Motorcycle Safety Tips
Connecticut, sadly, has had several fatal motorcycle crashes in the past couple of weeks, and deaths from motorcycle accidents have risen across Connecticut and the nation. In 2019, the rate of motorcycle deaths was 29% higher than deaths as a result of automobile accidents. Injuries, including serious ones such as traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, and lost limbs have increased as well and can be both devastating and life-changing. Our Personal Injury attorneys have represented many motorcycle accident victims over the years, so we’ve put together some tips to help keep motorcycle riders safe.
80% of all reported motorcycle crashes result in injury or death, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It’s critical that motorcycle riders do everything they can to keep themselves safe. The Connecticut Rider Education Program (CONREP) for Motorcycle Safety offers not only beginner but also intermediate, advanced, and experienced rider courses. These classes cover riding strategies and help improve skills such as turning, braking, cornering, and other evasive maneuvers and techniques. For more information, visit CONREP.
Motorcycle gear provides comfort, but, more importantly, it protects you from serious injury, the elements, debris, road rash, and hot and moving parts of your bike. Recommended gear includes:
- A DOT-approved helmet – helmets are 37% effective in preventing motorcycle deaths and 67% effective in preventing brain injuries. A good helmet is the most important thing you can do to improve your chances of surviving a crash. Replace it every five years or after a crash. If you’re not using a full-face helmet, use goggles to protect your eyes.
- Gloves – gloves not only protect your hands against injury or chapping, they also allow for a better grip.
- Protective clothing – the right clothing protects you in a crash. Look for a jacket and pants made of thick, protective material.
- Boots – motorcycle accidents are hard on feet and ankles. Choose sturdy, ankle high boots with good treads. Be sure they are broken in before riding, and tuck in the laces so they don’t catch on anything.
According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, 75% of all motorcycle accidents are due to other drivers not seeing the motorcycle. Here are some tips on how to stay visible to other motor vehicle operators:
- Drive defensively: assume other drivers can’t see you.
- Be alert and never stop looking, thinking, and checking your mirrors.
- Wear reflective or bright clothing.
- Keep your headlights on at all times.
- Avoid other drivers’ blind spots.
- Be especially careful at intersections, where over half of all motor vehicle vs. motorcycle accidents occur
- Always use turn signals and hand signals.
- Be ready to use your horn to get someone’s attention quickly.
Motorcycles need to follow the same rules of the road as other motor vehicles. Obey all the traffic laws; use blinkers when turning, changing lanes, or merging with traffic; drive the speed limit.
Motorcycle fatalities rose in CT in 2020. Most of those deaths were due to driving while impaired and speeding. Riding a motorcycle is more complex and demanding than driving a car. Your ability to respond quickly to road and traffic conditions is affected by how alert you are.
Make sure you’re well rested before riding. Limit your distance to six hours a day. Take rest breaks every couple of hours. Riding a motorcycle is more tiring than driving a car.
Follow Connecticut state laws. Lane splitting (driving between lines of traffic) is illegal. Headlights are required during the day. Don’t text or use your phone while driving. No more than two bikes can share a lane. While wheelies aren’t illegal in the state, you could be charged with reckless driving if you perform them or other stunts.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, call us for a free consultation to discuss your case. Our Personal Injury attorneys have years of experience helping accident victims get a fair settlement from insurance companies and others responsible for their injury.