All posts tagged motorcycle helmet

Motorcycle Hazards: How to Minimize Your Risk

Motorcycles, by their very nature, are risky. If you ride, the hazards range from motorists not seeing you to changing weather. Fortunately there are steps you can take to minimize your risk. If you are a motorist, understanding the risks a motorcyclist takes will help avoid hazards, both to you and to the motorcyclist. In order to decrease the risks, all who travel the roads must use common sense precautions and alertness when driving.

Wear a Helmet

Despite the extreme physical dangers of riding a motorcycle, certain US states still don’t require that bikers wear helmets. Even if you don’t have to legally wear a helmet, a quick glance at the stats should be enough to convince you to. According to NHTSA.gov, the leading cause of death for motorcyclists is head trauma, a death risk reduced by an astounding 40% when the rider used a helmet.

Motorist: Do Not Tailgate

Motorists should never tailgate a motorcycle, because this is risky for both you and the cyclist. If the cyclist experiences a mechanical malfunction, odds are good they will be suddenly thrown from the motorcycle. If you tailgate, the possibility of running over the thrown cyclists is high. During the police investigation, the authorities may state you were negligent by following too close. Allow enough room for an escape route when driving behind a motorcycle.

Motorcyclist: Pre-Trip Inspection

If you are a motorcyclist, a pre-trip inspection minimizes your risk by discovering potential hazards. For example, imagine that during the inspection you find a frayed brake cable. If your brake fails, you lose a lot of stopping power when you need it. The solution, then, is to replace the cable before riding. Some areas of the pre-trip inspection should include checking the fluid levels, checking the cabling, and checking the tires. Another often overlooked routine is making sure all bolts are tightened to specifications. Bolts loosen up over time, and can lead to disaster if, say, the front wheel bolts loosen up.

Motorcyclist: Check the Weather Forecast

The weather may be nice, but a storm front may be moving in without you knowing about it. Any cyclist will tell you riding in a storm is miserable. Plan ahead, and plan for storms that are moving in. Tailor your riding time so bad weather is avoided. If you have to ride in the rain, pack weatherproof clothing accordingly. And if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Denver or elsewhere in the US due to a driver’s negligence, consider contacting an injury attorney.

Motorcyclist: Look Far Ahead

As a cyclist, you should always look far ahead in the road, since road hazards can be encountered quickly before you have time to react to them. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), hazards such as oil slicks and debris all lead to accidents. For example, you are riding behind a truck. Some debris falls off the truck, causing you to lose control. To prevent this, allow enough room between you and the vehicle in front of you. Look far enough ahead, and plan for bad road conditions accordingly.

When you ride, it’s imperative to arrive at your destination, instead of an emergency room. Some elements you can’t control, but others you can. Take all the precautions necessary to ride safely, since it all boils down to being alert when riding and maintaining your motorcycle properly.