Motorcycle Safety Information
We want to remind riders that motorcycle safety begins with the basics. With congestion ever increasing on the streets and highways in and around Los Angeles and throughout Southern California, motorcyclists should be proactive in protecting themselves from injury. Adhering to some of these fundamental motorcycle safety tips can help bikers reduce the possibility of an accident.
Wearing the proper protective equipment is one of the most fundamental motorcycle safety tips. It is also, unfortunately, one that is often ignored. In a motorcycle accident, boots, gloves, long pants and a sturdy jacket can lessen the severity of cuts and abrasions. Helmets, though not required in all states, can reduce the risk of catastrophic head injury.
Mirrors are not enough. A visual check can reveal a vehicle hiding in a rider’s blind spot. Before every lane change, riders should completely turn their heads to ensure their blind spots are indeed empty and safe to travel through.
Watch Other Drivers’ Heads and Mirrors
Watching the head movements of drivers through their windows and mirrors is an excellent way to anticipate sudden moves. Most drivers move their heads one way or another (even if not checking mirrors) before shifting left or right.
Momentum tends to carry a bike forward during hard brakes. This shifts the weight of the bike to the fork, compressing it as the rear lightens and begins to lift up, making the rear brake easier to lock. Successfully braking hard is a skill that gets better from practice. A quiet, well-maintained road is an ideal place for a rider to practice hard stops. Participating in defensive riding courses can be another useful scenario to work on sudden stops. While braking hard, a rider is prone to locking the rear brakes. The rider should try keeping the bike in gear while braking, and pulling the clutch just before coming to a complete stop. In addition, braking sharply means needing to quickly find the brake lever or pedal. To minimize reach time, always keep a finger or two on the brake lever and your right toe close to the rear brake pedal. This will help you be ready for a sudden stop.
Cornering with certain bikes can be tricky. Popular motorcycles such as cruisers and dressers are usually low to the ground, making it easier to drag the pegs, floorboards, pipes or panniers in a turn; you could even lever weight off the tires and wind up in a slide. One possible fix is to adjust the motorcycle’s suspension to yield the maximum amount of spring preload on the shock absorbers. Another fix is to install longer shocks and fork springs.
Be ready with the power
While cruising in traffic, riding in a lower gear allows you to spring forward instantly, should you need it. By doing this, you have the option of leaping ahead instead of limiting yourself to just using your brakes when traffic gets dicey. The higher revs of the lower gear might also alert other motor vehicles of your presence.
A rider tends to steer in the direction he or she is looking. When approaching a pothole or any other obstacle in the road, riders should shift their gaze to where they want to go. Constantly scanning your entire environment while riding keeps you aware of such obstacles. It also keeps you in touch with your surroundings, therefore making it easier to react, should you need to. It is important to use your eyes effectively to avoid potential hazards.
Staggered Riding with a Companion
Staggered riding with even as little as one other rider is done so that the group can remain together while riding, and other drivers can maneuver around one big group rather than many smaller ones. When you are riding in a staggered formation, everyone in the group has a responsibility to watch out for each rider in the group.
Making You and Your Motorcycle Visible
Sometimes, motor vehicle drivers that turn in front of motorcyclists will claim they did not see the motorcycle. Most of the time, these drivers either did not use their mirrors or other visual resources as often as they should, or at all. They simply are not looking out for motorcyclists. Make sure drivers and pedestrians can see you, even from a distance. Ride with your high beam on during the day and wear brightly colored gear.
Free Consultation With Our Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Even by following prudent safety measures and riding defensively, a motorcycle accident can happen to you or a loved one. If you are a victim of a motorcycle accident, contact Scott J. Corwin, A Professional Law Corporation, at 866-477-1011 to schedule a free initial consultation. We handle cases in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, San Diego, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties and throughout the state of California.