The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has declared May Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month to raise awareness about the risks of driving a motorcycle. Motorcyclists face extreme consequences for accidents, including serious injuries and fatalities. According to the NHTSA, over 5,000 motorcycle riders and passengers died in a crash in 2019. Today, we go over what steps you can take to keep motorcyclists safe on the road.
How You Can Improve Motorcycle Safety for Riders on the Road
Motorcycle safety awareness is not just about learning how to be safe, but also studying best practices and using sound judgement while on the road. This might mean remembering to share the road with motorcyclists or to be extra vigilant while driving at night.
Here are some best practices to keep in mind:
Do not distract yourself with a cell phone or music while on the road. Distracted driving is especially dangerous when you are around motorcyclists who you might overlook. As motorcyclists have less protection, hitting one while on the freeway could be catastrophic.
Follow traffic laws
Use your signals, stop at stop signs, and look over your shoulder to see if anything is in your blind spot while driving before switching lanes. Motorcycle riders will be looking to anticipate your move to navigate around you safely, so this lets them know where they should be on the road.
Give motorcycles a full lane width and additional follow distance
Motorcycles need room to maneuver past lanes, especially in traffic. Share the road and give them enough space to feel safe.
Keep an eye out for motorcyclists
Even just being aware of motorcyclists can go a world of good. They can easily be lost in blind spots and hit as a result. Use your mirrors and exercise caution when switching lanes.
Safety Tips for Motorcyclists
If you ride a motorcycle, you should remember basic safety tips and exercise caution whenever you are on the road. Here are some tips to remember when you are out on the road:
- Never ride under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
- Wear a DOT-approved helmet
- Drive defensively by watching the road and being aware of other vehicles around you
- Wear reflective gear at night and the right safety gear in the event you crash
- Read up on motorcycle safety skills and attend classes
What Steps Should You Take After a Motorcycle Accident?
When it comes to a motorcycle accident, the likelihood of injury is extremely high. In fact, 98% of multiple vehicle collisions and 96% of the single vehicle accidents resulted in an injury to the motorcycle rider. Also, 45% resulted in more than a minor injury. So, what should you do when an accident does happen? Here are the steps you should take:
- Seek immediate medical attention (call 911 if needed)
- Have a law enforcement officer compile a police report
- Gather important documentation, such as the contact and insurance information of the other drivers and any witnesses
- Take photographs of the scene as well as any medical records and/or doctor’s notes
- Ensure you seek medical attention and follow your doctor’s orders
- Consult with an experienced lawyer
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident and are wondering if you can pursue a personal injury claim, contact our office online today.