Motorcycle Safety

April 10, 2019

Sometimes known as motorbikes, cycles, bikes, choppers, and even roadsters, motorcycles come out of hibernation when spring approaches. The open road calls out to motorcycle owners this time of year, and the roads get a little louder with two-and-three-wheelers popping up everywhere.

Getting Ready to Ride

After its winter break, a motorcycle needs a thorough safety check. This can be done at a service center, although many riders do it themselves. Do-it-yourselfers should refer to the owner’s manual, and one of the first things to inspect is the gas tank.

The fuel tank should be completely drained before being put away for the winter; if it was not, this can cause mechanical issues. Winters can be hard on tires, so these should be looked over as well. The treads should be examined for cracks and damage, and the tire pressure should be taken.

Most of the other safety items are similar to an auto tune-up: brakes, lights, clutch, throttle, and controls should all be tested. Then, all of the fluid levels need to be checked.

Final items for review include trying the horn, adjusting the mirrors, and ensuring that the helmet and other gear are all still in good shape.

Safe Riding

Motorcyclists are more vulnerable to injuries than car drivers, since they are out in the open. Having a properly fitted helmet is essential, despite Pennsylvania allowing riders over 21 who meet certain requirements not to wear a helmet, as are taking steps to increase visibility. Using headlights and wearing the appropriate clothing are important safety matters.

Riders also need to make others sharing the road aware of their next move. This means using signals and keeping to the proper lane. Speeding, making sudden movements, and tailgating can be very dangerous, especially when there are other vehicles nearby.

Less experienced cyclists should take the time to practice riding in a safe space. There are proper ways to sit, turn, shift gears, and brake. For example, every time a motorcycle has to stop or slow down, both brakes should be used.

Understanding how to avoid hazards like blind spots, wind blasts, and debris can be life-saving. These skills need to be learned and perfected before riding in traffic.

Sharing the Road with Motorcyclists

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation reports that over 50 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents involve a second vehicle, and the majority is caused by the automobile driver. Automobile drivers should always check blind spots when changing lanes and should never tailgate someone on a cycle.

Oftentimes when a motorcycle slows down, its brake lights do not come on because the rider is using the throttle or downshifting. This is another reason to keep a safe following distance.

It is also important to know that motorcycles are permitted to use one full lane across. This means that cars cannot share a lane with a motorcycle. The best rule of thumb is to give these bikers as much room as possible. This promotes safety and helps avoid accidents.

Cyclists are entitled to the same road safety rules as cars and trucks, and all vehicle drivers need to treat each other with respect.

West Chester Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Protect Those Injured in Motorcycle Crashes

Motorcycle accidents can be deadly for both riders and drivers. Contact a West Chester motorcycle accident lawyer at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. for effective legal representation for motorcycle accident injuries. For a free consultation call 610-565-3701 or complete an online form. With offices in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we represent clients in Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.