With warm weather beckoning, roads are busier than ever. While there are more people out and about generally, warmer temperatures are particularly appealing to motorcyclists. Unfortunately, that increases risks for riders, drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. With National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month coming up in May, now is a great time for both riders and drivers to focus on safety.
If you ride a motorcycle, you know how much fun riding can be: cruising the highway, feeling speed and power underneath. But you also know how dangerous motorcycling is, for riders and others. Safe motorcycling takes skill, balance, coordination, and good judgment. It’s a lifelong learning process.
- Motorcyclist deaths occurred 27 times more than in other vehicles. They are six times as likely to be injured.
- More than one-third of recent motorcycle deaths occurred to riders age 50 or older These “re-entry riders” rode when younger, and now face new challenges: larger, heavier, more powerful bikes; more traffic; distracted drivers; unfamiliar equipment; new technology; diminished physical (and sometimes mental) skills; and slower reaction times.
- When motorcycles collide with other vehicles, it’s usually the non-motorcyclist who violated the rights-of-way.
- In 2015, nearly 5,000 motorcycle riders and passengers died in crashes, and nonfatal injuries that year totaled 88,000, per the National Safety Council.
Renegade Motorcyclists? Not Always. Car Drivers Bear Responsibility Too
Most vehicles on the road are not motorcycles: they are cars, vans, and trucks. Most drivers do not think about or notice motorcycles. Why not?
- Compared to other vehicles, motorcycles are small and not easily seen
- The driver can’t easily see the motorcycle, due to obstructions, blind spots or other vehicles
- Drivers aren’t expecting the motorcycle’s movements
- Driver distractions
No Surprise, Cell Phones Are Distraction #1
Cell phones are a significant source of rider and driver distraction. They’re everywhere, nearly all of the time. Interestingly, we all notice other drivers distracted from talking or texting while driving. But not surprisingly, most drivers don’t recognize when they are the culprits.
Interesting, new technology gives drivers a false sense of security and causes more distractions than ever before. You know those “infotainment” dashboards with hands-free technology? Most drivers assume that manufacturers install them for safety. False: they are for convenience, for slick marketing, and to sell more cars.
Helpful Tips for Motorcyclist Safety
These may seem like common sense, but they are important reminders. To stay safer:
- Wear a helmet! Even if your state doesn’t require a helmet, wear it. Helmets save lives
- Make sure your bike fits
- Don’t drink and ride
- Take courses. Keep learning
- Watch out for road hazards (gravel, potholes, oil, puddles, debris)
- Know weather conditions
- Watch out for other drivers (drive defensively)
- Be extra careful with a passenger
- Use headlights
- Assume you can’t be seen
- Be courteous
- Wear bright, easily visible clothing, and goggles
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with an Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, you should speak to an attorney as soon as you can. At The Law Office of William Hurst, we are committed to helping injured victims obtain justice and know how to deal with insurance companies who only care about their bottom line. To schedule a free case evaluation with one of motorcycle accident lawyers in Indianapolis, call our office today at (317) 636-0808 or send us an email through our online contact form.