Motorcycle Safety Tips for Spring & Summer
Make Safety a Priority: Prevent Accidents & Avoid Injury
Motorcycle riding is an increasingly popular hobby, especially in states as beautiful as ours. However, it is also true that riding a motorcycle comes with greater risks of injury and death. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), motorcycle deaths per mile traveled in 2019 were nearly 29 times those in cars (as estimated by the federal government). Motorcycle deaths represented 14% of all motor vehicle crash deaths in 2019, which IIHS notes is a more than double increase since 1997.
With the rise in motorcycle accident-related deaths and injuries, it is more important than ever that riders make safety a priority.
Keep reading for three important motorcycle safety tips.
#1: Always Wear a Helmet
Even though not required by law in Idaho (for riders 18 and older), it is always recommended that motorcycle riders wear a helmet while riding. As noted by the IIHS, helmets are ~37% effective at preventing motorcycle deaths and ~67% effective in preventing brain injuries. While any helmet is better than no helmet in an accident, a full-face helmet offers you the best protection. You should also look for a helmet that is DOT-approved.
To learn more about helmets and motorcycle safety, review our blog, “Motorcycle Accidents: Do Helmets Really Help?”
#2: Avoid Alcohol
While it may seem obvious, avoiding alcohol before riding your motorcycle is vitally important to keep yourself and others safe while on the road. It is also important to remember that you may be more dehydrated in warmer months, which can mean that alcohol may affect you more quickly and lead to a higher blood alcohol level. Dehydration can also mean that fewer drinks can lead to you being impaired.
In fact, it is recommended that you completely abstain from alcohol (and other inhibiting substances, including prescribed medications) before riding your motorcycle. Even if your BAC is below the legal limit, the alcohol can still affect your reaction times, perception of road hazards, and ability to stay alert and awake while riding. If you have been drinking or feel impaired, we recommend either staying where you are or calling a friend or a cab to get home.
#3: Be Aware of Other Motorists
Remember, motorcyclists are often more difficult to see because they are much smaller than the average vehicle or truck. Additionally, as a motorcyclist, you have less stability and are significantly less protection than someone driving a car. With this in mind, you must pay extra attention to what other motorists on the road are doing; you cannot rely on them to see you.
When riding, you should always:
- Use proper signaling
- Give other vehicles plenty of space
- Avoid tailgating
- Wear reflective or brightly colored clothing to increase your visibility
- Keep your lights on, even during the day
- Take extra caution when passing or changing lanes
- Avoid lane-splitting
What to Do If You Are Injured in a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle accidents tend to be serious. With less protection than a car or truck, riders are particularly vulnerable to injury. The majority of motorcycle accidents are not caused by motorcyclists. Instead, it is the recklessness or negligence of the other drivers on the road.
Common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Bad weather
- Distracted driving
- Failure to yield the right-of-way to a motorcycle
- Failure to check blind spots
- Hazardous road conditions
- Short stopping
If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident, you are not alone. Reach out to May, Rammel & Wells for help. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Send us a message online to schedule a consultation today.