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5 Tips to Avoid a Motorcycle Accident

Motorcycles can be ideal for warm weather rides and they may help commuters avoid congested streets during high-traffic hours. However, motorcyclists face serious dangers each time they take to the road. Not only do motorcycles lack the physical barriers that keep those in passenger vehicles safe, they are also less stable on wet or uneven pavement, and they can be harder for other drivers to spot on the road. For these reasons, motorcyclists need to be especially cautious if they wish to avoid a serious accident.

Do what you can to avoid a motorcycle accident by following these 5 safety tips:

1. Take Care of Your Vehicle

As with any vehicle, a motorcycle needs regular maintenance if you expect it to run smoothly. Always be sure to check your bike before you go anywhere, paying particular attention to the tires and breaks. You should be especially vigilant about having your bike serviced if you keep it in storage during the winter or if it has been left unused for any extended period of time.

2. Read the Weather Report

Before you head out anywhere, make sure you know what type of weather to expect. Motorcycles are naturally less stable on wet roads because they rely only on two wheels, so be prepared to find another mode of transportation if it is raining or if it is cold enough for the roads to accumulate ice.

3. Plan Before You Go

Staying safe on a bike also means being prepared. Whether you are planning on taking a long leisurely ride or are just striking out on your daily commute, make a plan before you go. Check traffic reports, look at road conditions, potential closures, and construction zones so you can avoid any areas of congestion or potential road debris. Also, if you have a set road map in your head you will be able to ride with less distraction.

4. Ride Defensively

Whether you are in a car or riding your motorcycle, you should always operate your vehicle defensively. In other words, always be on the lookout for potential hazards. Look on the road for debris and look both ways at intersections, even if you have the right of way. Also, motorcyclists should never assume that other drivers can see them. Motorcycles can be especially difficult to spot in the blind spots of larger vehicles, which is why so many bikers are hit by cars changing lanes or making left turns. To prevent these types of accidents, try to avoid riding in blind spots and if you must ride between lanes, always operate under the assumption that the other drivers do not see you.

5. Wear the Right Gear

Wearing a helmet can mean the difference between life and death in a serious motorcycle crash. While other gear is also important, wearing a protective helmet is probably the most important piece of protective wear a motorcyclist will own. Always ride with your helmet buckled securely, and opt for a model with a visor and a proper fit. You should also wear a padded jacket and sturdy close-toed shoes for optimal control and protection. Finally, wearing jeans or other thick pants will protect your legs from the engine, which can get very hot, or the asphalt should you fall.

While these safety tips can be extremely helpful in avoiding a crash, sometimes accidents happen regardless of the precautions you take. If you or someone you love was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, make sure you know your legal rights.

Contact Simeone & Miller, LLP to discuss your motorcycle accident case with our Washington D.C. personal injury lawyers.