An astonishing one-third of motorcycle drivers are not properly licensed to drive.
By getting your license renewed regularly, you update your familiarity with the laws regarding motorcycle driving (as opposed to car driving) and give yourself more knowledge about how to drive safely.
If you’re already licensed, consider taking an annual course on motorcycle training. Most states offer these programs for experienced riders who want to stay alert and safe on the road. The course usually costs a few hundred dollars, which you can often make up in your motorcycle insurance – many insurance providers offer discounts for motorcycle riders who take a regular training course.
As a regular motorcycle rider, you are probably highly aware of the vehicles around you. Their presence and danger is immediately apparent to you, because there is nothing between you and the other vehicles. Car and truck drivers are often not as aware. Many get lazy in their driving style and only casually glance to the next lane while changing. They’re looking for something the size of a car, not a motorcycle, which puts you in danger.
To attract the attention of a car driver, wear full reflective gear and consider getting your protective gear and/or motorcycle in a bright color that is easy to notice. Stay out of a driver’s blind spot and notice which drivers do not signal before turning or making other moves on the road – these are drivers least likely to be aware of you. Check to be sure all of your lights are working and always drive with your lights on, even in the daytime.
Riding in Low Visibility Conditions
If you can possibly avoid it, do not drive in rainy conditions. Visibility in rain is difficult even for large vehicles and a motorcycle all but disappears in heavy rain. For similar reasons, you may also wish to avoid riding at night, particularly if you live in a city, where the single light of your motorcycle’s headlamp may not show up as clearly. If you do ride in low visibility conditions, be hyper-aware of your surroundings and drive extremely cautious – you will likely be the only one on the road who knows you’re there.
Wear Protective Gear
Sadly, many motorcycle drivers do not suit up to ride, even though it’s extremely dangerous. Many of the deaths in motorcycle accidents would have been avoidable if the driver had been wearing proper protective gear – make sure you keep injury to a minimum in any accidents by suiting up properly.
Buy a new helmet that fits properly and has Department of Transportation compliance. If your helmet has ever been dropped or has sustained any kind of blow, it’s no longer safe to use – get a new one. Wear eye protection, a sturdy protective jacket (a vented one will ensure you’re comfortable in the hot summer months), thick protective pants, riding gloves, and over-the-ankle boots with good treads.
In Case of Accident
First, get out of the danger zone as fast as you can. It’s very difficult to see a person prone on the ground, so get out of traffic if at all possible. If you can’t get up, wave your arms and make yourself as visible as possible. Flag down a car to block you from oncoming traffic and ask the driver to contact emergency services.
If the car that hit you stops, get the name and insurance information of the driver, or ask someone who has stopped to help to do it for you. If the driver disappears, continue to flag down other vehicles and ask any eyewitnesses to stick around and give statements. Collect names and phone numbers; these are the people who can help you track down a hit and run driver, and you’ll want to be able to get in touch with them. If you’re injured, leave the statement-taking to the police and get to the emergency room.
Next step: contact a lawyer. Many drivers who hit motorcyclists aren’t even aware the collision has occurred, especially if the contact was fairly minor. Speak to a Chicago motorcycle accident lawyer from Willens Law Offices. You’ll want someone who can help you to make sure your medical bills and damages are covered. Call us at (312) 957-4166.