While automobile accidents are commonplace, deaths resulting from car accidents are more easily mitigated by using the safety belts and air bags provided in cars—safety features that are not provided in motorcycles. With so many injuries and deaths each year due to motorcycle accidents, it is important to take some simple steps that can help you stay safe while driving your motorcycle.
Unlike driving an automobile in which you are surrounded by protective metal and supports, the only thing standing between you and the cold, hard pavement when driving a motorcycle is the clothing on your skin.
It is common to see irresponsible motorcyclists riding their bikes in shorts, t-shirts, sandals, and without a helmet. Dressing in this manner is a potentially life-threatening personal injury accident waiting to happen. To increase your safety, wear boots or shoes with traction on the soles. You should also dress in clothing that is made of durable materials such as leather, denim, or specially made motorcycle gear with built-in armor.
It may sound commonsensical, but just as car drivers are becoming involved in an increasing number of accidents due to texting while driving, it is even more dangerous for motorcyclists to attempt texting or talking on the phone—even if it is a hands-free phone. It is still too much of a distraction and leads to many motorcycle accidents. Always keep your eyes on the task at hand, watch for other drivers, and never use your phone while operating a motorcycle.
Not every state requires motorcyclists to take courses in motorcycle safety. Most require some form of a road test to ensure that you know how to operate a motorcycle. However, being able to operate a motorcycle and being able to do it safely are two different things. Try asking a salesperson at the dealership where you bought your bike if they offer safety training classes. You may even receive a discount on your purchase or on your motorcycle insurance just for taking a safety course.
One of the main reasons people choose not to wear a helmet when riding their bikes is because they do not think it’s the cool thing to do. At Hagen Law, we specialize in personal injury cases. We have seen one too many cases in which a motorcycle accident resulted in death because the rider was not wearing appropriate headgear. Is looking cool worth the risk?
Overall, it is simply not good enough to rely on other drivers on the road to watch out for you. Take precautions and protect yourself with the appropriate clothing and headgear and by watching the road carefully. Preventative action on your part could ultimately save your life!