By Pendergast Law on July 3, 2019
There’s no question that riding a motorcycle can be one of the most thrilling experiences possible. Unfortunately, when you’re out on the road, it can also be one of the most dangerous. Because motorcycles don’t provide the same type of protection that cars do, motorcyclists are far more likely to suffer from severe and sometimes fatal injuries in an accident. Let’s talk prevention.
Staying Safe on the Road
Everyone wants to think that all drivers follow basic traffic rules. However, even the most thoughtful drivers make a mistake every now and then. While it’s impossible to completely eliminate the possibility of getting in an accident, there are many ways to minimize your risk. These include:
- Make yourself visible. Particularly when making a turn or changing lanes, it’s important for other drivers to see you on the road.
- Avoid lane-splitting. Under Washington law, it’s only legal to ride side-by-side in the same lane with another bike if the speed limit is 25 mph or under. However, even at such a low speed, lane-splitting can be an extremely dangerous activity.
- Drive within the speed limits. A common factor in most collisions is speeding. Because motorcyclists are some of the most vulnerable people on the road, it’s especially important for them to follow all speed limits.
- Stay aware of your surroundings. This may seem like an obvious tip, but you’d be surprised at the number of inattentive drivers out there. Make sure that you stay aware of any potential hazards in the road, what surface you are driving on, and anything else that could increase the risk of an accident.
What to Wear
According to Washington State, motorcyclists are required to wear a helmet at all times on the road. The necessity of wearing a helmet while on a motorcycle is obvious: it is oftentimes the deciding factor between a serious injury and a fatal one. Helmets aren’t the only things that motorcyclists should wear to keep themselves safe, however. Some other gear includes:
- Long pants and sleeves
- Eye protection
- Riding gloves
- Sturdy boots
Taking Care of Your Motorcycle
Motorcycle maintenance is a necessity for many reasons. Beyond the fact that it improves your safety, taking proper care of your motorcycle means that you won’t find yourself spending large amounts of money in the future on a preventable repair.
Before you hit the road, make sure you have these things taken care of:
- Oil: Check your service manual to see how often you should change your oil.
- Tires: Look out for any deterioration or cracks in your tires.
- Cleanliness: Dust and other particles can easily get into the components of your motorcycle and “gum up” the works.
- Horn: By Washington law, all motorcyclists must have their horn be audible within at least 200 feet.
- Working lights: You don’t want to suffer from a serious injury just because your turn signal didn’t work.
How an Experienced Washington Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help
You can follow all the traffic laws, wear the necessary safety gear, and have your motorcycle be working as well as it did right after it came out of the shop, and still get in a serious accident.
If you’ve been the victim of a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, our team is here to help. Motorcycle accidents can be particularly severe, with high medical expenses and lost future earning potential, and they can leave you dealing with a significant change in your lifestyle.