Facts About Motorcycle Safety That You Need to Know
There’s something about riding a motorcycle that gives you a sense of freedom and power. While you might feel invincible while you’re riding, the fact is that riding a motorcycle can be very dangerous. Because motorcycles often offer little protection, accidents can lead to serious injuries and death. If you or a loved one is injured or worse in a motorcycle accident, then your best option is to contact a personal injury attorney, such as the attorneys at Henderson Law, to protect your rights. Here are some facts to consider about motorcycles that will help keep you safe on the road.
Weekends and Evenings
Saturday and Sunday are only two days out of seven (7), and yet more than half of all motorcycle accidents happen on these days. This is most likely because many riders use their bikes for enjoyment, as opposed to commuting. This is also when you might come across others driving dangerously or impaired. On top of this, about half of all accidents happen in the late afternoon to evening time, between 4pm and 8pm. Visibility can be surprisingly low during this point, when shadows get long and there’s a period where it’s not dark enough for the street lights to be fully effective. Plus, drivers might be facing a setting sun, which can be blinding at certain times. It’s very important to ride carefully during these hours, since you and everyone else on the road may have limited vision.
Beware of Intersections
Intersections can be especially dangerous. Not only do you have to deal with other vehicles bunching together and traffic coming from all directions, but you may also have driveways and parking lots exits to worry about as well. Many intersections have elements that can hinder your vision, such as trees, bushes, and parked vehicles. If you think an intersection is clear and it really isn’t, it could spell disaster. Make sure that you slow down properly, and that you always check every direction to be certain that there is no oncoming traffic. Remember that sometimes drivers in cars and other vehicles miss seeing motorcycles or drive recklessly when they are near them. You can protect yourself by being as safe as possible.
Don’t Drink and Ride
One of the best things you can do to protect yourself when riding a motorcycle is to do so sober. Driving drunk will double your chance of getting in an accident, and increase your chances of dying if you do. Having alcohol in your system will impair your reflexes so that you won’t be able to act as quickly as you would if you were sober. Not only that, but alcohol causes drowsiness and you could lose your concentration. If you have alcohol in your system and you get in an accident, it will be very hard for you to receive fair compensation, even if alcohol isn’t’ the reason for the accident. If you are out riding, make sure that you do so without consuming any alcohol prior to getting on the road.
A majority of motorcycle accidents occur on roads with speed limits at 40 MPH or less. That means that when the speed limit is telling you to slow down, you need to do just that. When you ride too fast, your reflexes may not be able to keep up with the speed of the vehicle. If a pedestrian or another vehicle suddenly appears in front of you, you may not be able to avoid them. When you are going fast, you are more likely to lose control if you encounter uneven surfaces or bumps in the road. You could end up being thrown from the bike or sliding along the pavement. Obey all posted speed limits, and if you are unsure, err on the side of caution.
Wear a Helmet
In Maryland, you must wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle, no matter your age and no matter your experience. The reason for this? You are less likely to die if you do get in an accident, and you are less likely to suffer a brain injury as well. You have no cage or box around you like with a larger vehicle, so if you get in an accident, your head can be very vulnerable. A helmet will help deaden the impact from the ground or from another vehicle so that you can walk away from a collision with your life. Even if you are concerned about a helmet impairing your vision, you should still wear one. The peripheral vision loss from a properly-sized helmet is less than 3%, so there is no reason to go without one when you are out riding.
Riding a Motorbike is Not Like a Car
Yes, it’s true that you can get in an accident while riding a car, SUV, minivan, or any other large motorized vehicle. However, motorcycles are uniquely dangerous when compared to other modes of personal transportation. You are over 27 times more likely to die in a motorcycle accident than you are in a car accident. Cars and trucks are designed to protect drivers and passengers. They offer a stainless steel cage to keep occupants inside the vehicle and protect them from collisions. Motorcycles do not have this. You are just as likely to die from coming into contact with another vehicle as you are to get thrown from your bike and land head-first on the pavement. The fact is that while motorcycles are involved in only 2% of all crashes, they account for 15% of all deaths caused by collisions. As such, you need to change your approach when driving a motorcycle.
Getting into a motorcycle accident can have disastrous consequences. You need to make sure that if others were negligent that you are placed in a position to receive the compensation you deserve. By hiring a Henderson Law motorcycle accident attorney, you will ensure that you have someone in your corner to protect your rights and take on those responsible. The lawyers at Henderson Law understand the law in and out and will come up with the best strategy possible to help you make a successful claim.