Motorcycle Safety: What You Need to Know Before Going Out on the Road

It’s hard to beat the exhilarating feeling of riding a motorcycle on the open road.  But motorcycles can be dangerous.  In order to stay safe, motorcyclists must be cautious and use solid judgment when riding.

The facts tell the story:

  • Motorcyclists are 6 times more likely to be injured in a motor vehicle crash than car occupants.
  • Motorcyclists are 27 times more likely than car occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash. Over

4,300 motorcyclists died in crashes in 2013.

  • Motorcycles represent 11% of highway fatalities even though only 3% of registered vehicles are motorcycles.
  • Sport motorcyclists have death rates that are double the rates of standard motorcyclists. Super sport motorcycles have driver death rates that are four times the rates of standard motorcyclists.

Motorcycles are less stable than cars and much less visible to other traffic.  In addition, motorcycles have no protection like enclosed vehicles.  With high performance capabilities and no protection, motorcyclists involved in crashes have a greater risk of serious injury or death.

Optimal protection and good defensive driving must go hand-in-hand with that sense of freedom to make motorcycle riding an enjoyable and safe activity.

Follow these tips to enjoy an exhilarating but safe motorcycle ride:

Protect Your Head and Eyes.  Helmets are the #1 safety equipment to protect motorcycle riders. According to US Department of Transportation studies, wearing a helmet reduces the risk of dying in a crash by 37 percent. Studies show that motorcycle riders without helmets are 3 times more likely to sustain traumatic brain injuries in a crash than those wearing helmets.  Wear a helmet that meets all U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) requirements along with proper eye protection.

Learn first.  Riding a motorcycle requires different skills than driving a car.  Read the owner’s manual.  Attend a training class and obtain a motorcycle license. Then Practice so that you are comfortable with the maneuvers before riding with traffic. 

Check it out.  Before each ride, check tread depth, brakes, tire pressure, fluid levels, lights and signal indicators.  If you plan to take a passenger or to pack a few items, check that you are within weight limit requirements.  Adjust tire pressure as needed.  Make sure your motorcycle is safe before you leave home.

Get Protected.  Wear the right shoes, gloves, and clothing.  Thick clothing can protect you in a crash.  Brightly colored or fluorescent clothing with reflective materials can help you be easily seen, especially at night.

Use a bike with ABS.  Antilock braking systems (ABS) reduce the risk of a crash by preventing the wheels from locking up.  ABS is critical for motorcycles in order to avoid skidding and potential falls.  The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) indicates that motorcycles with ABS have a 30% lower rate of fatal crashes.

Never drink and ride.  Don’t risk your life and the lives of others by drinking and driving.

Ride safely and courteously.

  • Avoid sudden braking or turning, especially on slippery surfaces.
  • Always use safe speeds, especially on wet surfaces or gravel roads can be hazardous.
  • Obey all traffic laws and use turn signals.
  • Be careful not to stay in drivers’ blind spots.
  • Don’t tailgate – you won’t have time to stop if vehicles in front of you stop quickly.
  • Do not ride between lanes.
  • Brake firmly and progressively.
  • Be courteous and respectful to motorists on the road.

To learn more about motorcycle riding safety, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) at http://www.nhtsa.gov/Safety/Motorcycles. 

Do you have questions about motorcycle safety?  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help.  Contact us at (954) 428-9333 or www.goldmandaszkal.com.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.