Safety Measures For Motorcyclists From A Lawyer's Perspective

Motorcycles offer riders a sense of freedom and excitement unlike most types of transportation. However, with this freedom comes inherent risks.

As personal injury lawyers, we have seen firsthand the devastating effects of motorcycle accidents. While we are here to support victims in the aftermath of an accident, we are equally dedicated to promoting safety to prevent these tragedies.

This article will discuss important motorcycle safety measures recommended for riders. We will also highlight how these measures can impact your legal rights if you were to be involved in a motorcycle accident.

1. Wear Appropriate Safety Gear

Unlike cars, motorcycles lack the protective shell that can shield individuals from injuries in the event of an accident. For this reason, it is essential for all motorcycle riders to invest in quality motorcycle safety gear.

Important motorcycle safety gear includes:

  • Helmets: A high-quality, full-face helmet is a crucial piece of safety gear for motorcyclists. Statistics show that unhelmeted riders are 3 times more likely than helmeted riders to sustain traumatic brain injuries in an accident.
  • Jackets and pants: Invest in motorcycle jackets and pants designed with durable materials such as leather, kevlar, and other high-density abrasion-resistant materials. These types of protective gear can prevent or reduce road rash or other skin injuries.
  • Gloves: Motorcycle safety gloves are often overlooked but incredibly important. Look for gloves that cover your wrists and have reinforced knuckles and palm sliders. Motorcycle gloves are designed to protect your hands from fractions, abrasions, and hyperextension.
  • Boots: Quality motorcycle boots will provide stability, protection, and comfort. Safety boots should be equipped with reinforced toes, ankle protection, and secure closures that maintain grip and help protect you from crushing injuries.

In personal injury cases, failure to wear protective gear can affect the outcome of a claim. The insurance company may argue that a victim’s injuries were more severe due to the lack of protective equipment. This could potentially reduce the amount of compensation awarded.

2. Obey Traffic Laws

Many motorcycle accidents are the result of riders speeding, failing to obey traffic laws, and engaging in reckless driving.

Speed limits are not just chosen arbitrarily. They are set based on road conditions, traffic patterns, and other factors. Exceeding speed limits can lead to loss of control and accidents. Additionally, running a red light or ignoring other traffic signals can result in catastrophic collisions.

By obeying traffic laws, such as stopping at red lights, motorcyclists can make their actions more predictable to other drivers. This is important because predictability reduces the risk of collisions and helps ensure all road users can anticipate each other’s movements.

Compliance with traffic laws demonstrates responsible riding behavior, which can support your personal injury claim and counter any arguments of negligence on the part of the rider.

3. Drive Defensively

Defensive driving involves anticipating potential hazards and taking proactive steps to avoid them.

For motorcyclists, this involves:

  • Staying visible: Wear high-visibility gear and use your headlights, especially in low-light hours of the day. Position yourself in the part of the land where you are most visible to the drivers around you.
  • Maintaining safe distances: Avoid tailgating and maintain at least a 2-second space cushion between you and the vehicle in front. In adverse conditions, increase this to 4 seconds or more.
  • Being aware of your surroundings: Check your mirrors frequently to stay aware of traffic behind you. Before changing lanes, do a quick head check to ensure no vehicles are in your blind spot.
  • Communicating your intentions: Use hand signals and indicators well in advance of turns or lane changes. When possible, try to make eye contact with drivers to ensure they see you before you proceed.

Demonstrating that a motorcyclist took all necessary precautions and drove defensively can help establish that the rider was not at fault for the accident.

4. Maintain Your Motorcycle

Regular maintenance and keeping your motorcycle in top condition are crucial to safe driving.

Consider some maintenance and safety checks you should regularly perform on your bike:

  • Brakes: Perform regular maintenance checks on your brakes to ensure they are in good working condition
  • Tires: Regularly check tire pressure and tread depth; worn or improperly inflated tires can cause loss of control
  • Lights and signals: Ensure your lights and signals are functioning properly to communicate your intentions to others on the road
  • Fluid levels: Inspect the motorcycle’s fuel, coolant, and oil levels; check for signs of leaks that could indicate a larger issue

When a motorcycle accident has occurred due to mechanical failure, showing that the motorcycle was well-maintained can counter claims of negligence on the rider’s part.

5. Take Motorcycle Safety Courses

One of the most effective ways riders can protect themselves is by taking a motorcycle safety course.

Here are some ways why a course is so important:

  • Improved riding skills: A safety course equips riders with skills and techniques beyond basic riding knowledge. These courses may teach proper braking methods, how to navigate tight corners, and other essential maneuvers that can prevent accidents.
  • Better understanding of traffic laws: Motorcycle safety courses provide riders with a deeper understanding of traffic laws and how they specifically apply to motorcycles. This knowledge can help prevent traffic violations that could lead to accidents.
  • Increased situational awareness: Riders learn how to anticipate potential hazards, recognize risky behavior in other drivers, and make quick, informed decisions. This proactive approach to riding reduces the odds of being in a motorcycle accident.

In the event of an accident, the completion of a safety course shows a motorcyclist’s commitment to safe riding. This can positively influence the outcome of a personal injury claim.

What to Do If You Are Involved in a Motorcycle Accident

If you are a motorcyclist, safety should be your top priority. Not only for your health and well-being but also to ensure you have a strong legal standing if a motorcycle accident should occur.

Sadly, even if you follow all the safety tips in the world, you still may be injured in a motorcycle crash. If that happens, you need an experienced motorcycle accident attorney on your side.

Siegfried & Jensen has been helping motorcycle accident victims recover maximum compensation for their injuries for over 30 years. If you have recently been harmed in a motorcycle accident, contact our law firm today to get started with a free case consultation. Call us at (801) 845-9000 or fill out our contact form.

You can find us in Idaho, Washington and also in Utah, in:

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Content checked by personal injury attorney Todd Bradford. I worked for a small law firm in Utah County, where I handled various types of cases. My main focus was personal injury and I decided that is what I enjoyed doing the most. I rejoined Siegfried and Jensen in 2012 where my focus is solely on helping personal injury clients. I take pride in helping personal injury clients and enjoy serving them. If you need an attorney for auto accidents or injuries of any kind in Salt Lake City, UT, Ogden, UT, Spokane, WA, or Boise, ID, contact us.