With more than four million motorcycles registered in the U.S., it is no surprise that motorcycles have become increasingly popular modes of transportation among all generations as well as a trending hobby among riders across the nation. In fact, the Motorcycle Industry Council reports that in just the first quarter of 2012 motorcycle sales have increased by nearly 6.7 percent. Over the past 10 years, the number of motorcycle registrations has increased by 75 percent. Whatever the reason, be it the relatively inexpensive cost of motorcycles compared to cars, trucks and SUVs, the outstanding fuel efficiency or the freedom and fun that comes with traveling the open road, motorcycles and motorcycle enthusiasts clearly aren’t going anywhere.
Despite the fact that motorcycles only make up two percent of the total number of vehicles registered in the U.S., the number of deaths from motorcycle accidents account for five percent of highway deaths every year. While motorcycles are enjoyable, they lack various safety features that can protect riders involved in an accident. Because of this, nearly 80 percent of motorcycle collisions result in catastrophic injuries or death. Cars, trucks and SUVs are generally equipped with air bags, seatbelts, side door beams and roofs or reinforced windshields that can prevent occupants from suffering severe injuries should a crash occur. Additionally, cars tend to have more stability compared to motorcycles.
Since motorcycles do not have many of the luxuries that cars and other motor vehicles have, they must be operated with added caution. The following tips can keep you and those around you safe on the roadways in Spring Hill, Brooksville, Ridge Manor, Weeki Wachee, Hernando Beach, Masaryktown and wherever else you are traveling:
1. Be Smart, Get Educated. Whether you are a new rider or just need to learn some new techniques, the best place to start is with a motorcycle safety course. There are numerous motor cycle training facilities throughout Hernando County for you to learn from experienced professionals.
2. Follow All Traffic Laws. You should never speed, drive recklessly or execute unsafe maneuvers.
3. Wear a helmet and other appropriate riding gear. Wearing proper gear, such as a leather jacket, gloves and over-the-ankle boots can aid in preventing road rash and other personal injuries. Likewise, wearing a DOT-compliant helmet has been proven to significantly reduce the risk of traumatic brain injuries and deaths.
4. Stay Alert and Be Aware of Your Surroundings. Many motorcycle accidents occur because other drivers do not see them. Never assume that another motorist can see you. Make sure you wear bright clothing and ride with your high-beam on. Remember, motorcycles are very powerful vehicles. Make sure you operate your bike within your personal skill level and be aware of what is in front of and behind you. Before you ride with a passenger, be sure that you are comfortable with the changes this adds to your bike.
5. Before You Ride, Make Sure Your it is in Excellent Working Condition. Check your lights, brakes and horn to ensure that they are working properly. Be sure that your tire pressure, oil level and drive chain is maintained according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
6. Know Where You’re Going before You Ride. Be prepared and plan your trip before you take off on your motorcycle. Be extra cautious when on roads you are not familiar with. Be careful of poor road conditions and bad weather, as these can affect you ride. If you need to pull over to ensure the safety of yourself and others, then by all means do so.
Remember, while motorcycles offer riders much enjoyment, they are dangerous and should be handled accordingly. Promoting motorcycle safety can keep you and those you love safe from unnecessary injuries or wrongful death.
If you or someone you care for is injured in a motorcycle accident, the Hernando County Motorcycle Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help you obtain financial compensation for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages. We serve clients throughout Hernando County, including the cities of Spring Hill, Brooksville, Ridge Manor, Weeki Wachee, Hernando Beach and Masaryktown. Contact us today online or call 352-666-2121 to get help with your motorcycle injury or wrongful death claim.