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Motorcycle Safety Tips

Motorcycle Safety Tips

The fall is a beautiful time of year for a motorcycle ride in the Ozarks. At Deacon Law, we are committed to keeping motorcyclists as safe and protected as possible when they are out riding the winding roads of Northwest Arkansas. The more you know, the more you will be able to prevent an accident from happening.

If you are not a rider, remember to keep an eye out for bikers during this popular riding season. There are precautions you should take to safely share the road with motorcycles.

On-The-Road Safety Tips

When out riding, motorcyclists encounter a number of different situations that may threaten their safety. Below are a few safety tips that can help prepare bike riders and drivers of cars and other vehicles when they encounter unseen obstacles.

Safety Tips For Bikers:

1. Know your skill level. Whether you are a new or seasoned rider, it is a good idea to invest in a riding course. Courses are geared toward learning basic skills and safety as well as advanced maneuvers. Check with your dealer for courses offered in your area.

2. Protect your head. Riders who chose to not wear a helmet are much more likely to suffer brain injuries or a fatal head injury in a crash compared to riders wearing helmets. Look for a helmet that has a certification sticker from the Department of Transportation. Remember that helmets deteriorate over time. It is recommended that helmets be replaced every five years or immediately after a crash.

3. Protect your body. Choosing the right gear is critical for your comfort. You will want protection from wind chill, bugs, debris, and potential road rash. Choose leather or other reinforced materials when purchasing a riding jacket. Wear gloves, proper eye protection, full pants, and over-the-ankle boots throughout the year.

4. Monitor weather conditions. Rain can cut down on visibility as well as reduce the grip of your tires. If you are forced to ride in wet conditions, remember that the most dangerous time is right after precipitation begins. This is the time when oil residue rises to the top of roadways. Use extreme caution when cornering and making sudden maneuvers. Be gentle with the brakes, throttle, and steering to avoid sliding. If you are riding in strong winds, anticipate the push from the side and move to the side of the lane the wind is coming from. This will give you some extra leeway in the lane should a gust nudge you.

5. Look for road hazards. Unlike a car, sand, wet leaves, pebbles, and potholes can cause a bike to easily spill. If you are unable to avoid the obstacles, be sure to reduce your speed. Railroad tracks and other hazards should be approached as close to a right angle as possible to reduce the chances of a skid.

6. Drive defensively. Anticipate that the drivers of vehicles will not see you. Remain extra alert for sudden lane changes or pulling out from side streets. Always keep a safe following distance to ensure you have enough stopping distance and time to react to obstacles in the roadway.

7. Always be prepared. Before each ride, check that your lights, horn, and turn signals are working properly. Inspect your tires, chain, belt, shaft, and the brakes. Know the proper tire pressure for your bike and closely monitor the pressure to ensure the tires are not underinflated.

Safety Tips Drivers Can Use To Share The Road With Motorcycles:

1. Give more following room to a motorcycle than you would a car. This is important because motorcycles can stop much faster than cars because they are smaller and lighter. Motorcycles may also have more reason to stop abruptly than a car, truck, or SUV would when on a roadway.

2. Signal your turns and lane changes. You may not even realize that a motorcycle is coming up behind your vehicle. It is always important to signal, but be extra vigilant during this motorcycle season even if you think there is no one around to see the signal.

3. Allow motorcycles a full lane. Although motorcycles are smaller, they still need a full lane in which to operate.

4. Check and double check your blind spots. Before merging or turning, be sure to check your blind spots for motorcycles. Remember, motorcycles are much smaller than cars.

5. Keep road conditions in mind. Several weather conditions can be minor annoyances to you but can be potentially hazardous to motorcycles. Watch out for motorcycles needing to adjust speed, change lanes quickly, or avoid certain surfaces.

6. Pay attention. Be extra cautious at night. With its one headlight, a motorcycle is harder to see compared to vehicles with two headlights.

7. Exercise caution around a continually flashing turn signal. Oftentimes, a motorcycle does not feature automatic shut-off of its turn signals. It is best to assume that a continually flashing signal is a forgotten signal.

8. Stay focused while approaching intersections and making turns. Motorcycles can quickly become lost in the traffic color and movement as our eyes scan the surroundings. Riders will often release their brakes once stopped, thus making them even harder to see.

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Our attorneys will help you maximize a settlement from the insurance companies. We will fight to get you compensation that is fair and covers the costs of your injury. Don’t settle for anything less.