Insights on Preventing Motorcycle Crashes
Insights on Preventing Motorcycle Crashes

Motorcycle riding offers an unparalleled sense of freedom and exhilaration, but it also comes with significant risks. To shed light on how motorcycle crashes commonly occur and what riders can do to prevent them, we spoke with leading motorcycle safety experts and seasoned riders.

The Stark Reality of Motorcycle Accidents

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are about 28 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash per mile traveled. Speed is a major factor in many motorcycle accidents. Riders often underestimate how quickly situations can change and overestimate their ability to react at high speeds.

Unsafe Practices and Distracted Riding

Unsafe lane changes and distracted riding also frequently contribute to crashes. It’s crucial for riders to consistently use turn signals, check blind spots, and avoid abrupt maneuvers. And put away the smartphone. Even a momentary lapse in focus can have devastating consequences on a motorcycle.

Unsafe Motorcycle Practices

The Dangers of Impaired Riding

Impaired riding is another major risk, with the NHTSA reporting that in 2019, 29% of fatally injured motorcycle riders had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. There’s just no excuse for getting on a bike after drinking. Plan ahead, designate a sober rider, call a rideshare – do whatever it takes to avoid riding impaired.

The Importance of Training and Gear

Experts also stress the importance of proper training and quality gear. Too many new riders hit the road without adequate preparation. Taking an accredited safety course and investing in DOT-compliant helmets, jackets, gloves, and boots can make all the difference in an emergency.

Navigating Variable Conditions

Even skilled riders must contend with variable road and weather conditions. Motorcycles are inherently less stable than cars, especially in inclement weather. Slowing down, increasing following distance, and exercising extreme caution on slick surfaces can help riders maintain control.

The Critical Role of Motorcycle Insurance

In addition to safe riding practices and protective gear, having adequate motorcycle insurance is essential for every rider. “Motorcyclists are especially vulnerable in crashes with underinsured or uninsured drivers,” explains Gary Paulson of Mid-Columbia Insurance, an independent insurance agency specializing in motorcycle policies. “Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage can provide crucial financial protection if you’re hit by someone without adequate insurance.”

Paulson also emphasizes the importance of medical payments coverage, which can help pay for medical expenses after an accident, regardless of who was at fault. “Even if you have health insurance, med pay can cover deductibles, copays, and other out-of-pocket costs,” he notes. “It’s an affordable way to ensure you have the financial resources to get proper treatment and recover after a crash.”

What to Do After an Accident

What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident

If an accident does occur, prioritizing safety, contacting authorities, documenting the scene, seeking prompt medical attention, and contacting your insurnce company are essential steps. Consulting with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney can also help injured riders protect their rights and secure fair compensation.

“At our agency, we’ve seen firsthand the devastating toll motorcycle accidents can take,” says Paulson. “By combining proactive safety measures with situational awareness while riding, riders can mitigate risks and ensure they’re prepared for the unexpected.”

The Path to Safer Riding

In the end, staying safe on a motorcycle comes down to a combination of smart decision-making, continuous skill development, and unwavering attentiveness. By learning from the insights of safety experts and the hard-earned wisdom of experienced riders, motorcyclists of all skill levels can work to prevent crashes and enjoy the ride.

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