As the weather continues to warm, motorcycle enthusiasts will enjoy taking to the roads more often. However, they should be aware that Pennsylvania has one of the highest rates of motorcycle accidents. In 2016, the state had a total over 3,500 motorcycle crashes in which 192 people lost their lives. Those who intend to learn to ride a motorcycle as well as those who already ride should take some time this season to review basic motorcycle safety tips.
- Complete a motorcycle safety program: The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation offers one for free if you are a licensed motorcyclist. The program is designed to make riders more aware of the risks of motorcycle riding and how to prevent accidents.
- Practice operating your motorcycle: It sounds almost too obvious, but it is important to know what your bike can and cannot do. Thirty-six percent of all the motorcycle fatalities in 2016 included riders over the age of 50. Some are riders who may have had a motorcycle in their 20s and are taking up riding again. However, todays bikes are much more powerful, traffic has increased, and distracted drivers are everywhere. It pays to know your motorcycle and how it handles and responds in a controlled area. Consider how you will deal with different road conditions, such as potholes, rain, and debris.
- Check your motorcycle before riding: Before every ride, check the tire pressure, tread depth, brakes, lights and signals, and all fluid levels. Secure any cargo and make sure your load is balanced. If necessary, adjust tire pressure and suspension to accommodate extra weight.
- Passenger safety: If you carry a passenger, they should mount after the engine has started and sit directly behind you, as far forward as possible. Legs and feet should be away from the muffler on the footrests.
- Wear a helmet: The proper safety gear can make a significant difference in the outcome of a serious motorcycle crash. Choose a helmet certified by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Such helmets carry a DOT symbol on the outside. Some helmets also have a face shield, which is critical for keeping wind, rain, dust, insects, and debris from your eyes. Eyeglasses and sunglasses can easily fall off, so if you do not have a face shield on your helmet then you should use goggles. Cover arms and legs completely, preferably with leather or heavy denim. Protect your ankles with boots and your hands with gloves. Wear bright colored or hi-visibility clothing so other drivers can see you.
- Follow the rules of the road: This means following the speed limit and riding drug and alcohol free. Yield where appropriate and drive defensively. Never assume that other drivers have seen you as many motorcyclists are hit when a driver of a motor vehicle was unaware of their presence.
Delaware County Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Advocate for Victims of Driver Negligence
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident that occurred due to the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced Delaware County motorcycle accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. will review your case for free and advise you of your best legal options for compensation. Call 610-565-3701 today or contact us online to schedule an appointment at one of our Media or West Chester, Pennsylvania office locations. We serve clients throughout southeastern Pennsylvania, including those in Delaware County, Chester County, Montgomery County and Philadelphia County.