Safety Tips for New Motorcyclists
The Middle Tennessee area has had unseasonably warm weather in recent weeks, and the official start of spring is just around the corner. Warm weather means an increase in the number of motorcycles on roadways in and around Nashville, as well as an increase in motorcycle sales.
If you’re thinking about buying your first motorcycle, it’s important to be aware of the increased risks and dangers you’ll face traveling on two wheels compared to traveling on four. First, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says that motorcyclists are 30 times more likely to suffer fatal injuries during accidents than people traveling in enclosed vehicles.
In addition, older riders, including those who are 60 years old or older, are three times more likely to suffer serious injuries that require hospitalization after an accident than younger riders. While motorcycles are more likely to cause serious injuries during crashes than other vehicles, it’s important to note that nearly half of all motorcycle fatalities involved speeding or alcohol intoxication.
Follow These 4 Guidelines to Stay Safe on Your New Motorcycle
New riders are much more likely to be involved in accidents than veteran riders. That’s because new riders take time to get accustomed to riding at certain speeds, navigating curves in the road, and predicting the movements of other vehicles. However, you can still significantly reduce your risks as a new rider by following some important safety tips, which include:
- Buy a motorcycle that’s appropriate for your size and experience level.
When choosing a motorcycle, make sure it fits your body type. Your feet should be able to comfortably rest flat on the ground and the handlebars should be within easy reach. In addition, the motorcycle should also feel controllable when you’re getting off and on it. Finally, make sure the motorcycle’s engine and horsepower are within your limits. High-performance bikes can reach high speeds very quickly, which can be too much for novice riders to fully control.
- Take a motorcycle safety course.
Even if you’ve passed your motorcycle license examination and have some experience on the road, taking a motorcycle safety course can end up saving your life. These courses help students gain the skills and knowledge necessary to avoid crashes in a variety of situations. They also teach fundamental riding techniques that many veteran riders failed to learn, which can lead to a lifetime of bad habits and an increased risk of accidents.
- Wear the right gear every time you ride.
Motorcyclists have no protection from the road, other vehicles, their own motorcycles, and other objects in their paths in the event of an accident. The only thing protecting you if you crash is the gear you’re wearing. That’s why it’s important to not only purchase the right gear, but to also get in the habit of wearing it every time you ride. Make sure the gear you buy fits you well, stays cool, and doesn’t limit your movement or ability to control your motorcycle.
- Check the weather forecast before you leave and avoid riding in bad weather.
All motorcyclists face increased risks when they ride in rain, snow, or fog, but novice riders are even more likely to be injured. Experienced riders are often better able to judge the speed and braking required to negotiate a tight turn, while beginners may miscalculate these effects. In addition to avoiding situations where you’ll get caught in bad weather, you should also avoid roads that are known to have potholes, gravelly areas, or railroad tracks—all of which can increase your risk of a crash.
Matt Hardin Law’s team of Nashville motorcycle accident attorneys knows that motorcycle accidents can happen to riders regardless of their experience level. However, we also know that new riders are more likely to be involved in crashes. Following the safety tips above can not only help you reduce your risks when you’re riding, but they can also help you reduce the severity of your injuries if you are involved in an accident.
If you or someone you know was injured in a motorcycle accident, car accident, truck accident, or any other vehicle accident that wasn’t your fault, our legal team wants to speak with you. We know that you may be facing expensive medical bills that you can’t pay, but we know how to build claims for compensation that get results. Get in touch with us today by dialing (615) 200-1111 or completing a free online consultation form.