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May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and the National Safety Council is reminding riders as well as drivers to do their part to keep everyone safe while riding on the nation’s highways.

With the weather warming up and riding conditions improving, you want to make sure that you’re staying safe while riding your motorcycle, whether you’re taking solo trips or going on group rides. When motorcycles are involved in a collision with a car, van, or truck, the motorcyclist is far more likely to suffer serious injuries and even death.

The best way to survive an accident is to avoid getting into one in the first place. And, to do that, you should follow some basic safety tips:

  • Wear a helmet whether your state has a helmet law or not
  • Know and obey the rules of the road
  • Ride alcohol and drug free
  • Drive defensively, especially at intersections
  • Position yourself to be seen by other motorists on the road
  • Wear bright or reflective clothing and protective gear
  • Use your headlight day and night
  • Watch out for road hazards such as potholes, oil slicks, debris, etc.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and share the road

Beyond the stats

Riding a motorcycle exposes you to dangers when you’re out on the road that drivers in other vehicles don’t experience. The number one danger is not having a “protective barrier” between you, other vehicles, and the roadway.  Cars and other vehicles on the roadways often have trouble seeing motorcyclists, which can lead to accidents and injuries, many of which are serious or life-threatening in nature.

Motorcyclists are approximately 5 times as likely to be injured in a crash vs. drivers and passengers in other types of vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) calls a motorcycle crash a “violent event” because more than 80% of all reported traffic accidents involving a motorcycle result in injuries or deaths

Many motorcycle accidents injuries can be catastrophic because any part of your body can be injured in the crash. According to the NHTSA, the following are some of the more common injuries suffered by riders:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Lower extremity injuries
  • Fractures
  • Internal injuries

As Ben Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Celebrate National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month by being proactive and following the safety tips listed above.

It’s not just for motorcyclists

When motorcycles and other vehicles collide, it’s generally the other driver that violates the motorcyclist’s right-of-way. So motorists also need to be watching for motorcycles on the road and take special care to avoid distractions and to compensate for visual obstructions.

Unfortunately, not all accidents can be avoided such as motorcycle accidents caused by a drunk driver. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident involving a drunk driver, you may be eligible for compensation and should enlist the services of an attorney that specializes in handling motorcycle accident cases.

Contact Inland Empire Motorcycle Law, attorneys for motorcyclists in Riverside, CA, to schedule a free consultation.