Motorcycles are fun to drive and are fuel efficient, but anyone who drives one understands the risks they’re taking each time they go for a ride. In fact, about 80% of motorcycle crashes result in an injury or death for the motorcyclist. The simple reason for this is there is very little protection for motorcyclists. Outside of special clothing and a helmet, there isn’t a barrier between the motorcyclist and the other vehicle involved.
Operating a motorcycle comes with a ton of responsibility! There are many factors that come into play. Driving a motorcycle is vastly different than driving a car, as motorcycles require far more skills. However, no matter what type of vehicle you are driving, you have a responsibility to operate the vehicle as safely as possible. By following basic motorcycle safety tips, motorcycle riders can improve road safety and help lower the risk of crashes.
Every motorcyclist should keep the following safety tips in mind at all times:
Wear the Correct Gear – A helmet is by far the most important safety equipment for motorcyclists. Other gear that should be worn when riding includes a jacket, face shield, boots, gloves, and goggles.
Use Your Best Judgment – Before purchasing a motorcycle you need to know your limits. Don’t buy a bike that has too much power and is too difficult to control. Always ride at a pace and in traffic that makes you feel comfortable.
Attend a Training Course – Regardless of your riding experience, it never hurts to hone your skills. There are motorcycle safety courses available for riders of all levels.
Keep Your Distance – Too many motorcyclists don’t allow enough space between them and the vehicle in front of them. Tailgating will significantly increase your risk of being involved in a crash.
Be Defensive – As the smallest vehicle on the road, it is a big responsibility of motorcyclists to look out for other drivers. Do your best to avoid a vehicle’s blind spots and only change lanes when necessary. It’s also important to use turn signals well in advance because it’s a great way to communicate your intentions with other vehicles on the road.
Avoid Bad Weather – Motorcyclists should do their best to not drive during rainy weather. You should always check the day’s forecast before riding a motorcycle.
Limit Distractions – Motorcyclists should always avoid using their phone or eating while driving as it is crucial to keep both hands on the handlebars at all times.
How to Drive Safely Around or Near Motorcycles
- Allow safe distance between you and the motorcycle driver
- Use extra caution when making left turns
- Always check your blind spots
- Plan for inclement weather and use appropriate caution while near a motorcycle
Looking for more tips? The Pennsylvania DMV offers a safety program, available at https://www.dmv.pa.gov/Driver-Services/Motorcyclists/PAMSP/Pages/default.aspx
With spring and summer nearing, more motorcycles will be on the roadways. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a motorcycle crash, reach out to our team of attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C. for a free consultation today.