While not all motorcycle accidents in Virginia are preventable, there are things that riders can do to help improve their safety while on the road.
For fuel savings, enjoyment of the scenic views the state of Virginia offers, the excitement and any other number of reasons, motorcycles are a popular mode of transportation throughout the warmer months of the year. While sharing the roads with other passenger and commercial vehicles, motorcyclists are unfortunately often involved in collisions. Having no vehicle exteriors to protect them, they and their passengers often suffer serious injuries or death as a result of such accidents. Though not all motorcycle collisions are preventable, there are steps riders can take to help improve their safety.
Practice before riding on the road
For even the most experienced rider, it takes time to acclimate to the feel and responsiveness of an unfamiliar or new motorcycle. Thus, it is advisable for people to practice and get comfortable in a controlled area before going into traffic. Since traffic conditions, such as debris, water or ice on the road, may affect the handling of these vehicles, riders should also make certain they are able to control their bikes in such situations.
Always perform pre-ride checks
Whether they ride every day, once a week or much less often, it is important for motorcyclists to always check their vehicles before hitting the road. This includes checking their tire tread and pressure, foot and hand brakes, fluid levels, signal indicators and headlights. Ensuring all their bikes’ systems are properly maintained and operational prior to leaving may help them avoid some emergency situations while they are out.
Wear the right gear
One of the most important safety steps motorcyclists can take it to wear the right gear. This includes wearing close-toed shoes that cover their ankles, long-sleeved shirts and pants. Additionally, riders and their passengers should always wear a helmet. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points out that helmets decrease the risk of motorcyclists suffering head injuries in collisions by 69 percent and their risk of death by 37 percent.
Do not drink and ride
While often overlooked, it takes more control to operate a motorcycle than is required to drive a car. Therefore, it may be even more essential that people avoid consuming alcoholic beverages if they are riding. Alcohol consumption may cause a range of effects, including impaired judgment, delayed reaction times and reduced coordination. This may affect riders’ ability to control their vehicles and respond to hazards while on the road, and increase their risk of getting into a serious motorcycle accident.
Pursuing financial compensation
When Virginia motorcyclists are involved in collisions with passenger automobiles, the effects are often devastating. They may suffer serious injuries that require extensive medical treatment and substantial time off work to recover. For many, this may lead to undue damages, including medical bills and lost income. Depending on the situation, however, the drivers responsible for causing such accidents may be held liable for the resulting losses. Therefore, motorcycle riders who have been injured in auto wrecks may benefit from discussing their rights and options with an attorney.