Tips On Motorcycle Safety 

Motorcycle driving, by nature, is dangerous.  Knowing motorcycle safety tips can save lives.  Motorcycle drivers are extremely vulnerable because of the open and two-wheeled nature of the vehicle itself.  This means that drivers are more susceptible to injuries or fatalities when driving a motorcycle.  In fact, according to the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Safety Administration, motorcycles are at a higher percentage of risks in many regards.

  • Motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to experience a deadly accident on the road than those in passenger cars.
  • 11 percent of all roadway accidents that occur in the United States involve motorcycles.
  • Head injury is the leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes.
  • In 2005, the motorcycle fatality rate was 73 per 100,000 registered motorcycles; meanwhile, the passenger vehicle fatality rate in the same year was 14 per 100,000 registrations.

The dangers of driving a motorcycle are real and the possibility of death is omnipresent. Thus, taking every precaution possible to drive safely can save your life. Consider one piece of equipment: a helmet can make the difference between instant death or injury.

  • A motorcyclist not wearing a helmet is 15 percent more likely to suffer a nonfatal injury than one who wears a helmet.
  • It is estimated that helmets reduce the likelihood of a crash fatality by 37 percent.

This is just one piece of equipment.  Combine this knowledge with understanding the potential causes of motorcycle accidents, and motorcyclists are almost instantly more aware of how to drive safely by avoiding these accident-causing situations.

Possible Causes of a Motorcycle Accidents

  • Poor weather conditions
  • Not utilizing a turn signal
  • Lane splitting, i.e. when a motorcyclist drives between two lanes
  • Ignoring traffic conditions
  • Ignoring traffic signs
  • Disobeying speed limitations
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road
  • Not seeing a motorcyclist due to glare or other view obstructions
  • Inexperienced motorists
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Vehicle defects
  • Roadway defects
  • Intentional hostile actions

Knowing about safety equipment such as a helmet and what causes accidents is not enough.  There are other critical tips to follow to stay safe. According to Consumer Reports, below is a list of ten tips for staying safe on a motorcycle for new buyers.  This list applies to drivers at all skill levels: or riders.

  • Don’t buy more motorcycle than you can handle
  • Invest in anti-lock brakes
  • Take a motorcycle safety course
  • Wear a helmet
  • Wear the proper protective gear (gloves, shoes etc.)
  • Be defensive
  • Avoid driving in bad weather, especially when the roads are wet
  • Watch for road hazards
  • Be ready to roll

Motorcyclists are at higher risks for accidents because of the nature of their vehicle.  In addition, motorcyclists face higher risks of injury and death than other motor vehicle drivers, especially when not wearing proper equipment such as a helmet. There are many dangers to be aware of and many reasons motorcycle accidents happen, but motorcyclists can learn from these accidents to avoid dangers in the future.  Combining awareness of these common dangers,  ways to avoid them, and tips on staying safe can make motorcycle riding an enjoyable and less stressful experience.

André Bélanger, a graduate of Loyola University, is a highly-respected criminal defense attorney serving the people of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and surrounding areas of Ascension Parish and New Orleans, for one of Baton Rouge’s top-25 law firms. In his 18 years of practicing law, Mr. Bélanger has handled thousands of criminal cases at both the pre-trial and trial stage, including approximately 200 trials. This trial experience includes homicide defense and prosecution, large drug conspiracies and fraud cases making Bélanger one of the few attorneys capable of handling even the largest, most complex federal cases. Having spent years devoted to developing a top-tier regional law practice for federal court and state court litigation, Mr. Bélanger is admitted to practicing law in all federal courts in both Louisiana, Mississippi, the United States Supreme Court and the U. S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. A strong commitment to the justice system, Mr. Bélanger has begun to forge his trial skills in the criminal courtroom in an effort to establish his own personal injury trial practice. This is a major boon for his clients, as few personal injury “trial attorneys” have appreciable jury trial experience.