It’s no secret that motorcycle riding puts you at higher risk for injuries than other modes of transportation. In fact, for every vehicle mile traveled, “motorcyclist fatalities occurred 26 times more frequently than passenger car occupant fatalities in traffic crashes,” according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study.
While there are several steps you can take to avoid accidents and protect yourself in the case of an accident, you can never eliminate all risks. When a crash does occur, our attorneys are here. The Law Offices of Gary Bruce have helped many victims of motorcycle accidents obtain compensation for injuries and damages in Georgia and Alabama. Below, we look at some of the ways you can reduce your risk of a motorcycle crash.
Attend Driver Education and Skill Development Courses
Both Alabama and Georgia require motorcyclists to have a motorcycle license to ride. You can be ticketed for riding without the appropriate license endorsement. You will likely need to complete a class to obtain your motorcycle license, though this should not be your only motivation for attending a course.
The more skilled and knowledgeable you are about riding, the better equipped you will be to identify and avoid hazards. A safety course allows you to practice riding under safe conditions and learn more about local laws and advisories. There are also riding classes for beginner, intermediate, and experienced motorcycle operators that provide opportunities for ongoing skill acquisition.
A course can help you gain awareness of dangers you will face, but it will take practice and experience to develop skill at recognizing these threats. Be particularly vigilant for the following:
- Road hazards– Potholes, gravel, and other debris can be devastating to motorcyclists. Be alert and aware to avoid hazards.
- Intersections – Other motorists pose a major threat to motorcycle operators around intersections. Often, they do not look for motorcyclists before turning, or they may not see you even if they do look. Motorists turning left are particularly dangerous to motorcycle riders. Always proceed with caution.
- Impaired drivers – It goes without saying that you shouldn’t imbibe and ride to ensure that you are alert and able to safely navigate traffic. You also need to protect yourself from impaired drivers by watching for vehicles that are swerving, speeding, or moving erratically, and keeping your distance.
Wear Protective Gear
Protective clothing and accessories are key to reducing the severity of your injuries in the case of an accident. You should use the following items every time you ride:
- Helmet – Helmets are a non-negotiable piece of protective gear. Head and brain injuries are common in motorcycle accidents and can be fatal. Protective headgear is required by law for all motorcycle drivers and passengers in Alabama and Georgia. Check your state’s helmet requirements to make sure your headgear complies with state law.
- Face shield or eye protection– Some helmets are compatible with face shields that provide coverage for your face and eyes. If you don’t use a face shield, make sure to wear eye protection to eliminate the risk of debris, insects, or other hazards flying into your eyes and putting you at risk of an accident. Motorcycle goggles come in many different styles to optimize your vision in day or night conditions.
- Full-body coverage –Wear a long-sleeved jacket or shirt and sturdy pants. The thicker and more durable the fabric, the more protection you have in the event of an accident. You can even find gear with built-in padding. Full-fingered gloves are another important piece of your safety plan. A sturdy over-the-ankle boot supports and protects your lower extremities and means you’re covered from head to toe.
- Reflective gear – Deck yourself and your bike with reflective gear that makes it easy for other drivers to see you.
- Headlight – Keep your headlight on at all times when you are riding. Even during the day, this action makes you more visible.
Schedule a Free Consultation
While responsible riding and protective gear can go a long way toward keeping you safe when you ride, there is no guarantee that you won’t encounter a negligent or reckless driver on the road. If you are a victim of a motorcycle accident in Georgia or Alabama, our team at the Law Offices of Gary Bruce wants to help.
We will review your case at no cost to see how we can help you get fair compensation for your injuries. Call us today at 706-786-4352. We proudly advocate on behalf of injury victims from Columbus, Fort Benning, Phenix City, and all of the surrounding region.