If you’ve never ridden a motorcycle, you’re probably incredibly excited to get out on the open road for the first time. But in order to get the most enjoyment possible, you have to take the necessary steps to stay as safe as possible. Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents can lead to a lifetime of disability – or worse. But if you take the right precautions, your chances of being involved in this type of accident will be much, much less.
The attorneys with Sand Law know how to represent motorcyclists who have been injured due to the fault of someone else. Whether you’re a rider or a passenger, we will make sure any negligent parties are held accountable for their actions. Contact us online or give us a call at 651-362-4143.
Here are some tips to help make sure all of your rides are enjoyable.
There’s something very liberating about being on a motorcycle. You may have heard all the cliches about being out on the open road. However, the feeling is real. It’s why millions of people can’t wait to get on their bikes.
The flip side to that freedom, however, is the fact that motorcycle accidents are typically much more dangerous than car accidents. Since motorcyclists have no restraints, and don’t have the protection of an airbag or a vehicle frame, they’re much more vulnerable to suffering severe injuries.
One of the best ways to help prevent an accident from happening is by being defensive on the road, especially if you’re surrounded by cars and trucks. Always be extremely observant of everything around you – other vehicles as well as the road. Try to keep focused on what’s ahead and anticipate what you’ll do if you encounter an unexpected situation, such as a pothole or a piece of debris, such as a piece of a tire or something else. The better you plan, the better you’ll be able to react.
Always Wear a Good Helmet
There’s probably no piece of advice more important than making sure you have a high-quality helmet when you ride. It could literally mean the difference between living and dying if you’re ever in an accident.
Don’t just go for looks when it comes to choosing a helmet. The fit is much more important. Get a helmet that fits the shape of your head, and also provides a snug fit – but make sure it’s not too tight. If it’s too tight, it won’t sit on your head correctly. If it’s too loose, it will continually move around and cause not only discomfort, but also potentially dangerous distractions. Your helmet should put the same amount of pressure all across your head without being uncomfortable. Also, it should not move when you shake your head.
Do a Pre-Ride Inspection
Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents occur on far too regular a basis across the U.S. Just like a car accident, a motorcycle accident can result from a blown tire or some other type of malfunctioning component. To reduce the risk of a possibly dangerous equipment problem, make sure you perform the following checks before you ever leave your driveway.
- Take a good look at the depth of the tread on each tire, and check the tire pressure.
- Check the hand and foot brakes.
- Make sure the signal indicators and headlights work.
- Check for any gas or oil leaks.
- If you’ll be carrying something, make sure the load is balanced.
- Any passengers should always sit directly behind you, as far forward as they can get. Also, they should not get on the motorcycle until the engine is started, and should always keep their feet on the foot rests.
- Your passenger should also hold on to your hips, belt or waist, and lean at the same time you do when you’re making a turn.
Always Check Your Mirrors Before You Start Moving
Never leave home before looking at each mirror. Move each one outward so you can see as much behind you as possible. There should not be a lot of overlap on each side, meaning you shouldn’t be able to see the same image. The mirror on the left should show as much space as possible on the left, while the right mirror should do the same on the right side of your motorcycle.
Wear Protective Clothing
Even though you’ll want to look cool while you’re on your bike, you can’t sacrifice safety for fashion. It will be very important that you wear reinforced pants and a jacket, even if it’s going to be a hot day.
Pick the Right Footwear
You might not think having the right footwear would be that important on a motorcycle, but it can be critically important. There are special motorcycle boots that will help protect your ankles and feet if you ever do have an accident. They typically come in a couple of different materials, textile or leather. Leather will be better for dry conditions. But you can waterproof them just in case you run into some unexpected rain. The boots should be snug but not tight. And they should have a system that allows you to hide the laces, which could become entangled in parts of your bike should an accident occur.
Know Local Motorcycle Laws
You should be just as aware of the rules of the road when riding a motorcycle as you are when behind the wheel of a car or truck. Not only do you have to carry at least liability insurance. But you also have to either have a face shield on your helmet, or wear goggles or glasses. But if you’re just starting out, the requirements are even more strict. If you only have a learner’s permit, for example, you can also only travel during certain hours of the day and you can’t use interstate highways. You also can’t carry a passenger.
Hire a Motorcycle Accident Attorney After an Accident
At Sand Law, we obviously hope you enjoy years and years of accident-free motorcycle riding. If an accident does happen, however, we’ll be here to help. We know that insurance companies are often biased against motorcyclists, and will often refuse their claims as a result. However, our attorneys know how to attack those biases and get our clients the money they deserve.