It’s a gorgeous day. Not a cloud in the sky, the temperature is just right, and the roads seem clear. You check your motorcycle's tires, wear proper protective gear, and head out. While you’ve done everything correctly, statistically, not all other drivers will. Sharing the road means that you could be sharing it with drivers who are willfully or unintentionally dangerous to themselves and others.
There are many reasons that motorcycle operators are involved in crashes, and for most, it is not something that they could have avoided while in motion. This article will discuss both the most common reasons that people crash while riding a motorcycle and the ways that you can stay safe on the road by identifying and negating scenarios in which you may come to harm.
Fatigued driving is when someone drives while having not rested for a sufficient amount of time, leading them to be tired while driving. Fatigued driving can lead to serious issues, such as tunnel vision, where your vision loses the periphery, slowed reaction time, and even microsleeps, where a fatigued driver falls asleep for seconds at a time while still driving. At 55 miles per hour, each second you move you go the distance of a football field, and so every second asleep is a terrifying distance to cover while unable to react to anything. For motorcycle riders, this can present an issue as they are not as protected as drivers inside passenger cars. If you see a car attempt and fail to merge, or erratically start and stop, this could be a sign that the driver is fatigued and you should steer clear of them.
The weather can have an impact on a driver's ability. Ice and snow can cause tires to lose their grip on the roadway, as can rain and sleet during the summer months. It is of great importance to always check the weather before heading out for a day of riding. Adverse weather conditions can seriously affect not just your ability to safely drive, but also your fellow drivers’ ability. As well, wearing proper gear for your weather is critical to keep yourself safe and alert. Wearing a summer riding jacket in the winter can cause problems to your physical health, and vice versa. Know the weather before you head out.
More than any other vehicle type, motorcycle riders involved in fatal accidents have elevated levels of blood alcohol. 39% of motorcycle riders who died in single-vehicle crashes were under the effects of alchohol. While you may be on a motorcycle, it is still a motor vehicle. Alcohol impairs your ability to process the world around you no matter what kind of vehicle you drive. If you are drinking or planning on drinking, do not drive.
How to Stay Safe: Wear Helmets
Wearing a helmet is one of the most effective ways to protect yourself while riding a motorcycle. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), helmets saved a total of 1,872 lives in 2018. In fact, according to their statistics, wearing a helmet would have saved almost 750 people who died in motorcycle accidents in 2018. This means that of the almost 5,000 people who died in 2018 of motorcycle crashes, nearly 15% of them would likely be alive if they had been wearing their helmets. 57% of fatal crashes in states without helmet laws involved a helmetless motorcycle rider, whereas universal helmet law states saw that number plummet to 9%. Helmets save lives, and it could be the difference between life and death if you wear one.
Have You Been in a Motorcycle Accident?
After a motorcycle accident, it can be difficult to know where to begin. The team at McNabola & Associates, LLC can help. Our team of experienced personal injury attorneys will help you understand what legal option are available to you.