Ride Smarter – Road Safety Tips for Motorcyclists

By Tim O’Hare

Not all accidents are preventable, but many of them are. Many of the accidents involving motorcyclists are entirely preventable, and an accident prevented could mean a life is saved.

Studies show that up to 98% of motorcycle riders involved in accidents are injured. Half of them are seriously injured.  Many times, motorcyclists involved in accidents are self-taught or taught to ride by family or friends. Like many automobile accidents, the motorcyclists involved in accidents also have little driving experience.

To reduce your risk of being involved in a motorcycle accident that could lead to your serious injury or death, consider enrolling in a skill-building class to train you as a motorcyclist. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation is a well-known nonprofit organization that trains more than 400,000 riders each year.

Proper training in how to drive a motorcycle is essential to your safety as a motorcyclist, but there are several common causes of motorcycle accidents, and other keys to safety.

Make yourself visible. The majority of motorcycle accidents occur when the motorcyclist isn’t seen by other motorists. As a motorcycle driver, make every effort to be visible to other motorists. Wear reflective helmets and clothing to increase visibility at night. Remember to signal your intent before changing lanes or turning.

Take extra caution when riding in bad road conditions or on undivided highways. The more you know about the route you plan to take, the more you will be aware of upcoming road conditions, such as pot holes or road construction, which may affect your driving ability. Also, extra caution on undivided highways is necessary, as you have decreased protection between yourself and oncoming traffic.

Observe speed limits. Believe it or not, motorcycles aren’t just for joyriding. Riding at excessive speeds increases your odds of colliding with other vehicles, and it can also displace the weight and alignment of your bike.

Don’t drive drunk. Remember, the same laws apply to motorcyclists as other motorists. Do not drive when impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Wear your helmet. Motorcyclists are already more vulnerable to serious injury or death in an accident. Wearing a helmet is as important as wearing your seatbelt when driving or riding in a car. Proper use of a helmet can prevent senseless injury or death in an accident.

May is Motorcycle Awareness Month. Whether you are a motorcyclist or not, take some time this month to evaluate your driving habits and determine what changes you can make to drive safer and smarter.

If you have been seriously injured or lost a family member in a motorcycle accident, contact The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare and ask to speak with Tim O’Hare, the Dallas personal injury attorney who has been riding motorcycles for most of his adult life.  Currently, Mr. O’Hare rides a 2009 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic.  Hiring a lawyer who also rides to handle your motorcycle case is the right choice.  Call us today at 972-960-0000, or toll-free at 1-888-960-0020.