When it comes to quickly and effectively getting from place to place, particularly
in a crowded area, motorcycles are an extremely popular transportation
choice. However, their speed, small size, and lack of protection make
them also one of the most dangerous. Unlike a passenger car where occupants
are surrounded by crash-resistant metal, motorcyclists are completely
exposed to the world around them, making them far more likely to suffer
from a serious injury in the event of an accident. Want to avoid one of
these painful and life-changing events? Here are a few safety tips from
our Kingston motorcycle accident attorneys.
Wear the Right Equipment
Riding safely is one thing, but if you don’t wear the proper equipment,
you are still riding at an extreme injury risk. What you wear is almost
as important as how you ride when it comes to preventing injuries. Everyone
who jumps on a bike should always make sure they wear each of the following things:
- A certified and approved helmet (half-helmets are fine, but fully-shielded
helmets are far safer and protect your face from any flying debris)
- Goggles or eye protection (if you’re wearing a half-helmet)
- Thick gloves that will protect you from any pinching or flying debris
- A protective jacket made of leather or nylon-like material. Some riding
jackets are made with protective plastic padding sewn into the fabric
to make them even safer and more protective in the event of a crash.
- Steel-toed riding boots with ankle support
- Leather or nylon-like material pant, preferably with protective padding sewn in.
While nobody likes gaudy, bright colors, it’s also important to remember
that drivers can’t see black nearly as well as they can a bright
yellow, red, or orange. Wearing a bright color, particularly at night,
could make a difference between a driver spotting and avoiding you or
failing to see and crashing into you.
Take a Break
Have you ever stayed focused on the same task for a long period of time?
You probably have, so you’re probably well-familiar with the feeling
of mental exhaustion. Motorcycle riding requires a high level of focus,
and after a while your brain will start to feel this fatigue set in. When
this is the case, stop immediately. Take a break, get off the bike and
stretch, and take a while to refresh your brain before continuing. Everyone
has a limit, and yet many people continue to try to push this limit as
much as possible. This doesn’t usually end well, as riders whose
focus slips even just a little bit are at an exponentially greater chance
of being involved in an accident.
Don’t Split Lanes at Speed
One advantage to motorcycles is their ability to dart in between cars to
get to the front of a line. In some ways this is a good thing—being
able to get out to the front of a pack of cars not only allows you to
accelerate at a more comfortable speed, but allows you to stay clear of
traffic when you’re at your least stable. However, some riders take
this a bit too far and choose to try to dart along lane lines and between
cars at speeds in excess of 50, 60, or 70 miles per hour, and some even
more! This is extremely dangerous, as you’ll be in and out of various
drivers’ blind spots quickly. All it takes is one driver forgetting
to check or failing to see you and you could find yourself with a serious
injury. If you’re on a busy, slow-moving highway that’s bogged
down in traffic, slowly moving your way forward is okay, but never do
so when traffic is moving faster than about 30 miles per hour.
Take a Defensive Riding Class
Whether you’ve just purchased your first bike or you have been riding
for half a century, everyone can learn a thing or two from a riding class.
These classes give you a chance to learn the latest techniques for cornering,
braking, shifting, traffic awareness, and other factors of riding that
you must always pay attention to, and even give you the chance to practice
in a closed and safe environment. With today’s roads being so hazardous
for riders, it’s important to make sure your skills are always sharp
and you’re up to date on the latest techniques for riding defensively
and preparing for the unexpected to happen.
If you have suffered a serious injury while riding a motorcycle, call Mainetti,
Mainetti & O’Connor, P.C. today by dialing 845.340.HURT and
free case evaluation to put more than 80 years of experience to work for you!