May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, bringing awareness of the unique dangers for motorcyclists and everyone who shares the rode with them. Motorcycles are high on fun, excitement and fuel efficiency, but they are also high on risk. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that deaths occur 27 times more frequently for motorcyclists than fatalities in other vehicles, and injuries occur six times as often.
Wise riders know the best way to reduce risk and increase safety is to get educated and practice good habits. Here are a few key tips to keep in mind as the weather warms and peak riding season approaches:
Use your head. The best tool you have to protect yourself is your knowledge and decision making. Be in the know and get trained about the make and model of your bike, and always keep it in top operating condition. Take advantage of safety and training classes, especially if you are a new owner, and understand a greater level of skill and experience is needed to carry a passenger. Be aware of the key sightline and visibility differences between driving a car and driving in an open-air environment, and practice defensive techniques to account for car drivers that might not see you approaching.
Protect your head. While helmets and safety gear are not legally required for motorcyclists in all states, smart riders protect themselves by wearing DOT-approved helmets and insisting that their passengers do as well. That’s because the leading cause of death and injury in a motorcycle accident is head trauma, and while wearing a helmet cannot guarantee you won’t be seriously injured or die, it does greatly improve your odds of surviving or sustaining serious head injury or brain trauma.
Don’t stop at your head. It can be tempting to ride without proper clothing to protect yourself in a crash, especially in warm climates and during the summer months in general. But doing so can deprive you of a valuable layer of protection not only from the elements but also in the event of a crash or incident where you lose control of the bike. Protective riding pants, jackets and footwear can make the difference between walking away and being transported away from a crash.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you need an experienced trial attorney to advocate for your rights. The lawyers of Stevenson & Murray are seasoned litigators with extensive experience with personal injury cases involving motorcycles. Do you have questions? Call us today to discuss your case in a no-obligation consultation.
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