With nice weather rolling across the Midwest this time of year, we're sure to see our fair share of motorcyclists on St. Louis roadways. It is important for everyone on the road to watch out for these drivers as they are especially susceptible to injury from an accident. At Eason Law, we understand knowledge is power, so here are six rules of the road for riders to avoid motorcycle crashes. By following these tips bikers, can ensure they will safely enjoy another ride.
1. TAKE A CLASS
Before mounting a motorbike for the first time, it is smart to take a class. Learning safety tips from a professional or long-time rider allows beginners to understand the biggest risks and most common mistakes that inexperienced motorists complete. While the motorcycle training course is not required in the state of Missouri if you are older than sixteen, we highly recommend an introductory training course for all first-timers.
2. MAKE SURE DRIVERS CAN SEE YOU
Many motorcycle accidents are caused because a driver could not see the biker. A motorcyclist can make themselves more visible to other vehicle operators by wearing bright or reflective colors instead of opting for a dark leather jacket. Another method of increasing visibility is to use your headlight no matter the time of day. For the non-bikers on the road, make sure to watch for motorcycles and smaller vehicles. Use your mirrors regularly, always check your blind spot and take an extra look to watch for smaller vehicles.
3. DON'T DRINK BEFORE RIDING
It is no secret that drugs and alcohol impair the abilities of vehicle operators, regardless if they are traveling in a car, truck or SUV, or on a motorcycle. While you may be tempted to enjoy an alcoholic beverage on a gorgeous day of riding, it is highly recommended that all cyclists steer clear of any alcohol intake while driving, whether or not your BAC exceeds the legal limit. If you do indulge, it's best to call a friend, taxi, or uber to guarantee you make it home safely.
4. AVOID ROAD HAZARDS
Savvy drivers dodge potholes, avoid debris, and watch for other dangerous road conditions while driving. While these seemingly minor threats can cause a bumpy ride in an automobile, they can often cause major complications for motorcyclists. If you know a certain path is under construction, it is best to choose a different route to protect your safety.
5. NEVER SPEED
Speeding threatens any driver's safety, no matter the type of vehicle they are operating. However, it is increasingly hazardous for those riding motorcycles. Other motorists have a hard time seeing bikers in general, so accelerating your time of travel will only heighten the risk of being involved in a collision. Be especially vigilant when navigating multi-lane roads with moderate to heavy traffic or passing a lane of slow or stopped vehicles.
6. STAY HOME IN BAD WEATHER
If the forecast shows nasty storms or a high chance of rain or snow, it is best to utilize a vehicle that will shield you from the elements. While you may not fear a little precipitation, the likelihood of a motorcycle crash or mishap amplifies in inclement weather. We suggest waiting for a nice, clear day to take a long ride. And, use these tips to navigate spring weather safely in your car.
As riding a motorcycle is a favorite American pastime, bikers will continue to hit the highways each year. If you are one of them, take as many safety precautions as possible to protect against any conceivable catastrophe. Should you be involved in a bike accident due to another driver's negligence, the injury lawyers at Eason Law Firm are always here to help. For more information or to speak with one of our legal professionals, complete our online contact form today!