Are you one of the Staten Island residents who finds pleasure in the freedom of riding your motorcycle on the open road? Then you will likely be aware of the risks and the threats that other motorists pose. Respect for your bike and ongoing improvement of your skills are critical aspects of accident prevention.
When collisions between motorcycles and automobiles occur, it is typically the occupants of the bikes who suffer catastrophic injuries or worse. This is because they have none of the protection that is available in cars such as seat belts, airbags and more.
Steps you can take to avoid motorcycle accident injuries
Research shows that a significant percentage of reported motorcycle accidents result in fatalities or severe injuries. Although bikers have the same rights as motorists, they must also comply with all the same rules. For this reason, you may want to take note of the following tips to stay safe on your motorcycle:
- Appropriate gear — Wear gear that covers your legs and arms with thick protective material such as leather, along with eye protection. Under New York laws, operators and passengers on motorcycles must wear safety certified helmets.
- Be visible — Add reflective material to your clothing and your bike. Always drive with your headlight on, regardless of the time of day. Stay conscious of avoiding the blind spots of vehicles.
- Be vigilant — Unanticipated road hazards can include potholes, sand patches, railroad tracks and other surface damage. Also, operators of other vehicles can pose significant risks. Texting and various distractions can cause drivers to make unanticipated moves such as sudden swerves and lane changes.
- Intersection alerts — Reportedly, 50 percent of all accidents happen at intersections, with the most common incidents involving cars turning left without yielding for motorcycles. So, always expect the unexpected when you approach an intersection.
- Avoid drinking and speeding — Observing the posted speed limit, and never riding your bike after consuming alcohol may prevent a catastrophic motorcycle accident. Authorities say that alcohol and speed play roles in a significant percentage of fatal motorcycle accidents that involve no additional vehicles.
- Check the weather forecast — Pack rain gear to protect yourself in the event of unexpected wind or rain. It may also help to study safe practices for driving in inclement weather conditions.
- Take a safety course — Educating yourself, especially if you are a new rider, can be a good start in developing safety protocols for your own safety — and taking occasional refresher courses may also be wise.
Regardless of how much effort you put into staying safe while enjoying riding your motorcycle, you might fall victim to a negligent driver of an automobile. Such an accident can have severe financial consequences, and you will likely face mounting medical bills while you are unable to return to work. Fortunately, you can pursue financial relief by filing a personal injury claim in a New York civil court, and experienced legal counsel is available to help you navigate a civil lawsuit.