Because of their smaller size, motorcyclists are more vulnerable to injuries or death stemming from a collision with another motor vehicle. Wearing the proper safety gear can potentially help you to avoid a serious or life-threatening injury if you're involved in a motorcycle accident.
According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, motorcycle accident fatalities in the state increased 175% in the period from 1998 through 2008. Data for 2009 and 2010 suggests a decline in fatal California motorcycle accidents but preliminary data for 2011 indicates that deaths may once again be on the rise. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to die in an accident compared to drivers or passengers of motor vehicles.
Motorcyclists are most likely to sustain injuries to their head or extremities caused by a sudden impact with another vehicle or object. Wearing the proper protective clothing can help to minimize the damage sustained as the result of an accident and make riders more visible to oncoming drivers. The NHTSA recommends that all motorcyclists equip themselves with the following safety gear in order to reduce the risk for an accident-related injury.
Recommended Motorcycle Safety Equipment
- Motorcycle Helmet - According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, proper motorcycle helmet use reduces the risk of a fatal injury to motorcyclists by up to 37%. The risk to passengers is reduced by 41%. Overall, wearing a DOT-approved helmet reduces the risk of sustaining a head injury by 69%. In the state of California, motorcyclists of all ages are required to wear an approved safety helmet at all times.
- Protective Eye Wear - Protective glasses or goggles protect your eyes from the elements and from potential injury caused by flying debris resulting from an accident. If wearing glasses while you ride is uncomfortable, you may consider purchasing a helmet with a protective face shield.
- Riding Gloves - If you're involved in a collision and are thrown from your bike, durable riding gloves can protect your hands from abrasions, cuts or other injuries.
- Jackets/Pants - Similar to gloves, a protective jacket and pants can protect your arms and legs from injury if you're thrown from your bike. Choose pants and jackets that are made of a durable material, such as leather and avoid clothing that is loose or baggy, which could become entangled with the bike.
- Footwear - Ideally, you should choose a boot or other durable shoe which will offer protection to your foot and ankle in the event of an accident. Leather boots are often a favorite of motorcyclists and you should avoid choosing any shoes with hanging laces, which can present a safety hazard.
If you've been hurt in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contacting an experienced California motorcycle accident attorney can help you to protect your legal rights.
Nadrich & Cohen, LLP specializes in representing motorcycle accident victims and their families throughout Southern California. For more information on filing a motorcycle accident injury claim, call 1-800-718-4658 to begin your free initial case evaluation. There is never a fee unless damages are recovered on your behalf.
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