Although protective gear and equipment can help reduce injury severity or save lives in the event of a motorcycle accident, bikers may still suffer serious injuries. So the best advice is to take appropriate measures to prevent an accident from occurring in the first place.
Avoiding a Motorcycle Accident by Getting Licensed and Educated
Even before jumping on a bike, there are some important tips to consider that could help prevent an accident. The first is to get a proper motorcycle license. Not only is it illegal to operate a bike without one but also New York requires that riders first take and pass a test to obtain the license. This ensures that the individual has the necessary skills to operate a bike.
Another tip is to enroll in a motorcycle safety course. In New York, those with valid driver’s licenses and motorcycle operator’s permits can waive the road test if they complete educational training courses (certified by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation). These courses teach the basic skills necessary to safely operate a motorcycle. It’s still recommended that experienced riders take an advanced course to sharpen those skills.
Get Prepared: Avoid a Motorcycle Accident before Even Hitting the Road
Make the decision ahead of time that you won’t take any risks while on the bike. This means taking into account your skill level so that you don’t overestimate your abilities, deciding not to drink and ride, and committing to obey all traffic laws.
Preparing for a ride on the bike should also include looking it over for possible problems. Check that everything is working properly—such as the brakes, tires, turn signal, lights, etc.
Motorcyclists should also wear protective gear. All riders in New York must wear a helmet. But other clothing could reduce the severity of injuries if an accident does happen; this includes goggles, gloves, long shirt/pants, jacket, and boots.
Avoiding a Motorcycle Accident by Increasing Visibility
Despite taking all of these precautions, it’s imperative to make efforts to reduce the risk of a crash once on the road. Of course, no one is able to control the actions of someone else. But it does help to know some of the reasons motorcycle collisions with other motor vehicles happen.
For instance, visibility can be a serious issue for other motorists. If riding at night, wear reflective clothing. Even in broad daylight, however, motorcycles can be difficult to see, especially when there is heavy traffic. So never assume that another driver sees your bike or knows your intentions.
Intersections can be especially dangerous. A motorcycle might be heading straight through a green light but the driver of a car might not see it coming and turn left in front of it. Be prepared ahead of time for this risk whenever approaching an intersection.
Another scenario in which visibility might be a problem is when traveling alongside a car or truck. A motorcyclist could be in the driver’s blind spot. Without knowing a bike is there, the driver could change lanes. The best way to avoid this is to stay out of the blind spot.
Besides increasing visibility, there are other tips for avoiding a motorcycle accident:
- keeping a safe distance between vehicles;
- not taking turns too fast;
- obeying traffic signals and signs;
- reducing speed during inclement weather;
- watching for road hazards (oil spills, railroad tracks, grooves);
- driving the posted speed limit;
- not weaving in and out of traffic; and
- using turn signals.
If you are ever in an accident, be sure to get legal help if your injuries are serious or you experience significant monetary damages, Gacovino, Lake & Associates can help. Call (800) 246-4878 for a free case review.