Tips to Avoid Motorcycle Accidents
Publication: Scooter News
Date Published: July, 2010
Everything in life has its inherent risks, and although riding a motorcycle may put you at a greater risk of being injured, it doesn’t mean you should give it up completely. All you need to do is prepare yourself with the proper knowledge and skills to protect yourself from a serious motorcycle accident.
On a positive note, the number of people killed in motorcycle crashes in Colorado dropped 10% in 2009. However, motorcycle accidents account for almost 20% of all traffic fatalities in the state, despite the fact that motorcycles represent only about 3% of all registered vehicles in Colorado.
Here are 5 tips to greatly reduce your chances of being involved in a motorcycle accident:
1) Go Through Motorcycle Training
Completing a proper motorcycle safety course is extremely important and can save lives. Presently, there are two programs underway in the State of Colorado. The first one, Live to Ride, is run by CDOT’s public relations office, which aims to educate riders about the importance of training, wearing proper gear, and riding sober. The second program, MOST (Motorcycle Operator Safety Training), is overseen by CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety, and provides lower cost motorcycle training for Colorado residents.
2) Don’t Drink and Drive
All the same rules that apply to driving in a car, apply to riding a motorcycle. You should never ride if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol because you will have decreased judgment and reaction time. Without the protection of seat belts and airbags, you’re at an even greater risk of injuring yourself in an accident, and alcohol will increase the chances of you being in an accident. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, approximately 40% of all motorcycle fatalities in Colorado in 2009 involved an operator who had been drinking.
3) Keep a Safe Distance
Just as with driving a car, it’s important to give the driver in front of you a good buffer. That way if they stop abruptly, you decrease your chances of rear ending them and seriously hurting yourself. On the other hand, if someone driving behind you is tailgating you and not giving you enough space, you’re better off pulling over so they can pass you. Keep a safe cushion in front and behind your motorcycle at all times.
4) Respect Traffic Laws
Motorcyclists are still required to abide by the same traffic laws as any car or truck driver. That includes following the speed limit, stopping at red lights, using your turn signal, and passing safely. Following the law and driving defensively are perhaps the easiest way to avoid an accident.
5) Use Your Head
Finally, using common sense can help you avoid the majority of accidents. If you are feeling under the weather or using potent cold medicine, this could impair your judgment and reaction time just likes drugs and alcohol. If it’s late at night or weather conditions make you feel uncomfortable on the road, it’s better to listen to your instincts and avoid riding your motorcycle. In addition, if your motorcycle is dark in color make sure you wear reflective safety gear in the evening to make yourself visible to other drivers.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident anywhere in the State of Colorado, feel free to contact me anytime at 1-800-ROSEN-911 or using the contact form on the right for a free consultation.