Riding a motorcycle can be both enjoyable and economical. Unfortunately, every year, thousands of motorcycle riders die on American roads. In the U.K., motorcycles comprise one percent of vehicle traffic, yet 20 percent of vehicle fatalities. Motorcyclists face numerous hazards on the road. Those who want to ride safely and enjoyably need to take precautions.
1. Assume the Worst
Defensive riding is always required when riding motorcycles. In traffic, motorcyclists must be vigilant to the point of paranoia. Because motorcycles present a low frontal area to other motorists and their rarity on most roads, motorists often don’t see motorcyclists until it’s too late. Many accidents occur because drivers pull out in front of motorcyclists, merge in front of them, or rear-end them at lights.
For this reason, the laws in most states prohibit lane splitting. In Los Angeles, motorcyclists can legally split lanes to get by slower motorists; motorcyclists in New York City may not legally do so. Considering the intensity of New York City traffic, that is a problem that many Manhattan accident lawyers can tell you. Even in California, only 52 percent of motorists know that lane splitting is not illegal. As such, many motorists will inspect their blind spots for vehicles, but not motorcycles.
2. Always Wear Gear
Proper gear saves lives. A helmet can turn a potentially fatal fall into a non-event. Jackets, gloves, and boots can resist the tearing effect of asphalt and keep a rider in one piece. Being hot is uncomfortable, but losing a limb is worse. A.T.G.A.T.T. is an acronym that stands for “all the gear all the time,” and it is an essential component of riding.
Many motorists cannot drive in a straight line. If a motorcyclist must ride near another vehicle, the rider should use the lane space as a buffer. Motorcyclists who ride closely to vehicles will have little opportunity to react when the driver moves into his or her lane.
This also applies to stationary vehicles. While riding in the far right lane on surface streets, always ride towards the edge of the lane away from the sidewalk. Since all motorcycles are invisible to careless motorists, individuals parking their vehicles can throw their doors open at inconvenient moments. Additionally, the motorcyclist can easily change lanes if a driver abruptly pulls out in front of him or her.
4. Ride Responsibly
The combination of a high power-to-weight ratio, the rush of the wind, and the ability of motorcycles to do stunts tends to attract individuals who are thrill-seekers. Motorcyclists that engage in wheelies, weave in and out of traffic, and race at high speeds on public roads are called “squids” due to their propensity to meet a graphic demise. Irresponsible riders cause negative public perceptions towards motorcyclists, increased insurance rates for everyone, and police harassment of law-abiding riders.
Motorcycle riders must be aware of every potential road hazard. A proper education can the difference between life and death. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation courses are some of the most popular courses available for new riders and cover a wide range of hazards for motorcyclists.
Vigilant riders with proper protection can have long riding careers. Individuals who respect the laws, cause no problems for other motorists, and ride carefully can outlast their unwary cohorts.
Anthony Joseph is a freelance writer and researcher, and a contributing author for Manhattan accident lawyers. The typical name for this type of an attorney is a personal injury attorney. However, you must proceed with care when hiring this type of lawyer. Some personal injury lawyers are only in it for their portion of the settlement and they don’t care the victim. They may give you incomplete advice or be too anxious to settle with the insurance company rather than taking your case to trial. Take the time to really question the legal professional you plan to hire, to make certain they are in your corner.
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