Summer is in full swing, and it is a perfect time to take your motorcycle out for a long ride. Bikes are a great way to cruise the roads of Connecticut in the warm weather. Whether you are looking to ride around town or take a multi-day motorcycle tour, it’s always good to brush up on safe riding practices. Due to the lack of protections afforded by bikes, injuries are serious, often catastrophic, in the event of a collision.
I have compiled a list of tips that will help you stay safe on your motorcycle this summer. These best practices are useful for riders of all abilities and levels of experience.
Wear Protective Clothing and Gear
One of the most important things you can do when riding your motorcycle is to wear the proper protective clothing and gear, which can significantly reduce the severity of injuries suffered in a motorcycle crash. In some instances, this gear can save your life or prevent a traumatic brain injury.
The most important piece of safety gear you must always wear is a helmet. Earlier this spring, the Connecticut House of Representatives passed a law requiring all motorcycle riders under the age of 21 to wear a helmet. While this law doesn’t require riders 21 and older to wear a helmet, it is still crucial for all riders and passengers of every age to wear one. Without a helmet, your head has no protection in the event of a crash, and you face a significantly greater risk of suffering a serious brain injury.
Other important safety gear to wear includes:
- Leather jacket and pants, or another material that can prevent road rash
- Boots that extend beyond the ankle
- Gloves to help improve your handlebar grip
- Eyewear (sunglasses or goggles) to protect you from objects that may hit you in the eye and cause vision damage
Be on the Lookout for Hazardous Road Conditions
In a perfect world, all roads would be newly paved and in excellent condition. Unfortunately, we don’t live in that world. Many of Connecticut’s roads are in a state of disrepair, and even small road hazards that don’t impact a car can lead to a serious wreck on a motorcycle.
Always be on the lookout for the following dangerous road conditions:
- Loose gravel
- Uneven roads
- Fallen leaves
- Wet or icy spots
By identifying these obstacles in advance, you can make any necessary adjustments to avoid a wreck.
It’s common for a motorcycle to get lost in the blind spot of a car or truck. As a result, many collisions occur because a car or truck didn’t see a motorcycle nearby. This is especially common when vehicle drivers are using their cell phone or engaged in other distractions. The following defensive driving tips can help reduce your risk of a collision:
- Avoid riding in another driver’s blind spot
- Pass other vehicles with caution
- Maintain a safe following distance behind other vehicles
- Always use your turn signals
- Use your horn if you see a car or truck that is about to veer into your lane or turn right in front of you
- Avoid reckless behavior, such as lane splitting, which may increase your risk of a collision
Many motorcycle crashes occur because another driver didn’t see the bike. While all drivers must take responsibility for being aware of their surroundings, it’s in your best interest to help out by making yourself as visible as possible. To accomplish this:
- Wear bright colored clothing
- Use your headlights, even during the day
- Add reflectors to the back of your motorcycle
Maintain Your Motorcycle
Your bike should be running at top levels of performance at all times. This will help prevent breakdowns that could cause you to crash. The following tips will help ensure your motorcycle is always in good running condition:
- Stay on top of all routine maintenance service appointments, such as oil changes
- Visually inspect your motorcycle for any damage before starting out on a long ride
- Check the air pressure in your tires periodically
- Check your oil on long rides
Don’t Ride Your Motorcycle after Drinking
Avoiding a DUI arrest is the least of your concerns. This tip is about saving your life. Alcohol consumption can slow your reflexes and impair your judgment, making it difficult to handle your motorcycle in the event of an unexpected or adverse condition. Dulled reflexes and poor judgement can turn a “dodged a bullet” situation into a catastrophic motorcycle wreck. Drinking while riding is never worth the risk.
Contact our Bridgeport Motorcycle Crash Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle wreck caused by the negligence of another driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Jim Miron has over 25 years of experience fighting for the rights of motorcycle crash victims, and he can help you hold all negligent parties accountable for your injuries.
Please contact Jim Miron Attorney at Law using the form on this page or call 203-339-5991 today to schedule a complimentary consultation. Jim represents clients all over Connecticut and his offices are located in downtown Bridgeport and easy to get to off of I-95 and Route 8 and are close to Stratford, Shelton, Trumbull, Fairfield and the surrounding community.