There’s no denying the feeling of freedom that comes with hopping on a motorcycle and cruising the open road. But this freedom comes with extreme risk. Statistically, motorcycles are the deadliest vehicles on the road. Zero Fatalities NV reports that between 2014 and 2018, motorcycle crashes accounted for 19.2% of Nevada’s total traffic fatalities 1. This number doesn’t account for non-fatal motorcycle accidents that result in personal injury. On a national level between2011 and 2020, annual motorcycle injuries have hovered between 80,000 and 104,0002. In cases of injury through no fault of their own, riders should immediately seek help from a motorcycle accident lawyer; however, the ideal scenario is to not be injured at all. We know that the road is a dangerous place, and motorcyclists are often at the mercy of other drivers. However, following a few best practices can help increase your chances of a safe ride.
1. Wear High Visibility Gear
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 41% of all motorcycle crashes are the result of other drivers not noticing the motorcycle3. Although the small size of motorcycles makes them inherently more difficult for drivers to see, riders can improve their visibility by wearing high-visibility orange or yellow jackets over their other protective gear. These jackets often have reflective strips that improve nighttime visibility, but you should also apply additional reflective tape to your helmet.
2. Stay in Control
If you are driving a motorcycle, you should be certain that it is the correct size and that you can maneuver it properly. If the bike is too large, or if you lack the training to control it, your chances of experiencing a motorcycle accident greatly increase. Additionally, you should avoid aggressive riding as it decreases your reaction time and makes it even more difficult for other drivers to see you.
3. Perform Regular Maintenance
Keeping your bike in prime condition will improve your handling, stopping, and the overall smoothness of your ride. At least once a year, you should take your bike to a licensed mechanic to have a safety inspection performed. This will help you identify potential safety hazards before it’s too late. Besides having professional inspections, you should also carry out a quick pre-ride check before hopping on your bike. The check doesn’t need to be too exhaustive. You should walk around your motorcycle and look at:
● Tire tread depth and wear
● Brake pad thickness
● Turn signals, headlights, and brake lights
● Condition and position of mirrors
● Leaking fluids
4. Always Ride Sober and with Protective Gear
Perhaps the most important safety tip of all is to never get on your bike while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Intoxicating substances slow your reaction time, interfere with your motor skills, and have no place around motorcycles or any other vehicle. If you are out and find that you’ve had too much, leave your bike for tomorrow.
A bonus safety tip is to always wear personal protective gear while you are riding. From sturdy boots to abrasion-resistant clothing and a DOT-approved helmet, protective gear is your dress code for riding. To discover the recommended qualifications for personal protective gear, check out this informative guide created by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Reno
In 2020, Washoe County experienced 14 motorcycle fatalities, marking an increase for the fourth straight year4. Motorcycles are undeniably dangerous. Following the tips outlined above does not guarantee a crash-free ride. If you find yourself the victim of a personal injury while riding a motorcycle through no fault of your own, reach out to a motorcycle accident lawyer in Reno as soon as possible.
At Galloway & Jensen, we have been working in personal injury law for over 40 years. We understand the pain and suffering that comes with motorcycle accidents, and we also know that you have a lot on your plate and shouldn’t have to worry about legal fees. That’s why we guarantee that when you choose us as your legal partner, you won’t have to pay anything unless we win the case. Schedule your free consultation with a motorcycle accident attorney in Reno today.