The newsLINK Group - Bike and Motorcycle Safety

Editorial Library Category: Legal | Personal Injury Topics: Bike Safety Title: Bike and Motorcycle Safety Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: Accidents happen, but sometimes they happen because of other people’s choices. Sometimes the biggest threat on the road for a person riding a bike or a motorcycle is the fact of having to share the road with people driving cars or trucks. Editorial: Bike and Motorcycle Safety 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ thenewslinkgroup.com │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 Accidents happen, but sometimes they happen because of other people’s choices. Sometimes the biggest threat on the road for a person riding a bike or a motorcycle is the fact of having to share the road with people driving cars or trucks. For about 11 percent of all fatalities involving some kind of a vehicle, one of the vehicles is a motorcycle. In 2010, there were 4,502 motorcycle fatalities. Three-quarters of the injuries are head injuries. Accidents increase when there are more bikes and motorcycles on the road. Good weather and spikes in gas prices both mean an increase in bike and motorcycle accidents. About 75 percent of accidents (including both injuries and fatalities) are in urban areas, but about half of all fatalities are on rural roads. Some 75 percent of all accidents are on or around a junction. In 80 percent of the cases, the accidents are during the day. In 80 percent of the cases, the person killed is male. About a quarter of the fatalities are children. The Governors Highway Safety Association has the following recommendations for each of the states: Increase helmet use. Teach people not to drive anything when they’ve been drinking. Slow traffic down. It is simple physics: the faster you go, the harder the crash. Driver education (no matter what you are driving) helps. What are the most common causes of accidents? A car or truck gets in the way of the bike or motorcycle, either by turning in front of it or merging into the same road. A bike or a motorcycle gets in the way of a car or truck, especially when a bike rides off a sidewalk into the path of a car. A bike or motorcycle makes a right turn. Children on bikes ride too fast. Whether you ride a bike or a motorcycle, specific actions can help you stay safe: Wear a helmet that meets the standards set by the Department of Safety Requirements or any of the other three agencies that will certify helmet safety. Your state may or may not legally require that you wear a good helmet, but it increases your odds of survival 37 percent if you do. It increases a passenger’s odds of survival 41 percent. Don’t forget to protect your eyes, too. Wear the right clothing. Thin, skimpy clothing won’t protect you. Motorcycle gear should include a heavy jacket and pants and a good, stout pair of boots. When you are riding a bike, you might not need to be as covered as you would be on a motorcycle, but do think about road rash when you decide what to wear. On a bike in particular, wear bright clothing that is easier to see. Consider adding a safety triangle or a reflective vest. Maintain your equipment. Take your bike in annually to get it checked. If you drive a motorcycle, follow the periodic maintenance schedule. Drive safely. That means obeying traffic laws and going at or below the speed limit. Think about your safety and the safety of those driving around you. Since states and cities decide on traffic laws, find out what they are for your area. Be aware of specific rules that apply to bikes and motorcycles for your area. Some specific situations increase your chances of getting in an accident: A car or truck pulls turns onto your road from a driveway, a parking lot, or a side street. The car might be in front of you or behind you. A car opens its door in front of you. You are riding on a sidewalk. Worse, you are riding against traffic.

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