We usually think about increased car crashes in the winter or when weather is bad. But when it comes to motorcycles, there is usually a big spike in the number of crashes just as the weather improves. Perhaps it’s because people forget to keep an eye out for bikes, or maybe it’s because riders are rusty from having their bikes in the garage all winter, but whatever the reasons, our team of experienced motorcycle accident lawyers want you to stay safe this spring. Here are a few tips to remember as you dust off the bike and hit the road.
South Carolina only requires a helmet for riders and passengers under the age of 21, but everyone can suffer a traumatic brain injury from a motorcycle collision. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), helmets have been proven 37 percent effective in preventing deaths in serious collisions. This means there would be 37 percent less fatalities if everyone wore their helmets. Likewise, helmets are 67 percent effective at preventing brain injuries. Remember, you can’t control what other folks do on the road, but you can control what you wear.
Even experienced riders can get rusty. Don’t tear out of the driveway on your bike and go for a long ride on the first day of the spring season. Take a few days to ride slowly and cautiously, reacquainting yourself with your bike. Give yourself a few days to get comfortable with it before tackling more challenging roads or busier traffic. Caution and knowing yourself and your limitations are strong signs of wisdom and experience.
When you’re riding, you can smell fresh-cut grass, you can hear crickets at night when you stop at a light, and you can feel changes in temperature, wind, and sometimes even air pressure. Motorcycle riders are usually a bit more ‘tuned in’ to their surroundings, because they have to be. If it’s about to rain, a motorcyclist needs to look for cover or a place to put on rain gear. Drivers in four-wheel vehicles often get ‘zoned in’ and focus on just the road in front of them. They forget that bikes are on the road, especially if it’s been a few months since they saw one.
Give cars a little more room at first. Try to look drivers in the eyes at intersections, just to make sure they see you, and consider riding in pairs or groups. It’s easier to see four motorcycles than one.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommends full face helmets and wearing leather and other non-flammable materials. Avoid synthetics that can melt to your skin if you lay your bike down. If riding at night, consider something reflective on your clothing or bike to make you more visible.
When a negligent driver cuts you off, hits you from behind, or side swipes you and your bike, chances are you will be the one suffering serious injuries. This can mean medical bills, missing work, permanent scarring and injuries, and more. You need aggressive and focused legal help now. Call our team of hard-working motorcycle accident lawyers at The Law Office of Stephen M Krause PA, P.A. We’ve fought for injured motorists throughout South Carolina for over 30 years. Let us put our experience to work for you.
Steven Krause is a personal injury, auto accident, and workers’ compensation lawyer who practices in Anderson, SC. He graduated form the Thomas M. Cooley School of Law and has been practicing law for 40 years now. Steven Krause believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience here.