While motorcyclists only make up 3% of the drivers on the road, motorcyclists accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities and 18% of all occupant fatalities in 2020. Motorcyclists are some of the most vulnerable people on the road, and it is important to be aware of motorcycle riding tips to prevent motorcycle accidents. This article will discuss some safety tips for preventing motorcycle riding accidents so you can be more fully informed before hitting the road again.
However, if you have already been involved in a motorcycle accident, you should reach out to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. At Henderson Law, we have experienced personal injury attorneys who deal with motorcycle accidents. We are available to help you.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2020, 5,579 motorcyclists were killed in traffic accidents. This number is staggering, and it is indicative of the rising number of motorcycle fatalities on United States roads.
The NHTSA also recorded 85,528 injuries related to motorcycle crashes in 2020. Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs caused many of these accidents and injuries. If you are hitting the road, please remember that it is illegal to drink and drive in all 50 states.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Some of the most common reasons motorcycle accidents occur include the following:
- Alcohol and drug use;
- Inexperience on a motorcycle;
- Driver inattention;
- Physical or emotional impairment;
- Weather conditions, like rain or snow;
- Distracted driving, like talking on the phone while driving;
- Illegal left turns; and
- Mechanical problems.
These are just some of the reasons that a motorcycle accident can occur. If you or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you should reach out to a personal injury attorney immediately.
Types of Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Some common types of motorcycle accident injuries include:
- Spinal injuries,
- Broken ribs,
- Traumatic brain injuries,
- Internal bleeding,
- Thorax injuries, and
- Organ damage.
And in the most severe accidents, fatalities may occur.
How to Prevent Motorcycle Riding Accidents
Take a Motorcycle Training Course
Motorcycle training courses are available in every state, even in states where special courses are not required to obtain a motorcycle driving license. During this training, you can learn things like basic driving skills, how to handle your bike’s controls, how to stay safe on a bike, and how to properly maintain your motorcycle. We recommend that every motorcycle driver take at least one motorcycle training course before hitting the road for the first time.
Maintain Your Bike
It is important to stay up to date with motorcycle maintenance. Some things you can do to maintain your motorcycle include:
- Changing the oil regularly,
- Checking your tires,
- Inspecting your chains,
- Checking the battery life, and
- Using fresh fuel.
Regular inspections of your motorcycle can prevent death or serious injuries.
Don’t Drive Under the Influence
In 2020, 27% of motorcycle fatalities occurred because of a driver under the influence. And unfortunately, all of these deaths were preventable. To avoid getting into a motorcycle accident, one of the easiest steps you can take is to avoid drinking and driving. Further, if you know someone who plans on drinking and driving, try and discourage them from getting behind the wheel or getting on their bike. To report a drunk driver in California, you can call 9-1-1.
Wear a Helmet
Wearing a helmet is one of the most important motorcycle riding tips to prevent motorcycle accidents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all motorcycle drivers and passengers wear helmets.
In severe accidents, motorcycle helmets are 37% effective in preventing motorcycle driver fatalities. Further, in some states, riding a motorcycle without a helmet is illegal.
Don’t Ride in Blind Spots
One of the most dangerous places to be as a motorcycle driver is in another car’s blind spot. Try to avoid being in blind spots by ensuring that you are in a driver’s line of sight as you are driving alongside them.
Watch for Left Turning Cars
A “T-bone” collision can lead to serious injuries or death. Oftentimes, these T-bone collisions occur when one driver is making a left turn, and the other is going straight through an intersection. If you are entering an intersection and turning left, always make sure the coast is clear before proceeding. In addition, it is important to use caution when going through any intersection.
Avoid Getting Between Vehicles
Driving in-between vehicles on the road is a dangerous motorcycle driving practice. This practice, sometimes called lane splitting, is illegal in many states because it is so dangerous.
Use Caution at Stop Signs or Stop Lights
Rear-end accidents often occur at stop signs or stop lights. To avoid a rear-end accident that could be your fault, always keep a safe amount of space between you and the car in front of you. To avoid getting hit from behind, try to stay towards the right or left side of the lane so you can see who is coming up behind you and how close they are.
Henderson Law Is Here to Help You
At Henderson Law, we have been serving California clients for more than 20 years. If you or someone you know is injured in a motorcycle accident, we can help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve. In fact, our firm has helped our clients recover over 10 million dollars in damages for personal injury and death claims. To book an appointment or schedule a free consultation, you can reach out to our office online. Or you can call us at 707-843-3743. When filing a legal claim, there are important deadlines that you must meet, including a statute of limitations. So, don’t hesitate to reach out today.