Ride a motorcycle long enough and one thing comes to mind with each ride – you are vulnerable. Part of the thrill of motorcycle riding is not being encased in a steel cage and instead, coexisting with the speed and elements of the road.
However, motorcycles are harder to see than cars and trucks and not every motorist is careful to look out for you. One motorcycle accident could mean months of recovery and time away from your beloved bike. While the hope is to never be hit by a careless motorist, it is best to be prepared just in case. Here’s the safety equipment you should wear with each ride and a pre-ride checklist to ensure your motorcycle is safe.
Start with making good decisions regarding the clothing you wear on every ride. Conventional jeans and flip-flops are just asking for fractures and road rash should the worst-case scenario occur. Instead, make the investment for good-fitting protective gear,
Your most essential safety items include:
- Helmet. You only have one head, so protect it. Try on several DOT approved helmets and find the right fit for you. A helmet greatly decreases your chance of death in the event of a collision.
- Jacket. A good motorcycle jacket protects you from road rash and can even reduce the chance of fractures. Thick leather is often enough, but you can also add extra protection with long sleeves underneath.
- Gloves. Inclement weather and insects can affect your grip, making gloves essential. Gloves also protect your hands should you take a tumble and need to catch yourself.
- Boots. Motorcycle boots do not normally have laces, but if you wear heavy laced boots, be sure you tuck the laces in to prevent them from getting caught in the chassis as you ride. Thick soles help you balance your bike at stops and protect your feet in case of an accident.
- Chaps or Pants. Thick riding jeans may be adequate in most collisions, but specialized motorcycle pants or chaps offer better protection. You will enjoy being shielded from the elements as well as the road if anything unfortunate occurs.
- Eye Protection. Many riders find the visor on their helmets adequate. If you want more protection from debris and UV rays, or your helmet does not have a visor, look into a good pair of motorcycle goggles.
Other items you may consider include ear plugs, safety vests, chest armor, and extra knee and elbow padding. Ear plugs and other hearing protection is becoming a bigger priority among riders, especially those who like loud engine models. If you decide to invest in extra armor and padding beyond your jacket, buy for a good fit so you can still maneuver your motorcycle effectively.
Before Your Ride
Motorcycle accidents can often occur due to issues with the bike itself. A bike malfunction can easily cause an accident, or you may be hit by another vehicle while you are broken down on the side of the road.
One way to avoid these types of crashes is to check your bike thoroughly before every ride. You should check:
- Tire inflation;
- Fluid levels;
- Fuel system;
- Electrical systems;
- Valves; and
- Bulbs, especially your head and taillights.
If anything seems off with your motorcycle, it is likely a good day to avoid a ride. Finish any needed service instead so you can take a safer ride at another time.
However, even the most conscientious and experienced riders may overlook something important. If despite your best efforts, you still face a breakdown, you reduce your chances of accidents and injuries if you do not stay immobile for too long.
In addition to wearing the right gear, you should also carry emergency equipment. A tire-plug kit can resolve tire issues in the short term and a mobile device with GPS can help roadside assistance find you faster. Headlamps, flashlights, hazard lights, and even duct tape can also prove to be vital if you face a dangerous situation.
If you perform your own mechanical work, do not forget your tools. A quick repair can be a lifesaver if it gets you off the shoulder of a highway in a timely manner.
Motorcycle accidents frequently result in severe injuries and to make matters worse, insurance coverage often does not handle these instances the same way as auto accidents. Mazow | McCullough, PC understands these differences and is ready to help you secure compensation for motorcycle accident injuries or wrongful death.
Call us today for an appointment learn more about motorcycle accident compensation at (855) 693-9084.