Vulnerability Of Motorcyclists
The statistics on motorcycles involved in accidents in the U.S. tell a story of the vulnerability of motorcyclists to accidents, and therefore the risk of getting injured, including death. In 2018, as many as 109,000 accidents involving motorcycles were recorded, in which 4,985 riders lost their lives. The risk of loss of life for motorcyclists is 28 times more than the same risk for car drivers. This is quite natural, because of the inherent disadvantages of motorcycles, such as instability, exposure to the weather and difficulty in handling on uneven road surfaces. According to NHTSA’s Traffic Safety Facts, the critical reason for the crash (accident) is driver error. Within this, errors accounted for included recognition errors of 41 percent, decision errors of 33 percent, and performance errors of 11 percent.
The statistics point to what could be done to avoid motorcycle accidents. Here’s a list of 4 golden rules to avoid motorcycle accidents.
1. Recognize Your Fallibility
However great a rider you are, you are always prone to making errors. The error could be because of a sudden lapse of concentration, a misjudgment on your part or a late decision. The result could be a crash or an accident. Just as you are fallible, the person in the other vehicle is equally fallible, as countless motorcycle accident legal cases have found. Perhaps he made a mistake, you were late in reacting and the crash happens. Thus, recognizing your fallibility is very important. If you do that you would drive more carefully, allowing enough time for taking evasive action when a crash looks imminent.
2. Respect Traffic Regulations
Respecting traffic rules is extremely important, not only from the safety point of view, but also from that of insurance. If you are at fault, then there is an impact on your insurance payments. Traffic rules are there for the general use of people using common facilities such as a public road. Imagine the chaos on the roads if there were no traffic rules. Therefore, respect traffic rules and follow them faithfully. These could be speed limits, lane discipline, waiting in line at traffic signals, giving correct signals while driving and ensuring all the signaling devices of the vehicle work properly.
3. Recognize Limitations Of Motorcycle
Just as you have fallibilities, your motorcycle also has fallibilities. Remember, the motorcycle is a machine and it is manufactured to certain specifications. The manufacturer would give you the limits of its performance over different running conditions. If you exceed those limits, then the motorcycle may not respond to your controls properly. For instance, if you exceed a certain speed limit the tire may give way, because it is not designed to take that speed. There could be other performance issues. Thus, it is in your interest to recognize the fallibility of your motorcycle and keep that in mind when you ride. Here, the proper maintenance of your motorcycle could help you to minimize the risk of underperformance.
4. Don’t Drive If You Are Drunk
Since driver error is the chief cause of motorcycle accidents, you have to be completely sober when your ride on a public road. As per NHTSA’s Safety Facts, there were 10,511 deaths from drunk-driving crashes in 2018. The NHTSA also explains that “Alcohol is a substance that reduces the function of the brain, impairing thinking, reasoning and muscle coordination. All these abilities are essential to operating a vehicle safely”. Thus, you can see how alcohol can affect your riding, by dulling your faculties and reducing your ability to make proper decisions while driving. Secondly, consuming alcohol above a certain limit is an offence and you can be prosecuted for it.
These 4 golden rules can help you become a model motorcycle rider while riding on public roads. You can propagate your safe driving skills to others and help them to become model riders. Your respect for traffic rules and responsible behavior will go a long way in reducing fatalities due to motorcycle crashes.