Now that spring is in full swing, people are eager to break out their motorcycles and hit the open road. And for good reason! We at Bottaro Injury Lawyers already know how careful most motorcyclists are, despite biases against them that insist otherwise. In light of the new season, today’s blog outlines our top motorcycle safety tips all motorcyclists should remember for this spring and beyond.
Tip #1: Gear Up.
We recommend wearing a DOT-certified helmet at all times while operating your motorcycle. Many riders take it a step further and ride ATGATT – “in all the gear, all the time.” This includes wearing a helmet, gloves, boots, jacket, and padded pants. While it isn’t required by law to ride ATGATT, motorcyclists that do often encourage other riders to do the same – and we agree!
Massachusetts law requires all motorcycle operators and passengers to wear a helmet. Additionally, if a motorcycle does not have a windshield or screen, the operator must also wear eyeglasses, goggles, or a protective face shield. In contrast, after the first year of being licensed, Rhode Island law does not require motorcycle operators over 21 years of age to wear protective gear, including a helmet. Only passengers are required to wear a helmet. Check out our article dedicated to helmet laws for additional information and motorcycle safety tips and statistics.
While wearing protective gear won’t necessarily prevent you from being injured altogether in the event of motorcycle accident, statistically, it will protect you. The National Safety Council estimates that from 2002-2017, helmet-wearing saved over 25,000 lives. Furthermore, the NSC estimates that motorcycle helmets are 37% effective in preventing fatal motorcycle and 41% effective for motorcycle passengers. Therefore, whether wearing a DOT-compliant helmet is required in your state or not, we highly recommend doing so. We at Bottaro injury Lawyers also recommend wearing reflective tape and/or a piece of bright clothing to stand out on the road.
Tip #2: Practice Defensive Driving.
Nearly all passenger vehicle driving classes emphasize defensive driving techniques. Motorcyclists should especially drive defensively. Top crash causes due to passenger vehicle behavior include: Left turns, distracted driving, sudden stops, vehicle overshadowing, lane changing, and unexpected car door openings. In short, passenger vehicle operators often do not see, or even look past motorcycle operators. It is important to advocate for yourself and your safety by driving with caution and alertness. Bottaro Injury Lawyers also recommend exercising extra caution while driving in “April showers” i.e., in rain and other inclement weather.
Tip #3: Don’t Drink and Drive.
This motorcycle safety tip may seem like a no-brainer, but the truth of the matter is, motorcyclists are overrepresented in deadly drunk-driving fatalities. 27% of all those killed on motorcycles were drunk driving. We encourage motorcyclists to refrain from getting on the bike after taking any medication as well.
Have you recently been in a motorcycle accident? Call Bottaro Injury Lawyers now to assess your case, free of charge.
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