Motorcycles can be a thrilling addition to your life. Jokes about middle-life crises aside, riding a motorcycle as an occasional hobby can be transformative to the way you see yourself, your abilities, and your priorities. But as you know, these vehicles are not without their dangers.

In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports every year that over four thousand Americans die in motorcycle accidents. Some years, that fatality number rises to over five thousand tragic deaths. Kentucky law firms like Hare Wynn are seeing one unfortunate case after another of motorcycle accident deaths and injuries.

The tendency for riders to speed or drive over the speed limit, the visibility issues stemming from the smaller size of most bikes, and a biking culture that does not prioritize safety are all in part responsible for this devastating phenomenon.

But your fate is not sealed because you have decided to ride or drive a motorcycle. There are actionable steps you can take to prevent motorcycle accidents and stay safer on the road:

Speed Limit

I will admit it: driving in a motorcycle, speeding through lanes, and generally riding to enjoy the activity can be really fun — in a simulator or video game. Not in real life.

There is a culture of danger associated with riding and driving motorcycles that is simply unacceptable. Even now, when you read that sentence is was likely you assumed I was condoning unsafe activity! Sure, driving dangerously can provide an endorphin rush. But at what cost to yourself and others? One of the first pieces of information to internalize as a person seeks to drive motorcycles safely is the reminder that the speed limit is a maximum, not a minimum.

If you are a beginner rider and uncomfortable with high speeds, stick to routes that allow you to be comfortable with the speed. But veteran riders and newbies alike ought to remember that as a smaller vehicle with very little structural protection, motorcycle riders need to follow speed limits and not engage in risky behavior for the sake of a thrill.

Helmet

Wear a helmet. Doing so is simple and has few drawbacks. If you are concerned with the price of a helmet, consider that if you do not wear a helmet and are involved in a collision, the surgeries to heal your extensive injuries will be far costlier than a motorcycle helmet.

And if you are concerned with the “look” or aesthetics of riding a motorcycle and needing to wear a helmet, you should feel comfortable with the possibility that you might die in a motorcycle accident from disastrous head injuries. If that were to occur, the way you look will not have mattered at all.

Signaling

“Signal often and signal early” is the phrase to internalize when analyzing the way you are indicating your turns and merges on the road. Motorcycles are smaller and have visibility problems, especially with inattentive or older drivers. As a result, it falls on motorcycle riders’ shoulders to make sure that they are doing all that they can to increase visibility and make sure their vehicle is seen on the road.


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