Operating a motorcycle on the roads, and especially the highways these days, is inherently dangerous. It is becoming more and more important to abide by certain safety precautions when operating any vehicle, but especially motorcycles due to the fact that your entire body is basically exposed.
First and foremost, the rider MUST wear a helmet. A crash is likely to occur, especially if you are a rider who navigates busy roads and intersections, and one out of every five motorcycle crashes result in a head or neck injury. And, this is more likely to occur when the rider is inexperienced, beginning, or untrained. Some riders don’t wear helmets because they think helmets will limit their view to the sides. While others only wear helmets on long trips, with the mindset that they are not riding at a high-speed and therefore are not in as much danger. North Carolina law requires that you wear a helmet at all times; so, wear a helmet!
Next, the right clothing is also imperative for motorcycle riders to wear for protection. This can protect your skin, and even help to prevent broken bones in an accident. It also provides comfort, as well as protection from heat, cold, debris and hot moving parts on the motorcycle. Protective clothing should cover arms and legs completely, and fit snug enough to keep from flapping in the wind. Sturdy synthetic material provides a lot of protection as well. Finally, wear gloves to allow a better grip on the handlebars, and protect your hands in a crash.
Third, make sure you have the right motorcycle for you, meaning your feet should reach the ground while you are seated on the motorcycle, and controls should be easy to operate; meaning you should not have to stretch to reach things and the motorcycle should “fit” you. A tip for beginners is that smaller motorcycles are typically easy to operate. In other words, do not attempt to ride a customized chopper as your first motorcycle.
Finally, make sure you are completely familiar with the motorcycle controls before you take it out on the street. If you are riding a borrowed motorcycle, make sure that you:
- Make all the checks you would on your own;
- Find out where everything is, such as turn signals, horn, and headlights;
- Know how to work the throttle, clutch, and brakes; and finally
- Ride very cautiously, and always be aware of your surroundings.
These are just a few of the hundreds of safety tips required when one is operating a motorcycle. While abiding by these basic procedures, new users are recommended to take a safety course as well as read the motorcycle owners manual to ensure you are knowledgeable on all of the devices on the bike. A large amount of accidents take place each year, when riders are involved in accidents, and due to the fact that they are open while riding, motorcyclists generally feel the brunt of the impact.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, and have been injured, call the law offices of Reeves, Aiken & Hightower, LLP. We have years of experience in dealing with personal injury cases, and love to help our fellow riders. For a consultation, give us a call at our Fort Mill, South Carolina office at 803-548-4444, or toll-free at 877-374-5999, and we will be happy to assist you. We have riders in our office, and we unders