On this site, we have often discussed the benefits of defensive driving when behind the wheel. Defensive driving techniques can and do prevent potentially life threatening automobile accidents, but while these techniques are important when you are driving a car, they are even more important when you are riding your motorcycle.
On your motorcycle, you do not have the benefit of being incased in steel and a roll cage. You do not have the luxury of seat belts and side impact airbags. You have a thin layer of denim and a helmet between you and the unforgiving pavement. Because of these handicaps, you need to be more aware than the average motorist is. Your safety and life depends on it.
In this 2-part series, we will address defensive driving techniques that are unique to motorcyclists. First, we will examine what you can do to improve your overall safety before you crank the engine and hit the road. In part 2, we will examine techniques to reduce the chance of you being involved in a motorcycle accident while on the road.
Pre Ride Defensive Driving Techniques for Motorcyclists
Big rumbling engines and flashy chrome are not just for show. They serve a purpose, and make the motorcycle easier to notice and avoid. It’s a sad fact that many accidents involving motorcycles occur because the driver of the car never saw the motorcyclist. When selecting your next motorcycle, make sure to factor in its overall visibility. That “Screaming Eagle” could save your life.
Wear Proper Safety Equipment
As mentioned, you don’t have the luxury of steel, airbags, and a roll cage when riding your bike. What you wear on your body and head is all the protection you have from the pavement. At the very minimum, you should have a helmet on your head at all times. The NTSA recommends wearing a helmet, heavy jacket, jeans or leather pants, gloves, and boots while riding.
Maintain Your Motorcycle
You don’t have the luxury of 4 tires. You have 2, and you need to make sure they are properly inflated before you hit the road. Over or under inflated tires can easily cause you to wipe out when making a turn and a blowout could have catastrophic results. You should also check your fluids and lights regularly. The truth is any mechanical difficulty can cause huge problems on the road.
At our law firm, we often see the results of traffic accidents involving motorcycles, and they are rarely pretty. While it is our profession to help our clients obtain the compensation to which they are entitled, we would be all too happy to never see another motorcyclist injured in an automobile accident, but if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, we are here to help you through the claims process. Just fill out the contact form found on this page, and one of our expert personal attorneys will contact you shortly.
In our next installment, we will examine motorcycle specific defensive driving techniques.