Motorcycles are smaller and less stable than automobiles, so they allow for a smaller margin of error when it comes to operating them on the roadways. The statistics show that thousands of people are injured in motorcycle accident each year, and most of those accidents are the result of rider error. But, many of types of accidents can be avoided with the knowledge that your bike accident lawyer can share with you to dispel some of the myths about riding a motorcycle.
Myth No. 1 Lay down your bike if you think you’re going to crash
It is never a good idea to try to “lay down” your bike, especially if you are traveling at high speeds. In most cases, laying down your bike will do more harm than good. Instead, it is best to reduce your speed as much as possible, using both of your brakes in order to mitigate a bad wreck.
Myth No. 2 Racing tires make your bike safer on the road
Unless you intend to go more than 200 miles per hour on the highway, racing tires will not perform any better than regular tires. Motorcycle racing tires, like automobile racing tires, are designed to use the immense heat generated from high speeds to create better grip on the roadway. Therefore, using these tires on a normal highway, going the speed limit, will not make your bike any safer.
Myth No. 3 18 to 25 year old bikers are at higher risk of injury
You might assume that younger drivers would be at higher risk simply because of inexperience. While that might be true, generally speaking, the NHTSA reports that those at highest risk of death are motorcyclists aged 40 to 55 years old. Don’t assume that simply because you have been riding for 20 years you are less prone to be injured while riding. Accidents can happen and you shouldn’t allow your experience to make you overconfident and less cautious.
Myth No. 4 Get your dream bike when you first start riding
It would be surprising if a motorcyclist’s dream bike was the safer beginner’s model. Most likely it’s a head-turning sports bike or a powerful Harley. However, most young riders aren’t born ready to handle the kind of power that a top of the line motorcycle can bring. It is more important for every rider to learn to handle a more basic model and then progress at their own pace before jumping on that dream bike. Be safe and be patient and you’ll get to ride that dream bike one day.
What makes motorcycles more dangerous?
Motorcycle riders are inherently exposed to dangers not faced by automobile drivers because of the lack of a protective barrier between a motorcyclist and the road. Also because of the lack of safety features found in passenger vehicles, such as seatbelts, airbags, and a metal frame, motorcyclists are more likely to suffer serious or even catastrophic injuries. Motorcyclists must remain aware of their surroundings as they are much smaller than passenger vehicles and may be more difficult for other drivers to see.
How to avoid motorcycle accidents
There are a few steps motorcyclists can take in an effort to reduce the risk of being involved in a serious or fatal wreck. First, take good care of your motorcycle. The better you maintain your motorcycle the less likely your machine will be the cause of an accident. Also, wearing protective clothing and equipment is a necessity. Without the outer protection that cars provide, equipment like goggles, boots, gloves and other protective clothing can be very helpful in protecting your skin and body in a crash. Of course, you should not ride without a helmet.
Make sure you are seen and heard by the other motorists
Many accidents are the result of other riders on the roadway failing to see motorcycles. The reality is, many drivers are not used to looking out for bikes and only register the absence of another car. So, it is important for motorcyclists to make themselves as visible as possible. Use your lights to be seen and your horn to signal danger. That will help others realize you are there. Avoid heavy traffic and maneuver to large open spots on the roadway with fewer vehicles whenever possible.
If you have questions regarding motorcycle accidents, or any other personal injury concerns in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a consultation, either online or by calling us as (888) 433-4861.
He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.
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