Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle Safety Tips

Our Firm would like to take the time to remind all riders that motorcycle safety begins with some very basic tips. With an increase in traffic and travel on our streets and highways, riders should be proactive in protecting themselves from injury. By adhering to some of these basic motorcycle safety tips you maybe able to reduce the possibility of being involved in an accident.
  • Lane Check
  • Ride the Line
  • Proper Braking
  • Cornering
  • Passengers
  • Unstable Surfaces
  • Obstacle Fixation
  • Protective Equipment
  • Practice
  • Drinking
Lane Check

Even the most experienced rider scan become complacent while riding and may neglect to follow even the most basic of motorcycle safety tips. For instance, checking your mirrors is not always enough when changing lanes.  Visual checks may reveal a vehicle that is sitting in the rider's blind spot.  We recommended that the rider, before every lane change, perform a full head turn to the left and right to make sure there are no vehicles in his or her blind spot.

Ride the Line

The safest and fastest way to execute a turn is to take the proper line.  By following the proper line, the rider will reduce the amount of breaking and leaning involved as well as increase the viability around blind turns.

The rider should approach the turn wide. When completing a right turn, the rider should approach from the left side of the lane. When completing a left turn, the rider should approach from the right side of the lane.

Proper Braking

During hard breaks, momentum continues to carry the bike forward, which shifts the weight of the bike to the fork.This quick reaction may cause the rear brake to lock up.  These scenarios are one of the reasons why the bike’s front brake is designed to manage a greater percentage of the braking load.  Practice is the only way to successful handle hard braking situations. We recommend practicing these skills on a quiet, well-maintained road.  Since the rear breaks often lock up during these stops, the rider can try keeping the bike in gear while braking then pulling the clutch just before coming to a complete stop.

Cornering

Certain bikes can be tricky to corner with.  Cruisers and dressers are styles of bikes that typically ride low to the driving surface.These bikes are more prone to dragging the pegs, floorboards, pipes, or panniers in a turn and may even lever weight off the tires causing the bike to slide. Owners of these bikes can reduce their risks by adjusting their suspension to yield the maximum amount of spring preload on the shock absorbers. Riders can also install longer shocks and fork springs.

Passengers

Passenger rider safety tips include:
  • Do not mount or dismount the motorcycle until instructed to do so
  • Remain neutral when approaching a turn, except to look over the driver's shoulder the direction of the turn
  • Squeeze the rider's arm before speaking into his or her ear
Unstable Surfaces

Drivers should avoid dropping their feet and walking their bikes while riding over rough terrain such as gravel parking lots or dirt roads.For most road conditions, the motorcycle's low torque and low center of gravity will provide adequate stability.

Obstacle Fixation

Since riders tend to steer the bike in the direction he or she is looking, riders approaching a pothole or other obstacle in the road should shift their focus to where they want to go rather than focusing on the object they want to avoid.

Protective Equipment

The single most important and fundamental safety tip while riding is wearing the appropriate protective riding gear. However, this is often of the most ignored tip there is. If involved in a wreck a wreck, boots, gloves, long pants, and a sturdy jacket can lessen the severity of cuts and abrasions. Wearing a helmet can drastically reduce the risk of catastrophic head injury and even safe lives.

Practice

As with any acquired skill, riding a motorcycle is a skill that can be continually improved with practice. A variety of riding situations can be effectively recreated in a parking lot.We recommend riders practicing maneuvers and techniques that will help them become more prepared if they are ever faced with the real occurrence. Some common exercises for riders to practice include:
  • Hard brake from 30 miles-an-hour
  • Negotiate tight turns with feet up
  • Ride over a 2x4
  • Lock the rear wheel to see how both the rider and bike respond
Drinking

DUI laws apply to motorcyclists just as they do to every motorist on the road.Motorcycle riders and motorist alike should drink responsibly. Avoid mixing alcohol and riding. Alcohol plays a significant role in a large number of deadly accidents seen on the road every day.

Contact Carabin Shaw for More Motorcycle Safety Tips

As riders ourselves, we understand the importance of motorcycle safety.  For more information about these and other motorcycle safety tips, contact the Carabin Shaw Law Firm.
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