California has the most motorcycle registrations in the United States, at almost 800,000. Hundreds of thousands of people commute daily on their motorcycles to work, ride them for fun on the weekends, or a combination of both. Riding a motorcycle is fun, fast, and fuel efficient… but unfortunately also much more dangerous than driving a car. A motorcyclist is 8 times more likely to be injured and 35 times more likely to be killed in a crash than the operator of a car. While some accidents can be unavoidable, you can at least ensure you are as safe as possible while operating a motorcycle.
1. Proper gear
- Always wear a helmet, and appropriate riding gear like a leather jacket. A DOT approved helmet can prevent up to 37% of fatal injuries in an accident. A leather jacket and leather pants can also prevent a significant amount of damage in an accident, such as scrapes, cuts, and road rash. And finally, accessorize with a sturdy pair of boots and gloves.
2. Be visible
- Always treat yourself as if you are invisible to drivers. Be cautious, wear reflective clothing if possible. Drive defensively, be extra cautious when changing lanes, and always keep both hands on the handlebars. It is legal to “lane split” in California under certain conditions, but this is quite dangerous. Exercise even more caution when driving between cars, as other drivers do not always check their mirrors before making abrupt lane changes.
3. Motorcycle Condition
- Always make sure your motorcycle is in good condition. Your tires should have good tread, your front and rear brakes should be functioning with a good amount of pad left, and ensure all your lights and turn signals are functioning at all times. Check your chain tension, your fuel level, and make sure that you are comfortable with your motorcycle. If you’re a new rider, or it’s a new bike, it’s advisable to practice riding in smaller, more open areas before taking it onto the highway, and always make sure you’re an experienced rider before taking passengers.
We hope you are never involved in a motorcycle accident. If you are, or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle related accident, we are here for you. Call the experienced team at West Alliance Injury Lawyers today. With riders on our staff and decades of experience, we are here for you.