After the recent spate of serious California motorcycle accidents, it seems worthwhile to review some additional tips and strategies for avoiding motorcycle crashes, or at least reducing the chances of serious injury from such accidents.
Turns & Curves Are Risky For the Motorcyclist
According to motorcycle accident statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in about two-thirds of all single-vehicle motorcycle wrecks motorcyclist error is the precipitating cause of the accident. In particular, slide-out-and-fall accidents are usually due to motorcycle operator error because of over-braking and/or running too wide through curves at a high rate of speed.
Although many California motorcycle accidents do indeed result from excessive speed, a significant number of motorcycle crashes happen because under-experienced riders incorrectly believe they are going too fast into a turn or curve, so they brake while the motorcycle is leaning… As a result, the bike slides and the rider falls off.
In addition, if a motorcyclist suddenly releases the brake while leaning and braking in a curve, he or she may be thrown from the bike “over the high side.” To avoid these scenarios and reduce the seriousness of California motorcycle wrecks, veteran bikers and California motorcycle accident lawyers recommend several “survival tips” beyond the other common, universal motorcycle safety measures such as helmets, lights, and maintaining safe following distances:
Never brake in a turn while leaning on your motorcycle
California motorcycle accidents of the slide-and-fall type can be avoided or reduced if motorcyclists will remember to avoid braking while leaning in a turn. The safest way to negotiate curves is to position the motorcycle on whichever side of the traffic lane offers the best visibility through the turn.
Practice turning on short radius
Experienced California motorcyclists recommend practicing turns on the shortest possible radius. Anecdotal reports and motorcycle rider forums suggest that riders can use short-turning ability to escape being struck from behind by approaching inattentive drivers while waiting at traffic signals. Experts recommend practicing in parking lots to learn the maximum lean angle that can be safely achieved during short-radius turns; motorcycle safety training courses are also helpful.
Look where you want to go
Seasoned bikers also remind less-experienced California motorcyclists to “look where you want the motorcycle to go” since people instinctively steer toward the direction in which their eyes are looking. Many California motorcycle accidents are said to result from motorcycle riders who were unfortunately watching the lines on the road or the oncoming traffic instead of the lane ahead.
Wear a helmet and protective clothing
If a California motorcycle accident does happen, riders may enjoy varying degrees of protection beyond that offered by a motorcycle helmet, if they are wearing leather, hard-shell clothing, long pants and shirts, and boots. Although brain injuries and neck and spinal-cord injuries are the most feared consequence of a serious motorcycle wreck, the danger from “road rash” and other injuries can be reduced by wearing protective clothing. Eye protection is also necessary.
Intersections are the second-most-common site for motorcycle accidents, after curves. Some longtime riders recommend safely passing through intersections by using vehicles as “shields” against the cross traffic. This technique is said to work especially well in city traffic.
Visibility is Key
For California motorcyclists traveling alongside motorists distracted by gadgetry, visibility equals survival. Bigger and louder motorcycles, with bright colors, are best for visibility. Some California motorcyclists suggest using hand signals and trying to make eye contact in order to remind nearby drivers to share the roadway.
Yet, even with the best practice, California motorcycle accidents still occur. If you or someone you love has been injured or lost in a motorcycle accident in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Jose, San Francisco, or anywhere in California, you should contact a California motorcycle accident lawyer for help. A savvy California motorcycle accident lawyer can protect your rights and fight to ensure that your family receives the financial help and long-term support necessary for a better outcome after a serious motorcycle accident. Call the California motorcycle accident lawyers at 1-800-4 BIKERS to schedule your free consultation today.
In California you can also visit our motorcycle attorneys at local biker spots like the Rock Store in the Los Angeles area, Cooks Corners in Orange County and Alices in the San Francisco, Bay area.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a motorcycle accident, you need to protect your rights with a top motorcycle injury lawyer. Call 1-800-424-5377 to learn why you need a Motorcycle Accident Attorney on your side. Biker Red is RussBrown.com’s Official Biker news, information and resources author.