Summer is a time to be outside and enjoy the warm weather and long nights. One way people take advantage of those things is to ride a motorcycle. Whether you use your motorcycle for all your commuting or purely for recreation on the weekends, understanding motorcycle safety can be the difference between enjoying the open road and becoming another statistic.
While owning and riding a motorcycle can give one a tremendous freeing feeling, the unfortunate truth is that with riding comes an increased risk for an accident, injury, and even death. According to data from the past few years from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), statistics show:
- Motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to suffer a fatal accident compared to other vehicles
- Motorcyclists are 6 times as likely to be injured in an accident compared to other vehicles
- 43% of motorcyclists who died in a single-vehicle accident were under the influence of alcohol
- 5,286 motorcycle fatalities in 2016, the most since 2008 and a 5.1 percent increase
As these numbers show, the dangers of riding are real. It’s important for every rider to not only practice their own safety skills but to be aware of other vehicles on the road as well. At Portner & Shure, P.A., Attorneys at Law, our experienced motorcycle attorneys are here in the event that you suffer serious personal injury if you’re in an accident caused by another driver while riding. However, we also want to help educate riders in our communities so that they can avoid potential accidents.
A few recommended reminders from the NHTSA for motorcyclists include:
- Rider education course: While some states require motorcyclists to take a State-sponsored rider education course along with getting your motorcycle license. Even if your state doesn’t require it, taking a rider education course can remind and reinforce proper skills and safety techniques.
- Practice riding: If you’re a new rider or an experienced rider with a new bike, it’s important to practice riding on your motorcycle before going on the open road. Every bike handles differently and knowing how responsive it is can help you handle hazards that come about while riding.
- Check your bike: Before each time you head out on the road, it’s worth it to take a few minutes to check the safety of your bike. This includes checking its tire pressure, all brakes, lights, and signals. You should also look under the bike for any signs of leaks that could indicate a potential malfunction.
- Wear proper gear: While helmets are not required in every state, wearing one can help keep you safe in the event of an accident. Always wear a helmet that meets the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218. Wearing leather or heavy denim on all exposed limbs will also help you avoid injury in an accident.
- Stay sober: Just like operating any vehicle, it’s important to avoid alcohol and drugs when riding. Being under the influence significantly increases the risk of accident for riders.
If you or someone you love was seriously injured or worse in a motorcycle accident that was caused by a negligent driver, contact us today for a free consultation at (855) 954-4141. We serve clients throughout Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. We work on a contingency basis, which means that we don’t get paid unless your case is successful.