Keeping Safe on Your Motorcycle

In the first two-thirds of 2010, motorcycle fatalities were down two percent. But in the months of October through December the numbers began to creep up again.

Some experts worry that the increase in motorcycle deaths could be the beginning of a dangerous trend. With the economy in stages of recovery, more riders are purchasing recreational cycles, and spiking gas prices have many taking advantage of the fuel-savings enjoyed by motorcyclists.

And more motorcycles on the road means more riders seriously injured or killed in motorcycle accidents.

Fortunately, there are precautions that all riders can take to ensure they do not become one of the thousands of motorcyclists killed every year on our nation's roads.

Proper gear

Wearing adequate protective clothing can be essential to preventing serious injury if you crash. Wearing a helmet that meets Department of Transportation standards lowers your odds of losing your life in a motorcycle accident by some 40 percent. Thick, protective boots, gloves, and clothing provide a barrier against the pavement in a crash. And, quality eye protection is essential: almost three-quarters of motorcycle riders involved in crashes do not wear eye protection.

Improving your skills

Human error is responsible for most single-vehicle motorcycle accidents, while two-thirds of multiple vehicle accidents involve an automobile violating the rider's right-of-way. Proper training can vastly improve a rider's odds of steering clear of both single-vehicle and multiple-vehicle accidents.

A significant percentage of riders involved in crashes are self-taught or learned their skills from family or friends. Furthermore, training is associated with a reduction in the seriousness of injuries sustained in collisions.

Conservative riding

There are many ways a rider can avoid dangerous situations on the road. Ensure that drivers of other vehicles can see you by wearing bright and reflective clothing, keep your headlight on at all times, and never ride in another vehicle's blind spot. Do not tailgate, and if another driver is following you too closely, wave them off or allow them to pass. Avoid over breaking: depress both brakes firmly and progressively, bringing your motorcycle upright prior to stopping.

Of course, drinking and riding is never a good idea: about half of fatal motorcycle accidents involve alcohol.

Get help after a crash

Even the best riders can be involved in accidents through no fault of their own. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact an experienced attorney today.