With the weather warming up, the urge to get your motorcycle out on the road for a spin is probably something you’re pondering. Like any motorized vehicle, motorcycles are susceptible and vulnerable to various unforeseen accidents. It’s essential to take precautions before taking your motorcycle for a ride to help prevent accidents. Doing so can help protect you and those you share the road with from accidents and severe injuries.
Fatal Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents can be extremely dangerous and, in many cases, fatal. According to the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research, preliminary data shows that in New York, 204 people were killed in 198 crashes involving motorcycles in 2021 alone. This is a significant increase from the 133 people killed in motorcycle accidents in 2019. Driving a motorcycle should be a fun and exciting experience; still, it’s essential for riders to remind themselves of the potential risks of the road and to be extra cautious while riding.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents occur because of various circumstances every year, many of which might be unforeseen or unpredictable. However, motorcycle accidents tend to be caused every year because:
- Motorists fail to see riders when they are coming out of a driveway, making a left turn in front of an oncoming rider or when the motorcycle is in the driver’s “blind spot.”
- Many riders do not obtain the proper motorcycle license and training to learn how to operate the bike properly.
- Riders speed excessively while also weaving in and out of traffic lanes.
- Riders are under the influence of drugs or alcohol—the cause of almost half of all motorcycle accidents.
Alcohol plays a significant role in motorized accidents every year, whether it’s a car, motorcycle, or another vehicle. Eliminating alcohol consumption before you operate a motorcycle is essential for the safety of yourself, your passengers and those you share the road with. Driving your vehicle safely and responsibly can prevent untimely injuries and deaths.
Motorcycle Safety Tips
Before taking your motorcycle out for a ride, check your bike’s brakes and headlights to ensure both are working adequately. Additionally, make sure there are no oil or gas leaks that might create an issue for you while you’re on the road. If you are carrying extra cargo on your bike, make sure that it’s appropriately balanced, and adjust the tire pressure and suspension accordingly to address the excess weight.
When riding a motorcycle, there are a variety of occurrences to be prepared for. Taking some of the following precautions can help keep you and your fellow drivers safe while you’re out on the road:
- Attend motorcycle training courses and get a license specifically for a motorcycle.
- Always wear a helmet and other appropriate gear.
- Do not drink alcohol or use drugs while operating a motorcycle.
- Practice safe driving by using the controls and gears while your bike is off and parked.
- Follow posted speed limits.
- Look out for hazards such as potholes, cracks and bumps in the road.
- Exercise extreme caution when you are carrying passengers.
Additionally, it would help other drivers if you made yourself visible to other cars and vehicles while riding your motorcycle, especially when it’s darker. Avoid tailing cars and swerving in between lanes so other drivers can spot you and create a safe distance for themselves between their vehicles and your motorcycle.
How To Keep Motorcyclists Safe While Driving a Car
If you are driving a car, it’s essential to be aware of motorcycles you might be sharing the road with to ensure their protection and safety. Ensure you’re maintaining a safe distance between your car and their bike if an untimely stop in the street arises. Additionally, check your side and rear-view mirrors before switching lanes or turning, as motorcycles can be harder to spot.
Motorcycles tend to be more difficult to be aware of during the night because many have smaller headlights. Maintaining a safe speed and following traffic laws is a great way to keep yourself, your passengers and motorists safe on the road.
If you are a motorcycle owner near Riverhead, New York, the agents at Lupton & Luce can help you out by addressing any additional questions you might have about motorcycle safety and road awareness. Contact us today at 631-727-4114 to learn more.
This blog is intended for informational and educational use only. It is not exhaustive and should not be construed as legal advice. Please contact your insurance professional for further information.