Motorcycles are fuel efficient and fun, but they are also inherently dangerous. They can be more dangerous than cars and trucks because they lack the structural safety of automobiles and because they are not as easily visible as larger vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are over 26 times more likely to die in a motorcycle accident than people in cars. In light of this danger, there are precautions that motorcyclists can take to protect themselves.
1. In Georgia and 18 other states, all motorcyclists are required to wear helmets. That said, no matter where you ride a helmet makes a huge difference. NHTSA reports that motorcycle helmets saved an estimated 1700 lives in 2012 alone. That year, over 700 more lives could have been saved by helmet use.
2. As is the case with cars, don’t get on your motorcycle if you are intoxicated. NHTSA reports that alcohol is a factor in a higher percentage of fatal motorcycle accidents than fatal car accidents. That percentage has increased over the last decade. According to the CDC, alcohol can have an impairing impact on a person’s ability to drive safely even before the legal limit is reached. In fact, a second drink can diminish a driver’s ability to visually track moving objects. Plan ahead to avoid riding under the influence by arranging a ride. Services like Uber and Lyft can provide safe rides home at affordable prices.
3. Drive defensively. No matter how safely you operate your own vehicle, you have to be careful of other drivers. You never know who may be intoxicated or distracted. In order to anticipate and avoid danger, look as far ahead as possible. For example, noticing brake lights in the distance can save you from having to slam on your brakes when the driver directly in front of you stops. Seeing kids playing in a driveway down the road can help you be ready to react if a ball comes out into the road. Being proactive about potential hazards could save your life. See our Tips for Safe Summer Driving for more information.
4. Carry good insurance. It can be tempting to opt for the cheapest available coverage, but solid insurance can save you money and hassle in the event of an accident. Consider carrying uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. This insurance will kick in if you are involved in an accident with a driver without insurance (or with inadequate insurance) who is at fault. According to the Insurance Research Council, one in every seven drivers does not have insurance. Their study showed that another 20% of drivers carry only the minimum insurance required by law. By closing this possible insurance gap, uninsured motorist coverage can provide peace of mind and potentially save you from financial disaster. MedPay coverage can help make sure your medical expenses are taken care of right away after an accident regardless of fault. Talk to your insurance company to make sure you are fully protected.
If you are in a motorcycle accident, follow our four steps to protect yourself. Contact The Rhine Law Firm, LLC for help protecting your rights, recovering money you may be entitled to, and navigating the stressful insurance process.