by Tim O’Hare
Riding motorcycles can be fun and freeing, but it can also be dangerous. 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 are taught to ride by family or friends. Like many automobile accidents, the motorcyclists involved in accidents frequently are short on riding experience.
While not all motorcycle accidents are preventable, many of them are. To reduce your risk of being involved in a motorcycle accident that could lead to serious injuries or even 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 ride a motorcycle is essential to your safety as a motorcyclist. There are several common causes of motorcycle accidents and other keys to a safe, enjoyable riding experience.
Make yourself visible. The majority of motorcycle accidents occur when a motorcyclist isn’t seen by other motorists on the road. As a motorcycle rider, 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 not only increases your odds of colliding with another vehicle, but 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 just as important, if not more so, 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. Texas law requires motorcycle riders who are under 21 to wear helmets, but the fact is, wearing your helmet can save your life.
Click here to download a helmet safety PDF from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
If you have been seriously injured or have 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.
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