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How to Prevent Motorcycle Accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that approximately 5,000 people died in motorcycle-related accidents in 2015. Over half of all motorcycle fatalities are caused by accidents with other vehicles. Whether you drive a car or ride a motorcycle, you can help to keep motorcyclists safe by following some simple tips.

Tips for Drivers

Drivers can play a big role in keeping motorcyclists safe. Changing your driving habits slightly can be the difference between life and death for a motorcycle rider. Here are some easy habits to help protect others on the road.

1. Check your blind spots. Motorcycles can easily disappear in your car’s blind spots. Be extra vigilant when checking these spots, and learn to check them frequently.

2. Leave more space. Allow yourself more space when following a motorcycle. Slowing down and allowing yourself a 4-second cushion can give you time to react if something unexpected happens. To measure the space you are leaving, let the motorcycle pass a stationary object and begin counting the seconds until you pass the object as well. If the time is less than 4 seconds, slow down.

3. Look before turning. An extra look before making a turn can protect motorcyclists. Make eye contact with oncoming motorcyclists if possible, and be sure to signal your intention to turn as well.

4. Allow for more space in bad weather. Motorcycles may have a difficult time navigating poor weather conditions such as rain, snow, or wind. Give them extra space.

Tips for Riders

Motorcyclists can also take steps to protect themselves on the road. Ensuring that you are visible and ride safely can help keep you and the drivers around you from becoming involved in an accident.

1. Learn good riding techniques. Developing your riding skills, increasing your knowledge about your bike, and learning how to handle a variety of conditions and situations can contribute to your safety. A professional motorcycle safety course can educate you on a number of skills you need, including avoiding potholes, taking curves, braking safely, and dodging trouble.

2. Be visible to other drivers. While colorful or reflective clothing can help drivers see you, you can also avoid riding in blind spots or making sudden moves to ensure that you are seen by those around you. Taking steps to be seen can also make you more aware of your surroundings and allow you to spot dangers more quickly.

3. Don’t drink and ride. Just as if you were driving, drinking and riding is illegal. Alcohol can affect your coordination and slow your reaction time, which can be fatal.

4. Wear a helmet. A helmet and other protective clothing, such as eye protection, a jacket, gloves, or boots, can save your life. Make sure your helmet is up to the standards set by the Department of Transportation and have one for any passengers as well.

5. Avoid hazards. This may seem obvious, but steering clear of debris and slippery conditions can reduce your chances of an accident. On a motorcycle, common hazards pose a larger threat. Learn how to handle dangers with your bike safely and keep a sharp eye out for hazards when you ride.

A few small changes to your daily habits can save lives. Learning to be more aware and courteous on the road can keep yourself and others around you safe, and can prevent fatal accidents. Practice these tips to help contribute to safer roads for everyone.

If you have been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, San Antonio catastrophic injury attorneys are here to help. Contact the Tom Rhodes Law Firm P.C. today to start your free case evaluation.