Motorcycles are not like cars. They lack the car’s protective cage, its large mass, its energy absorbing bumpers, its crumple zones, its seat belts, and its air bags. This places motorcycles at a severe disadvantage should they collide with a car.
Motorcycles are also smaller and less stable. This makes them more difficult to see and more likely to lose control in poor road conditions that are minor affairs for cars. It’s no wonder that the death rate per mile traveled by motorcyclists is over 26 times that of motorists in cars.
What this means for motorcyclists is that they can’t afford to ride like motorists drive. They can’t afford to daydream, talk on cell phones, or kick back and relax. The neophyte motorcyclist must understand that their heightened vulnerability requires a level of focus unheard of for drivers in cars.
They must be watchful of the weather, and of road surface features that can throw them off their bikes. They must also keep an ever watchful eye on the 4000 pound, four-wheeled vehicles that outnumber and surround them. This is not meant to scare you, but to make it clear that motor cycle safety demands your full attention. Here are four suggestions for the beginner motorcyclist:
Get a DOT Certified Helmet and Protective Clothing
No one ever wants to get into a motorcycle accident, but should it happen to you, protective clothing and especially a helmet will improve the outcome. The head is the most vulnerable part of the body. Wearing a DOT certified helmet substantially reduces risk of death or brain injury from a motorcycle crash.
Protective clothing means it must be abrasion resistant and should include a jacket, full pants, gloves, and boots that cover the ankles. Use gear that is brightly colored for maximum visibility. People driving cars have a difficult time seeing motorcycles, so help them out with bright colors.
Get Antilock Brakes
The problem with motorcycles is that locking the wheels causes loss of control. Hitting the brakes hard is a natural reaction in an emergency that almost always guarantees a crash. The same is true of braking hard on sandy or wet road surfaces. Antilock brakes let you brake hard and steer your way out of a bad situation.
Watch for Road Surface Hazards
Another problem with having two wheels is that road surface hazards such as potholes, exposed manhole covers, deep ruts, loose gravel, and railroad tracks can cause loss of control. You will have to keep a watchful eye on this as well as the traffic situation.
Allow plenty of following distance between yourself and the vehicle ahead. Assume that no one can see you, and anticipate the possible actions of the surrounding traffic, including the vehicles behind you.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, seek the legal advice of an experienced D C accident attorney. There is no reason you should bear the expenses and other hardships on your own. Contact us at (844)-Take-MyCase or visit our website at www.844TakeMyCase.com.
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