If you drive a motorcycle, wearing a helmet isn’t the only safety precaution necessary to take. There are a lot of other factors involved in most motorcycle accidents that are often overlooked. Staying safe on the road is important, but being aware of your surroundings is crucial, explains Adamson Ahdoot LLP, an experienced personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles.
As you are on your motorcycle, consider that you must be willing to drive defensively in order to avoid accidents. Not only are they a big inconvenience, but they can also lead to fatal and irreversible circumstances.
Make sure that you are being as safe as you can by learning about the causes of motorcycle accidents and how to prevent them.
Are Motorcycles Actually Dangerous?
Many people are split when it comes to the topic of how dangerous a motorcycle actually is. While half might believe that they are moving death traps, the other half tends to side with the idea that it is the cars on the road that provide all of the dangerous elements to riding a motorcycle. There is no right or wrong answer, as we all have our own ideas of what we consider “dangerous.”
What is factual is that motorcycle drivers must use more focus and concentration when they ride than the average driver of a car. Since it takes more brainpower, it can become especially dangerous if you are driving a motorcycle while impaired in any way or too tired to properly operate the bike.
According to statistics, motorcycle-related deaths have been on the rise in the United States. The statistics increased by 8.3% between 2014 and 2015 regarding these fatalities. While a motorcycle technically isn’t that dangerous on its own, the statistics speak for themselves.
It is how the driver operates the bike and how other drivers on the road pay attention to the motorcycle that brings forth a true sense of danger. If anyone is careless during any time, there is a risk of experiencing a fatality that could have potentially been avoided.
What Causes Accidents?
Most people like to know what causes motorcycle accidents for the purpose of knowing what to avoid. The thing is, a lot of these circumstances are unavoidable.
Having knowledge about them, however, will put you one step ahead. If you are willing to pay attention and learn about the worst dangers of being on a motorcycle, you should be able to safely ride your bike without being involved in an accident.
- Unsafe lane changes
- Open car doors (obstructions)
- Driving while impaired
- Lane splitting (driving in between two lanes of traffic)
- Stopping suddenly
- Right-of-way errors
- Dangerous road conditions
- Motorcycle defects
As you can see, not all of these things can simply be avoided. Some of them happen due to other people on the road or weather conditions. All you can do is be responsible as a driver. Make sure that you have the proper license and training in order to operate your bike.
Wear protective gear at all times. Know that you need to be looking at your surroundings at all times. If you can follow these steps, you are likely to be a lot safer on any road.
People in cars do not automatically drive cautiously because you are on a motorcycle. Getting rid of this perception is important because it will show you how much accountability you must have for yourself if you want to drive safely. Any driver can be a careless driver, so it is up to you to look out for these instances. Stay far away from them.
How to Stay Safe
Covered briefly in the section above, taking your safety into your own hands is one of the smartest things that you can do for yourself if you drive a motorcycle. No matter if you are going on a long cruise or a short ride to the store, always wear your helmet.
In many motorcycle accidents, the lack of a helmet is what turned the accident from a casualty into a fatality. Skid-proof gear is also essential. Protect your entire body, not just your head. Make sure that your shoes are appropriate and that your hands are covered. Road rash can be very painful if you were to be thrown from your bike.
Always follow traffic rules. Just because you are on a smaller motor vehicle does not mean that you need to be squeezing through traffic or changing lanes rapidly. This makes it hard for people driving cars to see you. Though it can be very tempting to speed ahead of certain detours, know that your safety matters a lot more than the few minutes of time that you would save if you were to drive illegally.
Consider yourself a defensive driver at all times in order to stay in the correct mindset. Even if everything is calm around you, that doesn’t mean it is going to stay this way. Expect anything so that you are prepared.