May is motorcycle safety awareness month. With beautiful spring weather calling, riders can’t wait to take their motorcycles out of storage and go out on a ride.
Unfortunately, as many people know, riding a motorcycle comes with dangers.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that motorcyclists are about 28 times as likely as occupants of a passenger car to be killed in a motor vehicle crash.
However, the good news is that you can drastically decrease your chances of suffering serious injury or death by following these motorcycle safety tips.
Motorcycle Riding Safety Tips
Make Sure You Have the Proper License
Both Iowa and Illinois require a motorcycle license or endorsement to ride a motorcycle. This requires you to pass knowledge and skills tests.
Additionally, if you are under 18, you have to complete a motorcycle education course. In fact, motorcyclists of any age can benefit from rider safety courses.
Always Wear Safety Gear
A helmet is the most important piece of equipment you can wear because it prevents head and brain injuries. NHTSA reports that nearly 40% of those killed in motorcycle accidents between 2013 and 2017 were not wearing a helmet.
NHTSA further estimates that helmets saved 1,872 lives in 2017 and could have saved another 749 if all motorcyclists were wearing helmets.
Additional protective gear can also prevent serious injuries.
Besides your helmet, you should also wear:
- A leather jacket
- Sturdy riding pants
- Gloves, and
- Eye protection
Some riders consider this gear to be optional. But if you are serious about motorcycle safety, you should wear it every time you ride.
This additional protective gear can protect you against road rash and other serious injuries such as broken bones, brain damage, and more.
Keep Your Motorcycle in Good Condition
Part of motorcycle awareness is keeping track of the condition of your bike.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation publishes a T-CLOCSSM (tires/wheels, controls, lights/electrics, oil/fluids, chassis, stands) Inspection Checklist that tells you what to check and what to look out for.
Just like when you drive a car, operating your motorcycle cautiously and using defensive driving techniques can save your life. Follow the speed limit, obey traffic laws, avoid distractions, and never ride while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Motorcycle Awareness Is Important for All Drivers
According to NHTSA, the majority of motorcycle collisions with other vehicles are not the motorcyclist’s fault. Many crashes occur because the driver of another vehicle is distracted or simply does not see the motorcycle.
To avoid tragedy, drivers should consider the following motorcycle safety tips:
- Watch out for motorcycles and expect them to be in the roadway.
- Be aware of obstructions that could prevent you from seeing a motorcycle.
- Avoid distracted driving.
- Check your blind spots.
- Maintain a safe distance from motorcycles.
Every person on the road plays a role in motorcycle safety. By practicing safe driving habits, you may be able to save a life.
VanDerGinst Law Cares About Motorcycle Safety
At VanDerGinst Law, we are dedicated to promoting safety in the communities we serve. But despite everyone’s best efforts, accidents still occur.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, give us a call or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys today.
We have experience with all types of motor vehicle accidents and have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of our clients.
Contact us for a free consultation .