According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), for every mile traveled, motorcyclists were 28 times more likely than cars (and other passenger vehicles) to die in a motor vehicle crash and were 4 times more likely to be injured. Many accidents are avoidable, especially if drivers and motorcyclists take steps to ensure their safety. In this article, we will discuss some of the ways motorcyclists can stay safe.
Motorcycle Safety Tips for Summer Riding
While the summertime is fun and relaxing, it can be also a dangerous time for those on the road, including motorcyclists. Here are some safety tips to help you prepare yourself and your motorcycle for the summer season.
- Examine your motorcycle. Before every ride, you should conduct a motorcycle check. You can complete a vehicle safety check by checking your bike for gas leaks, low tire pressure, engine or brake issues, etc.
- Invest in quality gear. While only riders and passengers who are under 18 or operators who only have a permit are required to wear a helmet, everyone should invest in and wear a quality helmet (see CGS §§ 14-289g and 14-40a). Riders should also wear a summer riding jacket, gloves, and other protective gear that is suitable for the warmer weather. Covering up cannot only protect you but can also help you avoid sunburn, heat cramps, and or heat exhaustion.
- Get a motorcycle cover. To protect your bike from sun damage and pollutants during the summer, you should invest in a motorcycle cover, especially if you park your bike in your driveway or on the street.
- Check the weather. During the summer, the weather can still present dangers to motorcyclists. You should be aware of whether a rain storm or other dangerous weather conditions is on the horizon, and you should also prepare for extreme heat or hot weather.
- Stay hydrated. Because it can be so hot, motorcyclists should make sure they rehydrate. Drink lots of water and consider replacing your electrolytes with juice, fruit, or a sports drink. You should also avoid coffee and other diuretics as they can increase your loss of bodily fluid.
- Know your limits. If you become too hot or drowsy while riding, take a moment to cool down; pull over and rest if you need.
- Be mindful of holiday weekends. During the summer, the three deadliest holiday weekends occur: the 4th of July, Memorial Day, and Labor Day weekend. If you ride or travel on these holiday weekends, you should take precautions and be even more mindful of others on the road. If possible, you should also consider avoiding travel during the nighttime.
- Watch out for teen drivers. More teen drivers will be on the road during the summer learning to drive, hanging out with friends, and/or heading to a summer job. Inexperienced drivers present a great risk to motorcyclists and other drivers. Consider giving them a wider berth if you notice a teen driver bumper sticker or unsafe driving practices.
Other general riding safety tips for motorcyclists include:
- Ensure you are properly licensed. Data from the NHTSA revealed that 36% of motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes in 2020 did not have a valid motorcycle license. In Connecticut, riders do not need a license but do need to obtain a motorcycle endorsement. The endorsement is a letter “M” on a valid state driver’s license. To receive an endorsement, you must complete an application, pass a knowledge and vision test, complete a safety test, and more. Learn more by visiting the DMV website.
- Don’t drink and ride. In 2019, 42% of motorcycle accident fatalities in single-vehicle crashes involved alcohol-related impediments.
- Schedule routine maintenance. You should take steps to ensure that your motorcycle is operating at its maximum level of efficiency.
- Always acquaint yourself with your ride. Every motorcycle has different responsiveness and may need to be handled differently. If you are operating a new motorcycle, you should take time to learn how the bike feels, rides, and operates.
- Drive defensively. During the summer, vacation traffic and construction work increase, which means that more drivers and vehicles will be on the road. Traffic and slowdowns can cause drivers to get road rage or behave recklessly. Be alert and aware while riding so that you can properly react and respond.
- Eliminate distractions. Distracted driving and riding can lead to accidents. Avoid daydreaming, using a phone, engaging in too much conversation with passengers, or engaging in activities that take your attention away from operating your bike.
- Watch out for roadway debris or hazards.
Involved in an Accident? Get Legal Help.
After a motorcycle accident, you can suffer from a wide range of injuries, such as lacerations, broken bones, head trauma, or traumatic brain injuries. If you or a loved one have been involved in a motorcycle accident, you should contact our attorneys as soon as possible. While you take the time you need to heal, we can handle the case legalities.
At Fitzpatrick Mariano Santos Sousa P.C., we are dedicated to helping clients fight for fair compensation after suffering injuries in an accident caused by negligence. With over 100 years of collective experience, our attorneys can help you understand your legal options and offer you the legal counsel you need and deserve.