common sense is the most important tool you can employ on the road. Avoid any distractions when riding a motorcycle. Keep your eyes on the road ahead and try to anticipate anything that could go wrong. For example, if you approach a pothole, get ready to move around it. If you can’t, slow down so that the impact is not so severe.
If you remain vigilant and give yourself time to react to a sudden hazard, you could save your life and the lives of other road users.
Keep a Safe Distance Between Your Motorcycle and Vehicles
This tip doesn’t only apply to motorcyclists but anyone operating a vehicle on the road. Rear-end accidents can occur when you tailgate or fail to leave enough space between you and another vehicle.
Even if traffic is light and running smoothly, you never know when someone could come to a sudden stop. Be conservative with the space you leave between your motorcycle and other vehicles.
Always Put Your Left Foot Down When Stopping
When you come to a stop on your motorcycle, get into the habit of putting your left foot down instead of your right foot. Trainers recommend this because you want to keep your right foot available to use the rear brake.
You can try shifting your body weight to the left when you are preparing to stop so that your left foot naturally comes down first.
Our Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Can Help
You deserve to focus on your recovery after an accident. Our motorcycle accident attorneys can handle your case from start to finish.
For a free consultation, call us.