Whether you’re running around town or you’re heading out on a cross-country motorcycling adventure, you want to be sure you are proactive in avoiding motorcycle accidents. Don’t get us wrong: you never want an automobile accident to happen either. However, when you’re riding a motorcycle, you don’t even have the protection of the vehicle or its airbags.
With this lack of protection, injuries from motorcycle accidents can be extreme. Injuries from motorcycle accidents can include back and neck injuries, road rash, loss of limbs, spinal cord injuries, severe cuts and lacerations, traumatic brain injuries, and even death. If you or a family member has sustained one of these injuries, then you’ll need a motorcycle accident lawyer on your side. Whether you’re in Gillette, Casper, Cheyenne, Laramie, or another part of Wyoming, our motorcycle accident lawyers can help you get compensation and justice.
We don’t think of ourselves as lawyers who ride motorcycles; we think of ourselves as motorcyclists who are lawyers. Because of our personal expertise with motorcycling, we’ll be able to better represent you, address your needs and concerns, and understand your personal injury and claim. Read below to learn five things to do to avoid motorcycle accidents — but know that you can call us if an accident does occur and leaves you needing help. Contact Metier Law today for a risk-free consultation with a motorcycle accident lawyer in Wyoming.
Be On Defense
Unfortunately, you cannot solely depend on others to be on the lookout for motorcyclists. While you’d hope and expect them to be aware, you can’t count on it. To combat this, we recommend always being on defense when riding your motorcycle — even when you’re simply riding in your neighborhood and you’re comfortable. In fact, you may be surprised by just how many accidents occur within 10 miles of the driver’s home. This is because we often let down our guard when we’re close to home and on our regular routes. No matter whether you’re 1 mile from your house or 1,000 miles from your house, we recommend you stay on the defensive by doing the following:
- Don’t ride in bad weather – Mother Nature is no respecter of drivers. If you ride your motorcycle in inclement weather, you’ll greatly increase your risk of an accident.
- Be aware of blind spots – Know where blind spots for cars or trucks are and give them space as much as possible.
- Always signal – It’s unacceptable to not signal! Just as you expect any other drivers on the road to signal for turns with adequate timing, you should do the same. It’s not a bad idea to use hand signals in addition to your lights.
- Always use headlights – Motorcycles are harder for other drivers to see than larger vehicles. Make yourself as visible as possible by always using your headlights. This is a state law and most lights are hardwired to be on when the bike is on — just make sure yours are!
- Always wear appropriate gear – From helmets with eye protection to durable, reflective clothing, your gear should keep you safe and seen while riding a motorcycle.
- Beware of road hazards – Patches of sand, puddles of water, risky potholes, and other hazards out there can disrupt the flow of your ride and put you at risk of crashing. It’s also important to be aware because these hazards could cause vehicles around you to swerve or crash.
- Watch out for wildlife – There is a lot of wildlife up here in Wyoming. When driving at night, watch the brush on the sides of the road since animals’ eyes will reflect light from your motorcycle.
- Pull over or stop when needed – Whether the reasoning is bad weather or that you’re tired, you should always be willing and ready to pull over or stop whenever needed. Another tip for avoiding obstacles or bad conditions would be to look through turns and to look double or even triple the distance you may normally look while driving a vehicle. This will give you time to adjust for potentially hazardous conditions.
- Schedule and perform regular inspections – Check your mirrors, brakes, horn, and clutch and throttle every time you ride, along with your fluids, lights and tires. This isn’t all, though. You’ll also need to take it into the shop for regular inspections.
Obey Traffic Laws
As a driver on the road, you should always follow traffic laws. There is no exception when you’re on a motorcycle.
However, by being in a smaller vehicle with less protection, it is possibly even more important to obey traffic laws. Don’t speed, pass another driver in their lane, or blow through stop signs. Learn traffic laws that are specific to motorcyclists and be sure to follow them.
Wear Appropriate Gear
We discussed this briefly above when talking about riding defensively, but we simply can’t stress this enough. If you’re wearing long-sleeve durable clothing and boots with nonskid soles, for example, then injuries such as road rash or lacerations could be slightly minimized in the event of a motorcycle accident.
It’s also just as important to always wear a helmet. Severe head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, could be avoided or minimized by a helmet. Whatever helmet you choose should come with a face shield or another form of protective eyewear. When riding a motorcycle, gloves and protective eyewear are simply non-negotiable.
Why to wear gloves: If you’re riding at 60 mph and a pebble hits your knuckle, it could break a bone and make you lose control.
Why to wear protective eyewear: If you’re riding at 60 mph and a June bug hits your eye, you could experience permanent vision loss.
We should never get so comfortable riding a motorcycle that we think we have no more to learn. There are many courses available for motorcycle safety, and we — both as motorcycle accident lawyers and riders— recommend staying up-to-date on them.
While we certainly recommend a motorcycle safety course when you first begin riding a motorcycle, we also see a need for them when we haven’t had a course in a while or are about to leave on a long motorcycling trip. Your insurance company might even give you a discount with a recent safety training course.
Last but certainly not least: stay sober. There is never an excuse for driving impaired, especially with the availability of ride sharing. These 2015 statistics speak for themselves:
- 4,684 motorcyclists were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes.
- 1,285 (27%) were alcohol-impaired (BAC of .08 g/dL or higher)
- 337 others (7%) had lower alcohol levels (BACs of .01 to .07 g/dL)
Meet With A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer In Wyoming Today
Unfortunately, you can do everything on this list and still fall victim to a motorcycle accident. If this applies to you, then you need a motorcycle injury attorney on your side to help you get the financial, emotional, and physical compensation and support you need and deserve. Throughout Gillette, Casper, Cheyenne, and Laramie, this is Metier Law. Contact us today to schedule a risk-free consultation with a motorcycle accident lawyer.