Driving a motorcycle can be a fun and adrenaline-fuelled activity, with many enthusiasts choosing to ride their motorcycle on sunny weekend days. However, it is also a dangerous sport that claims many lives each year.
If you have been involved in an accident while you were riding a motorcycle, it is likely that you have suffered significant injuries and that your motorcycle sustained damage. You may also be confused as to who is at fault when it comes to the accident. It is a good idea, therefore, to read about how the law works in relation to your accident, so that you know how to proceed.
Strategies for avoiding motorcycle accidents
The most common type of motorcycle accident happens when a car turns left in front of a motorcycle. This is often because the driver of the car is searching the road ahead for other cars and just doesn’t register that you and your motorcycle are oncoming traffic.
You can be on the lookout for this danger and prepared to take evasive action.
- Be aware of gaps in traffic near intersections, driveways, and parking lots where a driver could turn.
- Watch drivers sitting in the turn lane at intersections. Their wheels will give you the first indication that they are turning.
- Slow down and cover your brakes.
- Prepare for evasive action, noting any other vehicles around you.
Motorcycles and blind corners
Being prepared for the worst can help you avoid crashing in a blind corner:
- Approach slowly. It’s always a good rule of thumb to approach corners slowly. Don’t ride faster than your range of vision allows. Once you are in the corner and can see that the way is clear, it should be safer to accelerate again.
- Use trail braking. Use the front brake through the apex of the curve. This will compress your front suspension and increase contact between the road and your front tire. Once you’ve seen that the road ahead is clear, you can speed up again.
- Hug the outside. Staying to the outside of the curve increases your range of vision. Safer riding occurs when you can see the road ahead.
Motorcycles and slippery roads
Slippery, wet, and ice-covered roads can lead to catastrophic injuries, but we have some tips to help you avoid those wet weather accidents.
- Check your tires. Motorcycles can perform well in wet weather provided you have tires with good tread. Slick tires and slick roads are a combination for disaster. Make sure that your tires have a good amount of tread to grip the road.
- Wait it out. The first hour of rainfall is often the most treacherous. If it hasn’t rained for a while, the rain will lift out oils and other debris from the pavement and make your way even slicker and more dangerous. Get yourself a cup of coffee somewhere and let the downpour wash some of the hazards away before you venture out.
- Slow down. Like all drivers, bikers can benefit from slowing down in hazardous conditions. Even with good tires, your stopping distance will increase and overall handling of the bike will become more challenging.
What is the best course of action after being involved in a motorcycle accident?
It is important that you do not make any statements to others involved in the accident about who you think was at fault. Only a legal professional or insurance company would be able to make a determination of this. Furthermore, admitting fault at the scene could be very damaging to any claim that you may have.
Can I still make a negligence claim if I was not wearing a helmet?
Not wearing a helmet on a motorcycle might be unwise, but it should never prevent you from making a claim against a driver if the other driver was negligent or reckless.
Caring for loved ones after a motorcycle accident
If your loved one was in a serious motorcycle crash, these suggestions can help you chart a path forward:
- Welcome them home. When they finally come home from the hospital, make sure their room is clean and functional for their limitations. You want them to feel safe and comfortable as they recover.
- Stay involved during rehabilitation. Go to the doctor with your loved one. Ask questions about their progress. Make sure your loved one is getting the answers they need from doctors and therapists about their recovery.
- Write things down. Memory loss often accompanies head injuries. If your loved one suffers from memory loss, use post-it notes, lists, or journals to help them remember everyday items without the need for constantly reminding them.
- Share the responsibility. Taking care of a severely injured loved one is emotionally and physically taxing. Make sure that you take shifts with other family members and take time for yourself.
If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident while on your motorcycle, it is a good idea not to jump to any conclusions about what the legal outcome might be. Make sure that you consider your legal options and stand up for your right to damages.