Riding a motorcycle is fun, exciting, and fuel efficient to boot. Of course, with the thrill of the ride also comes additional risks. Check out the statistics below…
- According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, motorcyclists are thirty times more likely to die in a crash than people in a car.
- Nearly half of all motorcycle deaths are the result of single-vehicle crashes.
- Riders over 60 years old are three times more likely to be hospitalized after a crash than younger ones. Blame that on slower reflexes, weaker eyesight, more brittle bones, and other disadvantages due to age.
So if you are a card-carrying motorcyclist or are considering becoming one, make sure you follow these potentially life-saving safety tips:
Buy the right bike. Today’s models are faster and more powerful than they were 10 or 20 years ago, so make sure you don’t get more bike than you can handle. When doing a test drive, make sure both feet can easily rest flat on the ground without having to be on tiptoes. Handlebars and controls should be within easy reach, and choose a model that’s easy for you to get on and off the center stand.
Invest in antilock brakes. Statists show that motorcycles equipped with ABS brakes were 37 percent less likely to be involved in a fatal crash than bikes without it. “No matter what kind of rider you are, ABS can brake better than you,” says Bruce Biondo of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Motorcycle Safety Program. Most high-end motorcycles now come standard with the ABS feature, but even with basic models, it’s only a few hundred dollars extra. Plus, you may be able to offset the extra cost with savings from an insurance discount.
Be a defensive driver. This is basic driving rule is even more important when operating a motorcycle since being extra alert can save your life. A recent study by the University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research found that in collisions involving a motorcycle and a car, car drivers were at fault 60 percent of the time. Watch for drivers that suddenly change lanes or pull out from side streets, and never tailgate!
Wear the right gear. Make sure to wear the appropriate gear for riding that will protect you from rain, wind chill, flying bugs and debris, and road rash (should you slide out). For maximum protection, choose a leather or other reinforced jacket, gloves, full pants, and over-the-ankle footwear (even when the weather is hot). Last but certainly not least, opt for a helmet. According to government studies, riders without a helmet are 40 percent more likely to suffer a fatal head injury in a crash and are three times more likely to suffer brain injuries than those with helmets.
Work on your riding skills. “There is nothing we could say or advise more than to go find a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MDF) riding course in your area. That’s critical, absolutely critical,” states Honda’s Jon Seidel. This type of course will teach you the riding basics, as well as advanced techniques, such as how to perform evasive emergency maneuvers. Not only with this help you hone your skills but it may also qualify you for an additional insurance discount. Click here for more information.
If you are in need of an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Tampa, FL, please call the law office of Anton Castro today!