May Was Motorcycle Safety Month: Recap on Tips to Ride Safe Year-Round
When the weather starts to warm up, it’s natural for people to begin venturing outside in increasing numbers to take advantage of the sunshine. As a result, the roads get busier. This is why May is the perfect month to recognize motorcycle safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 4,976 motorcyclist fatalities in 2015, which is up 8% from the previous year. Without the framework of a car around them to absorb any impact from a crash, riders are left completely exposed, putting them at high risk for serious injuries or death.
As a recap of May’s Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and a reminder to drivers and motorcyclists to exercise extreme caution year-round, the attorneys at Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., provide the following tips for sharing the road safely.
- Keep a Safe Distance
Vehicles typically need more time to come to a stop because of their weight. This means that driving too closely behind a motorcycle is likely to end in a collision if the rider suddenly slows or stops. Drivers should leave plenty of space between themselves and a motorcycle, and vice versa, to account for unexpected actions and prevent accidents.
- Be Aware of Surroundings
One of the most common causes of motorcycle crashes is that the driver simply didn’t see the rider. Because they take up less space, motorcyclists often slip into blind spots alongside vehicles and go unnoticed. It’s crucial for drivers to stay aware of their surroundings and look every which way before making any changes in direction. It’s just as important for bikers to do what they can to make sure they’re visible, such as wearing reflective clothing, keeping their headlights on, and not lingering in potential blind spots.
- Obey Traffic Laws
Of course, every motorist should be obeying traffic laws whenever they’re on the roadway; however, this frequently plays a part in motorcycle collisions. Improper signaling and speeding up to turn left in front of oncoming traffic are two dangerous actions that often have severe consequences. Turn signals should always be activated when the intent is to turn; and when turning left in an intersection, it’s vital to yield to motorists traveling straight.
Additional Tips for Motorcyclists
In addition, there are a few things motorcyclists can do to improve their safety while riding. The right protective gear should always be worn, including a helmet, gloves, pants, boots, and jacket. This can make a big difference should a rider be thrown off his bike. Before heading out, it’s a good idea to examine the motorcycle and make sure it’s in good condition, checking the tire pressure and operation of the brakes and throttle. It’s also essential that motorcyclists know their limits and never try to ride beyond their skill level.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident due to driver negligence, contact the New Jersey personal injury attorneys at Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., for legal counsel. We understand the need for compensation to help take care of expensive medical bills and loss of wages. Call our office at (609) 240-0040 to schedule a review of your case.
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