Injury Law Blog

How to Prevent Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents are incredibly damaging. A motorcycle offers its operator virtually no protection from crash forces, unlike an enclosed passenger car with body panels and a sturdy frame to cushion the impact force from a crash. All motorcyclists should know how to prevent motorcycle accidents. While it is impossible for any rider to fully anticipate the actions of other drivers, all riders can still take steps to increase safety while riding and minimize the chances of a serious accident.

Defensive Driving

All drivers benefit from practicing defensive driving. There is no firm set of rules for how to drive defensively; it is a concept revolving around the idea of maintaining awareness of your surroundings on the road and making good decisions.

Ride at Safe Speeds with the Flow of Traffic

Most drivers exceed posted speed limits by a few miles per hour, and you may encounter a stretch of road where drivers are exceeding the speed limit by a noticeable margin. In this case, staying at the speed limit could be dangerous since it alters the flow of traffic and may potentially aggravate nearby drivers. While speeding is dangerous, so is driving too slow for surrounding traffic patterns.

Stay to the Right as Much as Possible

All drivers should keep to the right except to pass slower-moving traffic, and motorcyclists are no exception. Stay in the rightmost lane as much as possible and always signal for lane changes.

Avoid Other Drivers’ Blind Spots

Every vehicle has blind spots, or areas around the vehicle the driver cannot see in his or her mirrors without turning his or her head. Motorcycles are smaller and slimmer than most passenger vehicles, making it very easy for them to slip through other drivers’ blind spots easily. Take care to avoid other drivers’ blind spots, which are usually located behind and to the sides of another vehicle.

Follow Traffic Laws

The traffic laws exist to help you anticipate the actions of other drivers and maintain safety on the road. Moving violations can not only lead to traffic fines and other legal penalties, but also accidents.

Ultimately, driving defensively requires constant situational awareness. Staying vigilant of your surroundings while riding can help avoid serious accidents.

Additional Safety Tips for Motorcyclists

Maintain Your Bike

If you ride your motorcycle regularly be sure to take it in for regular repairs and servicing when necessary. If you notice any performance issues, see your mechanic as soon as possible.

Wear Appropriate Safety Equipment

Not every state requires motorcyclists to wear helmets but wearing an appropriately-fitted motorcycle helmet can significantly reduce your chance of death or catastrophic injury in an accident. Riding leathers, heavy boots, and sturdy gloves also help minimize injuries.

Refrain from Riding Under the Influence

Drinking and driving is incredibly dangerous for any driver, but especially so for motorcyclists. Do not ride your motorcycle after consuming alcohol or drugs until you are sober. Riding under the influence is not only illegal and could subject you to criminal prosecution, but also significantly increases the risk of a serious accident.

Consider Taking Private Motorcycle Driving and Safety Courses

Many organizations offer motorcycle safety classes. Completing some of these courses may even qualify you for a discount on your auto insurance premium rate.

Only Ride at Your Skill Level

Riding a motorcycle is very different than driving a car and takes significant practice. Only ride on routes you are comfortable navigating.

Many motorcyclists will still experience accidents despite their best efforts to avoid them. All riders will need to purchase auto insurance in accordance with their states’ laws. All motorcyclists must consider the value of purchasing additional coverage beyond the scope of what minimum coverage offers. Additional auto insurance coverage can streamline the recovery process following an accident.

If you or a loved one were a victim of another’s negligence that lead to a motorcycle accident, we can help. Through the years, the Sacramento motorcycle accident attorneys at Rosenthal & Kreeger, LLP have succeeded in getting the best possible outcome for our clients. Contact us online or call (916) 774-7200 to speak with one of our qualified Sacramento personal injury lawyers.