There are many reasons why people enjoy riding motorcycles. Some enjoy the feel of the wind whipping their hair, and others enjoy the merging of man and machine, becoming one entity as the road blurs beneath the wheels.
The freedom of maneuverability gives one a sense of control over destiny, the idea that any time someone swings a leg over this powerful machine, a new adventure awaits. Some even find a sense of soothing tranquility as they ride, a peace of mind that is impossible to capture any other way.
More practical riders see the conservation side of things, viewing their motorcycle as a more efficient mode of transportation that is more mother-earth friendly than an automobile.
Whatever the reason, nobody wants to endure the tragedy of a motorcycle accident, especially since victims are five times more likely to suffer an injury than someone in an automobile and approximately 30 times more likely to die.
If you’re living in a snowy state like Colorado, motorcycle injuries can be even higher. With the ice and snow presenting many avenues of injury, finding a commercial motorcycle lawyer shouldn’t be a problem as these types of cases are seen often.
Fortunately, many of these accidents can be avoided. Here are five of the many ways that motorcycle accidents can be prevented.
Table of Contents
1. Don’t Drink and Drive
Nothing new here. This became a law as early as 1910.
However, according to the National Safety Council, over 27% of motorcycle fatalities (not accidents, just deaths) happened to motorcycle drivers under the influence.
Piloting a motorcycle takes a lot of skills, including balance, coordination, and the ability to make smart decisions. Alcohol is the king of destroying these capabilities, and it acts quickly.
Even those who are under the legal alcohol limit suffer ill effects on perception, reflexes, and other crucial abilities that can result in a deadly accident.
Perhaps one major factor is that motorcycle riding and drinking are often considered “cool,” and it’s only logical that some people choose to combine the two, especially since for time immemorial, “bikers” have been represented as tough guys hanging out in bars.
Many drinkers likely feel that they can handle their drink just fine or that they have ridden while drinking before and nothing bad happened.
Statistics don’t lie – and it only takes one time to be the last. To quote an old saying, “It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.”
There is much more at stake when climbing onto a leather seat while under the influence.
2. Slow Down
Many people love racing down the road on their motorcycles. As the speed increases, so does the adrenaline, and a lot of people thrive on this feeling of exhilaration and potential danger.
Nevertheless, the danger increases exponentially along with every tick on the speedometer. Remember, there is very little protection offered by a motorcycle – the rider is pretty much left to their own devices, along with a helmet and any other protective clothing they may be wearing.
Greater speed means less time to avoid obstacles, especially those that appear unexpectedly. Even if the driver manages to dodge, they will likely lose control of the vehicle. When that happens, the greater the speed, the more significant the injuries will likely be, and the lower chance of survival.
Even on what appears to be long stretches of the open road for miles and miles, dangers are lurking that could result in an accident. Potholes, animals, rain, and even the wind can provide significant dangers when riding at high speeds.
3. Don’t Put Your Life in the Hands of Others
Many people operate under the assumption that others will not only see them, but are competent and focused enough to avoid hitting them if a situation arises.
Case in point, the supermarket: people will waltz right across the pedestrian crossing lanes with nary a glance toward any potential motorists on either side.
They live their lives with an inherent trust or self-righteousness that because they are in that lane, or crossing the road anywhere for that matter, others are going to slow down and let them pass.
Yet, how often are people distracted by phones, music, conversation, interesting scenery, or their thoughts and do not notice important details, like say, the person walking in front of them?
By the time they learn to look both ways, it may be far too late.
The same is true for motorcyclists. In a collision, it is unlikely that these drivers are going to win that fight with an automobile, or even a pedestrian.
Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Keep an eye out for these “blind” walkers (or drivers), and always assume that anyone around you cannot see you.
It just takes one assumption that people know that you are there, especially when they are driving a semi, to be the last assumption you ever make.
4. Leave Enough Space
One of the best ways to avoid an accident is to remain cognizant of your surroundings. That means making liberal use of your eyeballs to see what is around you, as well as your mirror to see what they cannot.
Always leave enough space between and around vehicles so that if anything unexpected were to happen, you have enough room to slow down, dodge, or stop before suffering a crash.
Keep in mind that the faster you are going, the more space you will need to react accordingly to vehicles and obstacles around you.
5. Maintain Your Ride
No matter how skillful, aware, clear-minded, and cognizant of your surroundings you may be, if you are riding down the interstate and your bike falls apart beneath you, it is not going to end well.
Performance maintenance checks on your motorcycle regularly, and if you cannot suitably fix any issues yourself, find a professional who can do the job. Many things can go wrong with complex machinery, and when that vehicle holds your life in its hands, don’t take chances.
While it seems like common sense, remember that not only is it the law to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle, but in the event of a crash, it can significantly increase the chances that an accident victim will suffer significant injuries, especially to the brain.
Notice that it can, not that it will. Nearly 60% of motorcycle fatality victims were wearing a helmet. It is not a shield for the whole body.
Therefore, it is in your best interest to avoid an accident entirely, and most of them can be avoided entirely with a little knowledge and care.