Motorcycle accidents claim many lives each year and also cause serious personal injuries, including broken bones, head trauma, and spinal cord injuries. Because motorcycles are much smaller than other vehicles on the road, a collision between a motorcycle and a passenger vehicle or a truck tends to result in severe injuries for the motorcyclists. Motorcyclists also tend to be more injured because they are not protected on all sides by metal, plastic, and airbags. Luckily, there are many things that motorcyclists can do to help prevent accidents:
1) Always wear a helmet and protective gear. A motorcycle has no windshield or airbags. In a collision, most motorcyclists are thrown and when this occurs, brain injury is a common cause of fatalities. Helmets are your best way to reduce traumatic brain injuries, but to be effective they must be worn each time you climb on your motorcycle. Look for a helmet that offers a face guard or visor. This will protect your face in an accident and will keep your visibility good, so that you can avoid accidents. In addition to a helmet, long pants, boots, gloves, and a jacket can help prevent scrapes if you fall.
2) Get a proper license and training for a motorcycle. All states require motorcyclists to be licensed. In addition to licensing, consider taking extra on-bike training and additional training classes designed especially for motorcyclists. This will teach you how to ride a bike in various conditions and how to avoid some of the common dangers that face motorcyclists.
3) Do not drive under the influence. Never drink and drive, but also check your over the counter and prescription medications. Anything that affects your vision or makes you drowsy can cause an accident, so leave your bike at home until you are no longer on medication.
4) Do not speed. Studies have shown that 40% of fatal motorcycle accidents involved a motorcyclist who is speeding. If you speed on your motorcycle, you are more likely to lose control and get into an accident.
5) Look ahead and anticipate. Large bumps and holes in the road will affect you more than they will passenger cars, so anticipate them and plan ahead. Look for cars pulling out of parking spaces and side streets, as well – they may not see you in time.
6) Keep your headlights on every time you ride your motorcycle, even in the daytime. This is a law in most states, but it is also a good practice since it makes you more visible to others on the road.