Traveling by motorcycle is a great way to take in the scenery and enjoy the weather but it can also be dangerous for an inexperienced rider. If you’re a beginning motorcyclist, it’s important to know what you can do to stay safe on the road.
Performing a thorough safety check before you head out on the highway can ensure that your motorcycle is in proper working order. Make sure all of the bike’s lights are working properly, your tires have good air pressure and are not showing signs of wear and your brakes are functioning normally. You should also equip yourself with the proper safety gear, including gloves, protective clothing and an approved safety helmet. Wearing a helmet can dramatically reduce your risk of sustaining a traumatic brain injury if you’re involved in an accident.
California is one of 20 states that requires all motorcyclists, including passengers, to wear a helmet. Only three states, Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire, do not require the use of a helmet for motorcyclists.
On the Road
Once you’re traveling the roadway, you need to observe the same rules of the road as other motorists. This means obeying all traffic laws, paying attention to traffic signs and using hand signals or turn signals to indicate your intentions to other drivers. You need to ensure that you stay aware of your surroundings and of other drivers around you. Use caution when passing and don’t weave in and out of traffic.
In the state of California, motorcyclists are allowed to engage in a practice known as lane-splitting, which allows you to ride on the center line when traffic is congested. While lane-splitting is legal, it may not always be safe and speeding or driving recklessly while doing so may cause an accident.
Driving Under the Influence
One of the easiest ways to prevent a motorcycle accident is to not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If your senses are impaired in any way, you run the risk of either causing an accident or being the victim of one if you’re unable to react in time to prevent it. While you may think you’re capable of driving after drinking or using drugs, you may be setting yourself or another innocent motorist up for a life-altering collision.
Driving at Night
If you ride at night, be sure that you keep your headlight on and wear some type of reflective clothing or marker so that other motorists can easily spot you. Use caution when riding at night in poor weather conditions, such as rain or sleet and avoid riding if you’re extremely tired.
When a motorcycle accident occurs, it can have devastating consequences for all the parties involved, especially if the accident was the result of negligence or carelessness. If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident by a negligent driver, you may be able to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. You should consult a California motorcycle accident lawyer to discuss your rights.
Nadrich & Cohen, LLP specializes in representing motorcycle accident victims and their families throughout California. We have office locations in cities throughout the state, including San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino. For more information on filing a motorcycle accident injury claim, call 1-800-718-4658.