Every year, thousands of drivers are seriously injured or lose their lives in roadway accidents involving motorcycles. Though motorcyclists are statistically not any more likely to be involved in an accident than other drivers, the lack of protection offered by motorcycles makes them more likely to sustain injury in the event of a collision.
As drivers, we all share a responsibility to keep our roadways safe. In recognition of the risks motorcyclists face, May has been designated Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. In order to help spread awareness of this important cause, our Lake of the Ozarks personal injury attorneys have compiled a quick list of ways that both motorcyclists and other drivers can work together to keep our roadways safe.
Tips For Motorcyclists
If you own a motorcycle, we strongly encourage you to make these standard safety precautions a part of your everyday routine.
- Avoid Adverse Conditions. Inclement weather creates risks for all drivers, but especially for motorcyclists. Slick roadways are hard to maneuver. If the forecast calls for rain, keep the bike in the garage.
- Always Wear A Helmet. In the event of an accident, your helmet will be your first (and only) line of defense against serious head and/or brain injuries.
- Wear Appropriate Clothing. Since you aren’t surrounded by the frame of a vehicle, your clothes are the only thing protecting your skin. Close-toe shoes such as tennis shoes or boots, full-length jeans or leather chaps, gloves, safety glasses, and a leather jacket are must-haves.
- Drive Defensively. Because it is smaller than other vehicles, your motorcycle may be harder for other drivers to see. For this reason, it is critical that you exercise defensive driving practices while on the road. When in doubt, assume that the other drivers don’t see you.
- Watch Out For Road Hazards. Because of their smaller size, motorcycles are can be easily impacted by roadway hazards that wouldn’t phase cars. Loose gravel, spilled oil, potholes, wet leaves, and other hazards can pose a greater risk than you might imagine.
- Always Be Ready. It is impossible to predict what scenarios may arise, so it is crucial that you always remain alert and ready. Scan your environment constantly, check your mirrors frequently, be ready to apply the brakes at a moment’s notice, and remember to double-check your blind spot before turning or changing lanes.
- Treat Motorcycles Like Cars. Though they’re much smaller, motorcycles are vehicles and are subject to the same privileges and rules as cars and trucks. Give them the same amount of room and respect that you would other vehicles.
- Double-Check Your Blind Spot. Because of their smaller size, motorcycles can become invisible in blind spots more easily than other vehicles. Don’t rely solely on your mirrors – physically check your blind spot before changing lanes or turning.
- Don’t Rely On Brake Lights. Brake lights are a common, reliable indicator that a car is reducing its speed. Since motorcyclists frequently downshift to slow down, it’s important that you pay attention to the vehicle itself and not its lights when determining its speed. You may want to allow a greater following distance just to be on the safe side.
- Stay Alert. No matter with whom you share the road, it’s crucial that you stay alert and focused. It can be easy to overlook motorcycles because of their smaller size. Put your phone down, minimize other distractions, and stay focused while on the road.
Despite everyone’s best intentions, traffic accidents still can (and do) happen. If you are in an accident, you may need to seek legal representation to ensure that your rights are protected. Whether you are in need of a personal injury attorney in Lebanon MO or a traffic attorney in Mid-Missouri, Deputy & Mizell LLC has all the resources you need to defend your position.
Contact Deputy & Mizell to schedule your free consultation.