Riding a Motorcycle: What You Need to Know
Riding a motorcycle is more popular than ever. There are almost one million registered motorcycles in California alone. However, when an accident occurs involving a motorcycle, it can be devastating because riding one leaves you extremely exposed.
Here is everything you need to know about motorcycles, including safety, what to do in case of an accident, and how to protect yourself.
Table of Contents
If An Accident Occurs
- The most important thing to do after a motorcycle accident is to stay calm. Check yourself and others for injuries and immediately call 911.
- Then, take photos of the scene (as long as the scene is safe enough for this). Use your cell phone or camera to take photos from various angles and document the scene as best you can.
- Whether you can take photos or not, move your bike off the road if it’s in the way.
- Gather everyone’s insurance information such as driver licenses, vehicle information for everyone involved, etc.
- As soon as you can, call your insurance agent. If your insurance company denies your claim, the other party claims the accident was your fault, or you have severe physical injuries with associated costs, contact one of the car accident attorneys in your area for assistance.
How To Prevent Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents take place most commonly at intersections. If you’re a motorcycle driver:
- Make sure you slow down when approaching an intersection even if your light is green or if you don’t immediately see someone coming. People might turn in front of you. Always double-check every intersection, turn, and stop before proceeding. It could save your life one day.
- Be prepared to react quickly because a lot of vehicles on the road drive carelessly around motorcycles. Don’t assume other people will be safe drivers just because you are.
- If you can, wear brightly colored clothing while riding so other drivers are more likely to see you.
General Motorcycle Safety
There is a certain sense of freedom that you feel when riding a motorcycle in the open air. However, it’s critical to respect your machine and work on your skills to be able to continue riding for a lifetime. Here are some basic tips to make sure you are safe while riding.
- Wear a helmet. Helmets are estimated to be 37% effective at preventing injuries.. It might not “look cool”, but it can save your life if it comes down to it.
- Choose a bike that fits you. Test drive it before buying and make sure that you’re not just buying a particular brand because it “looks cool”. If you’re not sure which brand to buy, do your research and ask the professionals at the dealership.
- Take a motorcycle safety course. Sometimes, you can get a discount on certain makes and models of motorcycle if you present your certificate of completion for this class to the dealership.
- Drive defensively. Navigate the road like all other motorists cannot see you. Position yourself to be seen and always signal before moving around.
- Wear a face shield to prevent your eyes and face. Some helmets come with face guards, while others are for the head only. If you get one that only covers your head, you should invest in a good pair of goggles that will protect your eyes if debris comes flying at you while you’re riding.
Riding a motorcycle is a sensation like no other. The open-air is invigorating, but you need to make sure you’re staying safe and alert when driving so you can go back home after each ride.