Motorcycle drivers are entitled to all the same rights as other motor vehicles on the road. Motorcycle operators are also expected to follow the same rules of the road. Some motorcyclists and motorists, unfortunately, put themselves in danger by ignoring common sense when it comes to safety. Here are just some of the safety tips you can use to avoid a motorcycle accident.
- Wear a helmet: Many Michigan motorcyclists under Michigan law are not obligated to wear a helmet while operating their motorcycle. Opting out of head gear, however, no matter how freeing or rebellious that may feel, is also a poor decision. Should you be involved in a Michigan motorcycle accident, your likelihood of suffering a traumatic brain injury or fatal head injury increases exponentially when you’re not wearing a helmet. Motorists wear seatbelts. Motorcyclists should wear helmets.
- Wear safety gear: If safety gear makes you feel like you’re anything but one with the road while riding your motorcycle, think of how you’ll feel if you literally become one with the road should you wreck your motorcycle. Safety gear like boots, jackets, gloves, and eye protection might feel restricting, but it saves bones, skin, and more from major damage, and can potentially save your life.
- No hotdogging: So many people are drawn to motorcycles because they don’t have the same constraints as motorists in cars and trucks. This different type of ride on the open road, however, does not give you permission to practice extreme sports. Riding alongside other motor vehicles requires caution and care – showing off with stunts because you think you can or feel encouraged to do so by the speed or lightness of your motorcycle is a sure route to disaster.
- Follow the rules: Just like motorists and bicyclists, motorcyclists are obligated to follow the same traffic regulations. Speed limits are a particular bone of contention where motorcyclists are concerned, as is weaving in and out of traffic. Follow street signs and stop lights, look out for pedestrians, and keep up with the flow of traffic so you mimic other drivers’ patterns to avoid being hit.
- Be aware of your surroundings: You can’t count on motorists to see you in their rearview mirror, give you space, or notice you when they’re changing lanes (especially since so many of them are distracted drivers). Yes, it’s the motorist’s job to watch out for motorcyclists, but it’s also your job as a licensed driver to watch out for the vehicles around you and notice what they’re doing so you can avoid a motorcycle accident. There are common trip-ups for motorcyclists that they need to look out for or avoid. Drive defensively by watching for left-turning vehicles ahead of you, avoiding gravel, and resisting making quick turns or sudden stops.
Motorcyclists must be proactive so they stay safe on Michigan roads. Motorists have their own jobs to do, like sharing the road and putting the phone down. Defensive, careful driving on every rider’s part keeps motorcyclists and other motorists out of danger.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, contact David C. Femminineo, Michigan motorcycle accident attorney in Macomb County, to schedule your consultation.