February 12, 2010

Motorcycle Safety Tips

Tips on Riding

• Never ride your motorcycle without your helmet. Make sure it fits securely and has a DOT label, which symbolizes compliance with federal safety standards.
• Take a motorcycle rider-training class.
• Know the limitations of your motorcycle.
• Don't speed.
• Never tailgate other vehicles.
• Use your signals. Learn the hand signals for turning, stopping and slowing down just in case your bike's signals ever malfunction.
• Respect other drivers. Avoid weaving through traffic and driving on the shoulder.
• Be visible. Be visible. Be visible.
• Avoid riding in blind spots and always use your headlights.
• Brake safely. Use both brakes at the same time.

Before You Hit The Road Checklist

• Test your lights, brakes, turn signals and horn.
• Check the oil and fuel levels.
• Check tires for any punctures or slick spots.
• Make sure your mirrors are positioned correctly.
• Make sure your cables are not worn or frayed.
• Lubricate and adjust the chain as recommended by the manufacturer.

What To Wear

• Protective Eyewear. Find a high quality helmet with a face shield, goggles or glasses with plastic/safety lens so you can always see the road clearly.
• Jacket and Pants. Wear safe, durable materials including leather or synthetics that are full length and fit to size. Color is also important. Vibrant colors and reflective materials are more easily seen on the road.
• Gloves. Choose durable, non-slip leather gloves that fit your hands well.
• Shoes. Wear leather boots or durable sneakers that cover your ankles.

Common Motorcycle Accidents

• Other motorists not seeing you. You're smaller than they are, and you're twenty-seven times more likely to die in a collision than they are. So be visible.
• Potholes. You can curse bad roadways all you want, but in the end, it's up to you to avoid obstacles in your way.
• Speeding. Sure, it's fun to rip down the road. But every mile an hour over the speed limit you go increases the odds of an ugly outcome.
• Inexperience. Know the limitations of your bike before you get out there with the big boys. Rush hour is not the time to learn that you don't know what you're doing.
• Over braking. If you lock up your front wheel when braking, you've just sacrificed your ability to steer. Hopefully, that'll be the only thing you sacrifice.
• Running wide on a turn. Obvious, really. The road is the safest place to be. The shoulder is where telephone poles, mailboxes and little white crosses live.

Motorcycle Safety Foundation

You can always get more information on motorcycle riding safety tips, state laws and course information.

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Allstate Insurance Garage

David Lipsky
Advocate for Allstate

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Avoiding a Motorcycle Accident

If you are a motorcyclist, remember this: your vehicle is small. If you drive a standard motor vehicle, remember this: motorcycles are small. Minimal visibility is one of the main things that lead to motorcycle accidents occurring.

The road is filled with drivers who are used to seeing standard-sized vehicles on the road and therefore these drivers are more prone to looking out for vehicles of this size or bigger. This is called immediate association and it can be deadly. When drivers sees a motorcyclist, they may look past him or her and only see the road in front of him or her.

Motorcyclists who are involved in a car accident should seek medical attention immediately. Upon receiving medical attention, he or she should also seek legal attention. A well-established lawyer will be able to help a victim receive compensation for any medical bills or other damages that arose due to the accident.

Here are a few items for motorcyclists to help avoid an accident in the future:

-Give warning: Others drivers must know ahead of time whether you are braking, turning, or are facing an emergency. Drivers have a hard enough time trying to see motorcycles on the road, so make sure to use your lights to send a message.

-Be visible: This can mean anything from using your headlight to wearing bright-colored clothing. Whatever you think may be able to help you stay noticed on the road will help.

-Do not make sudden turns or movements: Motorcyclists should know which traffic decisions they will make ahead of time. His or her motorcycle may come to a "wobble" if he or she brakes or turns suddenly.

-Stay focused: Riding a motorcycle means balancing your bike while balancing road conditions. If you are ride a motorcycle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may not be responsive enough to avoid an accident.

-Keep your distance from all objects: This should be practiced especially at night. Drivers are more likely to notice motorcycles that have a lane all to themselves or have a distance between themselves and other vehicles.

-Wear proper gear: Remember, you do not have a seat belt. In the event of an accident, you may become airborne and will need the protection of a helmet or other safety gear.

For additional resources regarding motorcycle accidents and legal aid available for victims of auto accidents, contact the Lake Geneva motorcycle accident lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier, S.C.

Joseph Devine

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