The Complete Guide to Avoiding Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

motorcycle accident attorneys

From scooters to sports-tourers, or bobbers to baggers, there are a number of various types of motorbikes on the road. What hasn’t changed much through the years is the risk of riding a motorcycle. While motorcycles make up just 3% of the vehicles on the road, their drivers account for 14% of crash fatalities. When it comes to avoiding motorcycle accidents, there are certain precautions that can be taken.

Regardless if you’re an experienced or brand new rider, how can you enjoy riding while also focusing on avoiding motorcycle accidents? What can be done to mitigate the risk of hopping on your bike? Here are 10 valuable tips for prioritizing safety while you ride.  


1. Gear Up

The more high-quality motorcycle safety gear you are wearing, the better off you’ll be in the event of an accident. Your riding attire should include:

  • DOT-compliant motorcycle helmet
  • Bright/reflective clothing
  • Thick long pants
  • A durable jacket
  • Gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Sturdy boots that cover the ankle


2. Stay in Your Own Lane

motorcycle safety

Most drivers aren’t looking behind them for a motorcycle before they change lanes. By lane splitting (riding between rows of slowed or stopped cars) you increase your risk of accidental impact. Although lane splitting is legal in California, it’s safest to maintain your own lane while driving to give you a safety buffer from other cars. 


3. Scan the Road

Road hazards pose a greater threat to motorcyclists than those in a car. Therefore, when it comes to avoiding motorcycle accidents, it’s vital to remain alert and watch for the following:

  • Gravel
  • Debris
  • Fallen off cargo from trucks
  • Slick surfaces
  • Uneven surfaces
  • Wet pavement


4. Be Wary of Animals

When you ride through forested land, especially in the dusk and evening, slow down around turns or when visibility is low. This will help prevent collisions with animals crossing the roadways.

Investing in extra bright high beams can give you further visibility and, therefore, more reaction time. Also, some animals travel in groups; if you see one, be alert for others nearby. 


5. Heed Sobering Statistics

driving under the influence

In 2019, around 30% of fatal motorcycle crashes occurred because the motorcycle driver is alcohol-impaired. Proportionally, this is one of the highest causes of motorcycles accidents. This number is so high because alcohol-impaired motorcyclists tend not to wear their helmets. 

Not only is driving impaired dangerous, but it’s also against the law. Have a ride-sharing app downloaded and ready on your phone for when you need a safe ride home. 


6. Keep Up with Maintenance

Regular motorcycle maintenance can ensure that your bike is riding as smoothly and safely as possible. You can take your motorcycle in for regular tune-ups, and try the following repairs at home:

  • Change the oil
  • Replace the air filter
  • Maintain tire pressure and tread depth
  • Change the coolant
  • Clean the chain

If your bike has been hibernating in your garage for the winter, it’s a good idea to take it in for a full tune-up before you hit the open. While at-home touch-ups are typically sufficient, it’s always a good idea to have professionals take a look at the bike. 


7. Check the Weather Report

common causes of car accidents

Weather plays a large role in determining the safety of your ride. Immediately after rain, oil rises to the surface of the road. This makes the road slicker and more prone to slipping. The roads are often sleeker after it has rained than during. Regardless, it is best to avoid riding in either condition.

Wind storms, snow, or other weather that affects visibility make riding inherently more dangerous. In conditions like this, drive defensively and give cars a wide berth. 


8. Practice Avoiding Motorcycle Accidents

Whether you’re a biking beginner or a motorcycle master, taking a safety course is a great way to learn new skills or brush up on forgotten ones. You can find courses online and in person. Some insurance companies even offer a discount if you can show you’ve taken a safety course. Taking what you’ve learned, apply these lessons to your everyday practices. 

For new riders, take your bike around residential neighborhoods or areas with little traffic. This will help you gain more familiarity with how your motorcycle functions, as well as how to control it. 


9. Control Your Impulses

speeding car accident

While driving too slowly on a motorcycle poses its own risks, speeding recklessly also proves dangerous. When riding, you want to give yourself enough reaction time to handle hazards on the road. Therefore, if you’re speeding, you increase the risk of being in a motorcycle accident. If you are on winding or crowded roads, observe all posted speed limit signs and adjust speeds accordingly.  


10. For Those in a Car…

A big component to avoiding motorcycle accidents is for motorists to do their part in driving cautiously, as well.  Accidents with motorcycles are usually the car driver’s–not the motorcyclist’s–fault. Follow these car driving safety tips and spread the word to your non-motorcycle driving friends:

  • Double-check blind spots before changing lanes
  • Always use your signal before turns or lane changes
  • Avoid distractions like texting


Contact Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

With these tools to aid you in avoiding motorcycle accidents, you can cruise in increased safety. Understanding that accidents can still occur even for the safest riders, know that there is someone who will always have your back. 

Motorcycle accident lawyer, Daniel Kim, offers the care you need in a personal injury case and fights for the compensation you deserve. Reach out to our motorcycle accident attorneys to request a free consultation.