This month, many Indiana motorcycle riders will share the exhilarating
experience of riding down the open road with friends and family. One thing
most will never do though is discuss the challenges that can arise in
controlling a motorcycle and how dangerous they can be. The National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data shows motorcyclists are about 27 times more likely than passenger
car occupants to die in a motor vehicle traffic crash and six times as
likely to be injured.
Last week we shared the first part of our 10 common motorcycle accident
scenarios and presented our motorcycle driving readers with tips on how
to avoid being involved in a wreck this riding season. As we continue
this series for Motorcycle Awareness Month, let’s wrap up the last
five additional common motorcycle accidents our
motorcycle accident and injury attorneys see.
Not knowing how to use your front brake is a skill you need to master.
Some motorcycle experts believe it is the most difficult component to
learn how to use on a bike. They also say it is the most powerful since
it can alter your speed faster than your bike’s engine. You should
be able to operate your bike at fluctuating speeds and in different environments
until you feel confident with your braking ability. Once you are comfortable
with the front brake, you will be driving your motorcycle reliably and
safely rather than watching it fly down the road without you on it. More
and more bikes come equipped with an anti-lock brake system (ABS), and
if your bike has it – you should use it when you need to make an
It may be enticing to see a wide-open gap of roadway between a line of
parked cars or in between a stationary line of active traffic and rev
your engine to speed through. However, being a responsible motorcycle
driver means you are constantly aware of other drivers and operating your
bike at speeds safe for all people traveling on roadways or parking lots.
Unfortunately, a large amount of motorcycle wrecks happen in these places.
For example, once you make the move to speed through the tight area, another
driver could swing open their door, or a pedestrian could walk out and
you do not have the reaction time to stop fast enough. This type of driving
can cause damage to more than just your bike. It can also cause a major
personal injury to you and others. It’s best to never ride between
traffic lanes or parked cars. Many experienced motorists know this area
as “the death zone” since these types of wrecks often kills drivers.
Going out on a group ride is a popular and fun way that motorcycle enthusiasts
spend time on their bike. But all too often groups aren’t prepared
to safely ride together or know how to ride in a staggered formation.
Riding in a staggered formation can increase the line of sight for all
drivers since it moves bikes out of line with each other, allowing for
driver error to recover a bit easier. If you have any inexperienced riders,
place them just behind the leader so they can learn how to keep pace.
The pace will need to be adjusted, especially through curves, so that
new riders can gain the experience needed and not cause a group motorcycle wreck.
One of the most important things a motorcycle owner can do to avoid being
in an accident or causing one is to maintain their bike. This includes
the tires. And surprisingly enough, motorcycles that have well kept tires
can operate decently in tricky weather conditions when paired with a safe
speed and an attentive driver. If you are out for a drive and discover
that your tires can’t stand up to hazardous weather or slippery
road conditions, it is a good idea to pull over safely and wait to drive
until the road becomes clear.
Don’t drink and ride. Alcohol (and other drugs) is a factor in 50
percent of all bike wrecks and the top contributor in all fatal motorcycle
crashes. Even with these startling statistics drinking and drug use while
operating a motorcycle remain a huge problem in Indiana. Each year some
2,000 motorcyclists are killed in serious crashes involving drugs or alcohol.
An additional 50,000 drivers are seriously injured. Riding under the influence
of drugs or alcohol puts motorcycle drivers at risk for hefty legal consequences as well.
To operate a motorcycle on a public roadway, an individual must hold a
valid Indiana driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement or
possess a valid motorcycle learner’s permit. But having a driver’s
license or learner’s permit can’t be enough to stop motorcycle
wrecks. As mentioned before, safe and enjoyable motorcycling takes training,
practice, balance, coordination, good judgment and experience. Keeping
the regular maintenance of your motorcycle is also necessary to avoid
being in an accident. Most important though is to know your bike, know
your abilities, and always wear the right gear. That gear includes face
or eye protection, protective clothing, and a
U.S. Department of Transportation approved motorcycle helmet. A helmet is the best protection against a traumatic brain injury if a
crash were to occur.
Please share these tips with your motorcycling friends on their social
media pages. It will help the riders you care about stay accident and
injury free this motorcycle season.
Wagner Reese has a team of experienced
Indiana motorcycle accident injury attorneys here for you. We are the best choice to represent you in your claim for
damages to your bike or yourself. We are in the business of bringing justice
to those injured on Indiana roadways, and we want to assist you on your
road to recovery by lightening the load of medical bills and other expenses
incurred by this accident.
Call the law firm of Wagner Reese today at (888) 204-8440 for your FREE