Motorcycles are more likely to be involved in fatal crashes than cars, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA),who takes a closer look in May at protective protocols for bikers during Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.
Based on miles traveled, motorcyclists are “about 27 times more likely than people in passenger cars to die in a traffic crash,” according to NHTSA. Proper licensing is one way to improve safety, noted the agency. Of the 4,985 motorcyclists who died in 2018, 28 percent did not have valid motorcycle licenses. Those who complete a state-approved motorcycle rider education course are better prepared to understand the unique challenges of motorcycles, such as size and visibility, and the effective strategies to stay safe on the road.
Motorcycle riding practices, such as downshifting and weaving, can be disconcerting to other drivers. Awareness of these practices can help. “Safe motorcycling takes balance, coordination, and good judgment,” noted NHTSA.
Motorcyclists should start with a safety check before every ride. This includes checking tire pressure, tread depth, hand and foot brakes, headlights, signals, and fluid levels. If there is cargo, it should be secured and balanced, with suspension and tire pressure adjusted for the extra weight.
DOT-compliant motorcycle helmets are the best way to protect your head in the event of a crash. In addition, NHTSA recommends covering arms and legs with leather or heavy denim, wearing boots or shoes that cover the ankles, and gloves to protect your hands. Bright colored clothing also can help increase visibility to others.
Motorcyclists should know and obey the traffic laws, and ride defensively, leaving ample room between the motorcycle and other vehicles. The agency advises to drive sober and don’t take risks. These suggestions are part of NHTSA’s dedicated campaigns to promote motorcycle safety, including Share the Road and Ride Sober or Get Pulled Over.
If you suffered injuries or losses in an accident involving a motorcycle and you would like to talk to an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Pennsylvania, please reach out to us. Our firm is a recognized as a leader in litigating these cases.