Monday, July 8, 2013

Motorcycle Safety Tips: How can I avoid becoming a victim of a motorcycle accident?

Unlike traditional vehicles, motorcycles lack a protective outer shell, leaving drivers vulnerable to serious or fatal injuries in the event of a crash. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were over 1,000 traffic fatalities in Ohio in 2011.

Moreover, 160 of those, or 16 percent, involved motorcyclists. But although motorcycles do pose an increased hazard, following some motorcycle safety tips is a good way to avoid a motorcycle accident.

Tips to Avoid a Motorcycle Accident

Motorcyclists should always make safety a primary concern when operating their bikes. Doing so can help prevent a dangerous, even fatal, accident from occurring, or reduce its effects should one occur.

Some helpful motorcycle safety tips include:

• Always wear a helmet – Wearing a helmet can go a long way in protecting motorcyclists in the event of a crash. According to the NHTSA, in 2011, helmet use saved the lives of 1,617 motorcyclists. For this reason, many states have enacted a mandatory helmet law. Currently, Ohio’s law only pertains to motorcyclists 17 and younger.

• Take a safety course – In the state of Ohio, motorcycle drivers can take a safety training course through the Department of Public Safety. Open to both minors and adults, courses cost $50 and include options for beginning riders, returning riders and more advanced riders.

• Watch the weather – Rain, fog, clouds and other adverse weather conditions can impair visibility and make driving more difficult. They can also make roads slippery and lead to more traffic, congestion and on-the-road hazards. Additionally, if recent snow or sleet has fallen, there may be other dangers to consider, such as sand or salt on the roads.

• Wear proper gear – In addition to wearing a helmet, motorcyclists should always wear protective boots, pants, gloves and a jacket when operating their vehicles. These can help protect them from road burn, scrapes, cuts, and other unfortunate effects should they get in an accident.

• Don’t speed – Speeding can make it difficult to stop or respond to changing road conditions. Additionally, it can make turning more dangerous and cut down on the time other drivers have to see the vehicle.

• Avoid blind spots – Motorcyclists should always drive where others can easily see them and make it a point to avoid any blind spots. Failing to do so can cause nearby drivers to change lanes into them, turn unexpectedly or pose other hazards to the motorcycle.

• Always use signals – In order to ensure nearby drivers are fully aware of their position and intent, motorcyclists should always use their turn signals when changing lanes, turning or waiting at a light. Additionally, they should use their horn lightly when a signal may not be enough.

• Keep the bike in good working order – Motorcyclists should work to maintain their bikes, getting regular oil changes, safety inspections and more. Doing so can help avoid a motorcycle accident related to defects or other issues with the bike.

When a Motorcycle Accident is Unavoidable

Sometimes, no matter how many motorcycle safety tips a motorcyclist utilizes, motorcycle accidents still happen. Anyone who has been a victim of a motorcycle accident in the Worthington area is encouraged to contact an attorney at Bressman Law at (877) 538-1116. There may be grounds for a legal claim.

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