Motorcycle Safety: Responsibility of All Drivers
Posted on May 18th, 2016 by Zane Cagle
It’s not by chance the motorcycle awareness month falls in May. May in the Midwest is prime motorcycle season and we see a major increase in motorcyclists during May and continued through the summer months. Also, spring and summer months see a surge in motorcycle crashes.
Quickly Adjusting to Look Twice for Motorcycles Saves Lives
When a motorcycle collides with a passenger vehicle or any other object, the injuries can be severe if not fatal. During the spring, public safety announcements serve to remind drivers to look closely for motorcycles as many of us have not been on the lookout in the winter months.
Safety Tips for Motorcyclists
Owners of motorcycles know this and are also keenly aware that motorcycles can be more dangerous than passenger vehicles.
In reality, motorcyclists can be 30 times more likely to die in a crash than people in a car. Consumer Reports offer 10 motorcycle safety tips for riders:
- Don’t buy more bike than you can handle. Start with a bike that fits you. If it feels to heavy, it probably is. Consumer Reports offer a
- Invest in antilock brakes. Antilock brakes are a proven life saver. Locking up the brakes in a panic stop robs the rider of any steering control.
- Hone your skills. Many rider safety courses are offered especially in the metropolitan area. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) offers about 2,700 locations for courses in the U.S.
- Use Your Head–yes, that means wearing an appropriate helmet. Riders without helmets are 40 percent more likely to suffer a fatal head injury in a crash and are three times more likely to suffer brain injuries than those with helmets.
- Where the right gear. Wear gear that protects you and makes you more visible. Wear bright colors when possible. The number one reason motorcyclists are hit is because drivers say they didn’t see them.
- Be Defensive- Studies show that 60 percent of the time that a motorcycle is involved in a collision with another vehicle, it is the other driver’s fault. Thus, motorcyclists have to be extra alert, never assume someone will stop or yield and keep an eye out of drivers changing lanes. Remember, other drivers may be texting or distracted in other ways so you must ride defensively.
- Avoid bad weather. During wet weather you lose tire grip on the road. All vehicles suffer this problem in wet weather, it is especially treacherous if you are only on two wheels. Windy conditions also produce potential for you to be pushed from side to side.
- Watch for Road Hazards. Motorcycles have less contact with the pavement than a car. Sand, wet leaves or pebbles can cause a bide to slide unexpectedly and easily resulting in a spill. Of course, slow down in construction zones as various road surfaces can change unexpectedly.
- Be Ready to Roll. Do a quick walk-around to be sure that lights, horn and directional signals are working properly. Check the chain, belt or shaft and the brakes. Also, check the tires for wear and make sure they are at the correct pressure. Improperly inflated tires impact handling.
In the last few weeks, fatal motorcycle crashes have occurred in all parts of Missouri. In 2014, 68 percent of motorcycles involved in fatal traffic crashes in Missouri collided with another vehicle during the accident. Safety for riders involves riders and other drivers as well.
We all must “share” the road responsibly and safely. If you have been involved in a motorcycle crash and have been injured, you will need an experienced motorcycle crash attorney.
At The Cagle Law Firm, our attorneys have represented many victims of motorcycle crashes in serious injury cases and wrongful deaths, thus we very much like to take the opportunity to remind all drivers of motorcycle season and the importance of keeping a look out and driving and riding responsibly.