As spring begins to bring in the warm, beautiful weather, more and more motorcyclists will be hitting the open roads. While most motorcyclists will say nothing compares to the wind in their hair and the breeze at their knees, they will also tell you that riding a motorcycle will always include an element of danger. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 93,000 motorcyclists were injured and 4,957 motorcyclists were killed in motor vehicle traffic accident in 2012. Motorcycles only make up three percent of all registered vehicles in the United States, making motorcyclists 26 times more likely to be fatally injured in an automobile accident than passengers in a car.
Safety is most motorcycle enthusiasts’ main priority when riding. Whether it is the very first time you are riding on two wheels or you have been riding for years, consistently brushing up on motorcycle safety is always a good idea. For starters, the Internet is a great resource to find a variety of information regarding motorcycle safety. Still, if you do not have time to shuffle through all that information, here is a list of four tips to help you remain safe.
Before jumping on a motorcycle, take a riding course. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation provides training programs all over the country. They offer courses that cater to a variety of skill levels – from basic to advanced. In Georgia, the Department of Driver Services also offers a Motorcycle Operator Safety Training Program. Sections 40-15-1 through 40-15-5 of the Georgia Code authorize this program and set up statewide motorcycle safety coordinators to implement motorcycle laws and regulations that promote motorcycle safety. In addition, an approved safety course may make you eligible for an insurance discount or allow you to skip the road-test and written test of the licensing process. Accidents can happen to anyone regardless of experience and these courses are designed to help make you a safety motorcyclist so you do not become a motorcycle safety statistic.
Invest in Anti-Lock Brakes
Anti-lock brake systems help you retain steering control when you are forced to stop quickly. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety showed that motorcycles equipped with ABS brakes were 31 percent less likely to be involved in a fatal crash than bikes without it.
Maintain Your Bike
Although motorcycles are designed to withstand the rigors of exposure to the elements, time and use can affect the condition of your bike, which can increase the chances of you getting hurt while riding. Aside from always fixing the parts of your motorcycle that break, regular maintenance is important to keep your bike in the best condition. This includes making sure to change your oil and to check your tire pressure. To be extra safe, take a quick walk around your motorcycle before jumping on and make sure there are no leaks, loose bolts, tire problems or anything else that might look out of place.
Always Protect Yourself
The thrill of racing down the road with nothing between you and the open road and your bike is a rush unlike anything else, but simply wearing a helmet can save your life, if an accident were to occur. Head injuries are a leading form of death in motorcycle accidents and helmets are 37 percent effective in preventing these deaths. On the plus side, many newer motorcycle helmets are not very heavy and have face shields to protect you from wind, rain, sun, and insects. In addition, wearing other protective gear while you are riding will save you from other injuries like scrapes and scarring. Leather affords the best protection; however, simply making sure to wear long pants instead of shorts and shoes instead of sandals will decrease your chances of getting hurt by gravel getting kicked up by your tires or for falling off your bike on a tight turn.
The personal injury attorneys at Goldstein Hayes & Lina, P.C. are dedicated to supporting and promoting the well-being of motorcyclists. With the main goal of wishing to reduce motorcycle injuries and promote motorcycle safety, accidents happen. When an accident does occur, the attorneys at Goldstein Hayes & Lina, P.C. will do their best to ensure the enforcement of your rights. Call us today for a consultation.