There isn’t much better than getting out on the open road on a motorcycle. The wind in your hair, the feel of the road, and the fun of being on two wheels for a ride all make for a great time. Unfortunately, it is also true that motorcycle accidents are far more likely to cause injury and about 27 times more likely to be fatal than passenger vehicle accidents. The last thing a rider wants to consider while enjoying their bike is the possibility of injury or death, but there are several common causes to avoid so you can keep on riding.
According to NHTSA, about 30% of fatal motorcycle accidents involved alcohol consumption over the legal limit. That number increases to nearly half when you consider the number having some level of alcohol in their system. Alcohol negatively affects several areas of the brain, including the cerebellum, which is responsible for balance and coordination, a pretty important skill when you’re on two wheels.
A study by NHTSA showed that approximately 31% of all riders involved in a fatal accident were riding over the speed limit. The faster you move, whether in a passenger automobile or on a bike, the less time you have to react to environmental changes. Additionally, it is especially difficult to come to a stop on a motorcycle because of the reduced friction due to being on only two thin tires.
Not surprisingly, nearly 30% of fatal motorcycle accidents involve a rider without a motorcycle license. While getting a license is the first step to a safe ride, riders should also consider motorcycle courses that improve a rider’s ability. You can find many quality motorcycle safety courses around the country. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers free resources for riders interested in learning how to reduce the chance of an accident. They also offer a basic rider course which is strongly recommended.
While alcohol is a major contributing factor to death and injury on motorcycles, other things may diminish one’s mental function to the same or even greater degree. For example, the Sleep Foundation suggests that just 20 hours of sleep deprivation can impair your cognitive function to a degree close to DUI-level blood alcohol content. Whether it’s alcohol or something else, it is best to take the car when you cannot fully function mentally.
Finally, before you take your bike out on the road, you should double-check its roadworthiness. Maintaining your bike mechanically can mean the difference between life and death. Make sure not only that the engine, brakes, and other vital areas are functioning optimally but also check the small things like tire pressure, tread, and age. The last thing you want is a blowout at highway speeds!
Even if you do all the right things, a negligent driver can hit you on your motorcycle. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact The Horwitz Law Group today. There are many common causes of motorcycle accidents, and our experienced team of attorneys can help you get what you deserve. We have experience helping motorcycle accident victims get what they deserve. Reach out today for a case evaluation.
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