In a year, nearly 15% of those killed in motor vehicle accidents are motorcyclists. Notably, a motorcycle is not as protected as other vehicles on the road, leaving riders exposed in the event of a crash. Nearly all accidents that involve a motorcyclist result in major injuries to the motorcyclist.
If you or someone you love is injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, you may be eligible for compensation if the other driver was negligent in any way. Having said that, those who ride motorcycles should exercise the following safety tips to avoid accidents or serious injury.
Always Wear a Helmet
According to Indiana State law, all motorcycle riders age 18 and under must wear a helmet. However, smart motorcycle riders of all ages wear strong helmets. Even a “fender bender” at a traffic stop can send a rider flying through the air and result in a concussion or even death.
When shopping for a helmet, never buy used. It is best to look for helmets displaying a DOT (Department of Transportation) sticker. This means that they are best suited to withstand strong impact and protect your head from injuries in an accident.
Motorcycle riders that wear helmets are 70% less likely to suffer head injuries and nearly 50% less likely to be killed in a motorcycle accident. In contrast, riders that neglect to wear helmets can suffer brain damage as a result of a minor accident.
Never Stop Improving Your Ability to Maneuver
While motorcyclists are not structurally protected in the same way as those who drive cars, they do have one major advantage over other vehicles: they can maneuver through tight spaces and take sharper turns.
This advantage, of course, should never be used to chase danger or drive aggressively. On the contrary, becoming acquainted with the maneuverability of a motor bike can help you avoid or dodge potentially dangerous traffic situations. Make sure to select a bike that is appropriate to your skill level, and then work to improve your skills with driving courses and time on smaller roads.
Understand that Many Drivers Don’t See You and Aren’t Vigilant
Even though most laws in Indiana are there to protect motorcyclists from car driver negligence, many vehicle operators simply do not pay attention because they drive distracted. Motorcycles can fit perfectly in other cars’ blind spots. A lot of motorcyclists get hurt when they attempt an illegal pass and a car abruptly changes lanes and runs them off the road.
Avoid dangerous moves like lane splitting. Numerous motorcycle injuries have been caused by car doors opening and colliding with motorcyclists trying to cut their way through traffic.
Smart motorcycle riders drive defensively, anticipating unexpected moves from other drivers.
Never Drink and Drive
In spite of obvious dangers when drinking and driving, nearly 30% of motorcycle deaths occur because the rider consumed alcohol. Instead of taking your motorcycle to and from parties where you suspect there will be alcohol served, take a taxi or use a ride-sharing service like Uber instead. Even better, save some money by hitching a ride with a non-drinker.
Alcohol isn’t the only substance that impairs drivers. The same goes for other drugs and medications. As mentioned above, your advantage with a motorcycle is maneuverability and other drivers are often not paying attention. Any delay to your reactivity or motor skills can mean the difference between life and death.
Ride with Safety-Conscious Motorcyclists
Another common reason motorcyclists are injured or killed in an accident is they ride with other aggressive riders. If you choose to ride in a group, make sure the other members are responsible riders. Peer pressure has shown to have a major impact on one’s approach to driving on open roads, highways, and interstates.
Smart motorcyclists know that trying to keep up with reckless motorcyclists is a recipe for disaster.
For more information about how an Indiana motorcycle accident attorney can help you with your case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.