10 Quick And Easy Ways To Avoid Having A Motorcycle Accident!
Never had a motorcycle accident? Keep it that way by using these easy tips!
Updated on January 26, 2019
You could be the best rider in the world, but on a public road you’re just as likely to have a motorcycle accident as a novice. Here are a few quick and easy tips that will help improve your motorcycle safety, keep you upright, and free from personal injury! You don’t want to end up as story on the local news now, do you? It can happen to anyone, and those people you see on the local news who have had an accident, they were just unlucky. Because it doesn’t matter how much you think you know or how well you think you ride, at the end of the day if you’re going to have an accident, it’s probably going to involve someone else – and being a fantastically skilled rider won’t count for much when someone else is involved. Despite what my teenage right hand vigorously tried to thrash into me (with alarming regularity) in my younger years: it takes two to tango. So the best way to stay safe on two wheels is to treat everyone and everything else with distrust.
Easy Ways To Avoid A Motorcycle Accident!
We asked a few experienced riders who have endured a motorcycle crash or two in their riding careers to impart some words of wisdom. I too have multiple crashes under my belt, some caused by my own recklessness, some caused by other road users. You can play the blame game all you like, but even when it’s definitely not your fault, you should still shoulder a little bit of the blame. Here are a few of the most common tips suggested. Commit them to memory, make them part of your routine, and it could help you avoid a motorcycle accident in the future.
Tip #10: Prepare Your Mind For The Ride
Pre-ride checks don’t just apply to your motorcycle, they apply to the rider too. We’re not talking about a few jumping jacks and a few hamstring stretches either – we’re talking about your mental health. You know those memes and pictures that buzz around bike pages and social media that say that riding a motorcycle is better than therapy? They’re not wrong, but they’re not right either. If you’re feeling like the world’s against you, leave your bike at home. Never ride in anger, because you’re likely to take more risks than normal. When you get on your motorcycle for that therapy ride, leave your troubles behind. Don’t take them with you, because they’ll literally drive you to distraction. And the last you thing you want is to end up as as number in the motorcycle accident statistics book.
Tip #09: Prepare Your Body For The Slide
Keeping your mind healthy is one thing, but keeping your body protected is just as important. Again, we’re not talking about stretches and good cardio: we’re talking about us motorcycle riders wearing the best gear we can. It’s all very well having a $20k sports bike with ABS, traction control, launch control and 4 riding modes, but they won’t help you when your un-helmeted head, un-gloved hands, and un-jacketed back, are sliding down the highway, resulting a nasty personal injury. You should wear your gear. All the time. Because the day that you don’t…well, that’s the day you’re surely going to be involved in a motorcycle accident. Murphy’s law, right? Most fatal motorcycle accidents could’ve been survivable if the rider had been wearing the right, quality, gear, and the risk of personal injury is greatly reduced when you’re properly protected.
Tip #08: Pretend That You’re Completely Invisible
Many motorcyclists give fellow road users far too much credit. You shouldn’t trust anyone on the road. That goes for the car waiting to pull out of that junction up ahead, the truck behind you as you approach a stop light, and it also applies to your fellow motorcyclists too. Just because you’ve seen a car driver look, it doesn’t mean that they’ve seen. Just because you’re wearing a bright colored jacket, it doesn’t mean that you’re visible. And for god’s sake, just because it’s your right of way…You get the picture. By assuming the worst, you avoid putting yourself in dangerous situations. Assume nothing. Or if you’re going to assume, assume that you’re completely invisible to everyone around you. Even your riding buddies. Because sometimes they’re the worst offenders, and other riders are also guilty of causing motorcycle accidents.
Tip #07: Practice What You Preach
If you’re continually annoyed by texting drivers, people pulling out in front of you, and your fellow motorist’s lack of care and attention, then you’d better make damn sure that you’re not making the same mistakes. It’s easy to get distracted: you might be enjoying the road so much that only the next corner matters rather than those around you, you might be captivated by the scenery, or your eyes might be drawn by a particularly outstanding member of the human race strolling along the sidewalk. Make sure you’re focused on the matter at hand: riding from A to B without having causing personal injury or injuring someone else. Keep your head in the game by regularly checking your mirrors, and performing over-shoulder checks. Do these checks, little and often, and you’ll keep your focus in the right place.
Tip #06: Look Out For More Than Just Traffic
While other road users are the cause of the vast majority of motorcycle accidents and crashes, there are other hazards that you need to keep your eyes open for. Uneven road surfaces, loose gravel, patches of sand, oil spills, standing water, trash…you name it, if it’s on the road, it’s a hazard. The road conditions can be particularly fickle, so always pay attention. If you’re not sure your bike is going to perform well going through whatever is in front of you, you’ll need to make a contingency plan – not an easy thing to do at 60 mph, so it’s best to always scan way ahead in front of you and perform a little rick assessment well in advance. Sports bikes have been brought down by the dumbest of things, from the painted markers on the road, to a pocketful of sand, so do keep an eye out for these bad road conditions and hazards, and treat them all with the respect they deserve.
Tip #05: Parked Cars And Pedestrians Are Not Your Friends
You don’t have to be going fast to suffer a motorcycle crash. In fact, a lot of them happen at slow speeds and they’re caused by… parked vehicles or oblivious pedestrians. The real tip here is to maintain a sensible road position. Give cars, even seemingly parked and unoccupied vehicles, a wide berth. Why? Because those doors have a habit of getting thrown open without the occupant giving a glance to see whether it’s safe to open their door into the road.
Same with pedestrians, even more so now we live in this so-called “smart” age. In parking lots, in city streets, and even at proper crossings, these days it’s not uncommon to see some idiot ignore the world around them because their eyes are glued to a screen, and step straight into your path. It’ll only end in a few scrapes for both parties involved, but it still classes a motorcycle crash. Motorcycles accidents like these are totally avoidable by always assuming the worst in people!
Tip #04: Learn To Use Your Brakes Effectively
If some guy walks out in front of you like in the above scenario – not the kiss, in the text – you’ve got to know how to stop if you’re going to avoid an accident situation and personal injury. But you can only stop if you know how to use your brakes properly, and if you’re prepared and not afraid to use them. A lot of accidents happen because the rider panics and grabs a fist full of front brake, or worse, ignores the brakes completely. It’s always a wise idea to get to grips with your brakes, your stopping distances, and learning how to use both brakes effectively and efficiently in a variety of road conditions, without throwing you off of your bike. Learning how to brake properly is what makes the difference between an average motorcyclist and a great one. Going fast is one thing, bringing that speed under control is the real art.
Tip #03: Save Your Speed For The Track
Talk to anyone who takes racing seriously and they’ll tell you where the best place to go fast is: . Once you’ve unleashed the full fury of your inline-four on the track, you’ll never think it’s cool to go stupid-fast on public roads ever again. The speed limit is fine for roads that have other people on them. Even if you run into some hot-head at the lights who wants to go toe-to-toe with you, just ignore them. If they think it’s cool to put lives in danger, let them carry right on. These little moments of bravado and macho-ism lead to nasty motorcycle accidents, and motorcyclists tend to come off worse in these tangles than your average car driver. No seat belts, airbags, run off zones, or tire walls, see.
Tip #02: Ride In Your Own Way
Like above, you don’t want to be baited into an unnecessary road race but you don’t want to be forced into any kind of situation either. A lot of the time, it’s your own mind forcing you into dangerous situations, so take the time to stop, reassess, and think about what you’re doing. Rather than pulling away immediately when the lights change, allow yourself that extra second to really take in what’s going on around you. When you’re about to pull away from the kerb, take an extra moment to wait for the traffic to calm rather than speedily jumping into the first gap you see. It’s not a race, and there are no prizes for coming first, so don’t rush things and make a mess of your maneuvers. Even if some guy in his souped up Civic is begging to be schooled, give it a miss. Idiot car drivers cause idiot car accidents, which you don’t want to be a part of.
Tip #01: Keep It Cool And Be Friendly To Your Fellow Road Users
One of the best ways to stay safe and prevent yourself from having a crash today is to keep calm, stay cool, and respect the road and all who travel on it. It sounds a bit corny, but it’s true.
That car that cut you up? The chances are the driver wasn’t doing it on purpose…but if you take it personally and give them the finger, the chances are they will try to do something on purpose in retaliation. That truck that pulled in front of you probably didn’t see you – their mistake, sure – but take it on the chin. You don’t have to chase them down, riding dangerously in the process, and causing a car accident to let them know they made a mistake. We’re all human and make mistakes, and getting aggressive and confrontational never ends well. And playing the game of “might makes right” with a big heavy car on a busy highway isn’t particularly clever, no matter how “right” you are! Putting yourself at an increased risk of personal injury isn’t a wise idea!
Keep a few of these tips in your head when you’re out on your next ride, and hopefully you’ll be able to keep your bike accident record clean… The United States has some pretty rough motorcycle statistics, so follow this advice, play it cool, and stay safe!
Of course, following these rules can only help so much. Many motorcycle accidents aren’t caused by the riders. If you become the victim of an accident, you should get in touch with a professional personal injury lawyer. Personal injury lawyers, or professional ambulance chasers, can help out victims of motorcycle accidents and car accidents too. If your won’t pay out, they can help. If you need to go to court, they’ve got your back. While injury attorneys get a bad rep, they’re your best bet of getting the compensation you deserve. Motorcycle accidents aren’t cheap, as we hope you never have to find out.