For many motorcycle enthusiasts, riding as part of a group is a great way to enjoy the scenery while sharing a love of the open road. If you're planning to join in a group ride, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) offers several tips to keep you and your fellow riders safe.
Before you head out on the highway, the MSF encourages you to do the following to make sure you and the other members of your group are ready to ride.
- Make sure all riders have a full tank of gas.
- Check all bikes to make sure they're in proper working order.
- Hold a rider's meeting to discuss the details of the trip, including the selected driving route, scheduled rest and fuel stops and the use of hand signals.
- Designate who will act as lead and tail riders for the group.
- Make sure at least one rider is equipped with a cell phone, first aid kid and tool kit.
- Discuss what to do in the event that one rider becomes separated from the group.
On the Road
- Ride in a staggered formation whenever possible. Avoid riding side-by-side as this can make it more difficult to maneuver should one rider need to swerve to avoid a hazard in the roadway.
- Use a single file formation when riding on a curvy road or in an area where visibility is poor.
- Have riders who use a side ride near the front or rear of the group.
- Check your mirrors periodically to look for riders who may be falling behind. Slow down to allow all members of the group to catch up.
- Use hand signals to communicate your intentions to other members of the group. Make sure that all riders in the group understand these signals and know how to use them.
- Ride in groups of five to seven and avoid merging with other groups unless absolutely necessary.
- Have riders who are carrying passengers ride on the right side of the lane. Do not allow new or inexperienced riders to carry passengers.
- Do not allow anyone to ride who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
If an Accident Occurs
- Call for emergency assistance immediately.
- Move the injured rider out of the roadway if possible. If his or her injuries are severe, try to divert traffic around the accident scene to prevent further injuries.
- Set up emergency signals or flares if you have them. This is particularly important if the accident occurs at night or in an area where visibility is obscured by fog, smoke or other conditions.
When riding in a group, it's important to ensure that safety is a top priority for everyone involved. Following these safety tips can potentially help you to avoid a serious accident. Should an accident occur, the injured victim be eligible to seek compensation for their medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. If you or a loved one is involved in a motorcycle accident through no fault of your own, contacting a California motorcycle accident attorney can protect your rights.
Nadrich & Cohen, LLP specializes in representing motorcycle accident victims and their families throughout California. We have offices in cities throughout the state, including San Diego, San Bernardino and Fresno. For more information on filing a motorcycle accident injury claim, call 1-800-718-4658.
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