Motorcycle Safety Tips
Answers you can trust from a highly regarded motorcycle wreck lawyer
With over a decade of experience protecting the rights of injured bikers, we know that motorcyclists are some of the most vulnerable people on the road. Chad Jones Law, P.C. has prepared this list of motorcycle safety tips to help bikers and motorists alike stay safe on the road.
Here's what motorcycle riders need to do to stay safe:
- Wear protective gear: In addition to helmets, that includes eye protection, gloves and appropriate footwear. Wearing denim or leather clothing will help protect you against road rash if you slide out or are thrown from your bike. Also, remember that many drivers who hit bikers say they didn't see them - wearing bright colors helps.
- Be conscious of the conditions: Riding on a slippery road is especially dangerous for bikers. If you have to ride in the rain, especially right after precipitation begins, be gentle with your brakes, throttle and steering. Anticipate the push of the wind and adjust accordingly.
- Look out for hazards: Watch out for bumps, potholes, sand, leaves and railroad tracks, among many other hazards. Remember that bikes have much less contact with the road than cars, and a hazard that a passenger car would barely notice can be enough to make a biker skid out.
- Be alert: You can't control the other drivers on the road, but you can watch out and try to anticipate their actions. Motorcycle riders are especially vulnerable in this age of rampant distracted driving. Keep your distance and be prepared to stop.
- Maintenance check: Always check your tires, brakes, chain, belt and other components before getting on the road. Under-inflated tires, for instance, can make bikes difficult to handle, steer and lean.
Here's what motorists need to do when driving near motorcycle riders:
- Eyes on the road: Distracted driving is a top cause of motorcycle accidents. Because motorcycles are smaller than passenger cars, they're vulnerable to being overlooked by motorists who are texting and driving, talking on their cell phones or otherwise distracted.
- Maintain a safe distance: In order to respond to hazards or changing road conditions, motorcyclists often need to slow down or change position within a lane. If you follow too closely, you may end up causing a dangerous rear-end collision.
- Yield appropriately: Remember, a motorcycle is a vehicle, just as much as a car or truck. You need to yield to an oncoming bike in the same way you'd yield to an oncoming car. Too many bikers are injured when a car turns left in front of them.
- Look before you open: "Dooring" is another common cause of motorcycle wrecks. Before opening a car door into traffic, check twice to make sure there are no motorcycles coming.
- Check your blind spots: It's easy enough for a motorcycle to disappear into a bigger vehicle's blind spots - but that's no excuse if you then change lanes and hit a biker or force him off the road. Check your mirrors and look over your shoulder before changing lanes.
Both drivers and motorcycle riders have a responsibility to share the road. But more often than not, it's the driver of the car who fails in that responsibility - and the motorcycle rider who gets seriously hurt. That's not right, and it's not justice. If you've been hurt due to a driver's negligence, contact us today. Call 1-800-64-JONES.