Motorcycle Safety Month

May is annually regarded as Motorcycle Safety Month. This annual campaign seeks to bring awareness to safety measures and precautions that should be taken by both motorcyclists and motor vehicle drivers. In 2022 alone, 6,218 motorcyclists were killed in collisions, further demonstrating the importance of motorcycle safety. Furthermore, in this article, we will explore a handful of safety measures that can be taken to help reduce the incidence of motorcycle collisions and help keep both motorists and automobile drivers safe on the road.

Wear a Helmet

The first and most important step that all motorcyclists should and must take before hopping on their motorcycle is to wear a helmet. Wearing a helmet is incredibly important as it provides enhanced protection for your head in the event that you get into an accident. In fact, research provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that wearing a helmet reduces motorcycle fatalities by 20% and brain injuries by 28%. Furthermore, wearing a helmet is paramount. 

However, just simply wearing a helmet is not sufficient enough, as two other criteria must be met to improve the helmet’s effectiveness. First, it is imperative that the helmet meets the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218. Helmets that meet this standard will have a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) certification label on the back of the helmet. These helmets are specifically designed to help protect your head and brain. The next criterion that must be met is that your helmet must fit your head properly. If you are riding your motorcycle with an ill-fitting helmet, it is very unlikely to prevent you from injury if you get into an accident. 

Inspect Your Motorcycle

Before riding on your motorcycle, it is important to conduct a pre-inspection to ensure that your bike is in good condition to ride. Some features that you will want to look at before riding include your brake lights and headlights, fluid levels, turn signal indicators, brake responsiveness, handlebars, and tire pressure. It is vital that you do not skip out on these important steps.

Obey Traffic Laws

The next safety tip to follow while riding a motorcycle is to obey traffic laws. Just because you are a motorcyclist does not mean that the laws of the road do not apply to you. Just as with other vehicles, you must use turn signals, obey right-of-way laws, stop at stop signs, and abide by traffic lights. In addition, you will want to educate yourself about any state-specific laws regarding motorcyclists. 

Wear Reflective Gear

In addition to the aforementioned safety tips, it is also important that motorcyclists wear reflective gear. Since motorcyclists are comparatively smaller than other vehicles on the road, it can be easy for them to be overlooked and missed. Therefore, wearing bright, reflective gear can help you stay visible on the road. This is particularly important when driving at night.

Slow Down

The last safety tip to adopt as a motorcyclist is to watch your speed on the road. According to the NHTSA, of all fatal motorcycle crashes in 2022, 35% of them were caused by speeding. Although it may be tempting to weave in and out of traffic and zoom by other vehicles, it is important to obey speed limits to protect yourself and stay safe. 

Involved in a Motorcycle Accident?

In the unfortunate event that you get into a motorcycle accident, the first thing that you should do is seek medical attention immediately. This is important not only for your physical health but also necessary in the event you are filing a personal injury claim. If you are able, you will then want to document the accident scene by taking videos and pictures. Additionally, exchange contact information with others involved in the accident, as well as any witnesses, if applicable. Finally, contact a Van Nuys motorcycle accident lawyer who can help you with your injury claim, ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your accident, and protect your rights.