Too often, traffic accidents are out of your control as a driver. This is equally true for motorcycle riders. That said, there are measures you can take to try to prevent accidents from occurring in the first place, or to reduce your injury in the unfortunate event that you are involved in a crash.
Maintain Your Bike – Before you take your bike out on the road, it’s crucial to make sure that it’s in proper condition. Motorcycles should be checked regularly to make sure that they’re in good working order. This includes checking on the tires, brakes, lights, turn signals, and horn, among other things. If something seems wrong, don’t hesitate to visit a mechanic as soon as possible.
Practice Safe Driving Skills – Just like when you’re driving a car, obeying traffic rules is critical to safety when driving a motorcycle. Speeding is a major cause of motorcycle accidents. Defensive driving is also key; just because you’re driving safely doesn’t mean that everyone else on the road is. Be alert at all times, and don’t assume that other drivers can see you when you’re turning or changing lanes. You need to always be on the lookout for road hazards, and pay extra attention during bad weather.
Never Drive While Impaired or Distracted – According to the NHTSA, 29% of bikers involved in fatal crashes in 2014 had a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit. You should never operate a motorcycle if you’ve consumed alcohol or any other substance that can impair your judgment. You should likewise avoid driving when you’re tired, fatigued, or for any reason unable to devote your full attention to the road.
Wear a Helmet – Wearing a motorcycle helmet is not only required under New York law, it’s also common sense. An alarming number of serious motorcycle accident injuries can be attributed to riders not wearing helmets, and head trauma is the number one cause of death or serious injury. According to the NHTSA, helmets reduce fatalities by 29% and serious brain injuries by 67%.
Invest in Good Gear – A helmet isn’t the only thing that can protect you from injuries in the event of a motorcycle accident. Protective gear and clothing, including leather jackets, full pants, gloves, and proper boots, can reduce injuries if you’re involved in a crash or a skid. Adding reflective tape or patches to your clothing will also make it easier for other drivers to see you on the road.