August 15, 2022
Motorcycle Accident

Motorcycle riders also experience a sense of freedom and adventure not found in other vehicles. Unfortunately, motorcycles come with significant risks. The lack of external protection and the smaller size means riders suffer more severe and fatal injuries when involved in accidents with larger vehicles.

In 2019, Alabama had the tenth highest rate of motorcycle fatalities in the U.S., despite a universal helmet law. Riding a bike demands more knowledge and effort than driving a car. You can reduce your risk of getting into an accident by mastering five crucial skills: braking, turning, avoiding road hazards, shifting smoothly, and reading traffic.

  1. Braking in All Conditions

The failure to learn or use proper braking techniques is a significant factor in many motorcycle accidents. Understanding the braking mechanics for your bike and practicing techniques in multiple road conditions will help you make the appropriate decisions when you encounter emergencies.

Learn which techniques work best for your motorcycle. You can consult your owner’s manual, ask experienced riders, attend a riding course, or visit a dealership for accurate information. 

Practice braking in every situation you might encounter on the road. These situations include wet pavement, extreme heat or cold, and braking on curves. Curves present a unique challenge because the lean of the bike reduces available traction, which increases the chances of losing control. 

  1. Turning in All Conditions

Turning a motorcycle can prove difficult due to poor handling at low speeds and decreased traction when you lean with the bike. Safe motorcycle riding includes knowing how to turn on curves and at low speeds. 

Negotiating curves requires a rider to lean with the bike. Because of the reduced traction, shift gears before entering the curve. However, there might be times when changing gears on a curve becomes necessary, so it’s helpful to practice these turns after you have mastered smooth-shifting techniques.

Changing the power to the rear wheel on a turn can cause the bike to skid. Due to the decreased traction, a skid can cause you to lose control and crash.

Turning corners might require maneuvering at low speeds, reducing your motorcycle’s stability. Practice until you master techniques such as dragging the rear brake. This technique lengthens the wheelbase and stabilizes the bike, which makes it easier to handle.

  1. Avoiding Obstacles on the Road

You should learn to watch the road ahead for possible hazards to avoid crashing. For example, when a vehicle blows a tire, the tread and shredded pieces of the tire wall can litter the roadway. Other debris that might come from vehicles includes furniture, loose cargo, fluids leaking from the vehicle, and trash people throw out the window.

Potholes, large cracks, and uneven lanes can cause a bike to leave its lane. Some states and counties have poor road maintenance due to low funding, and it may take several weeks or months to repair them.

As you make searching for risks a habit, you can more easily avoid them to prevent crashing.

  1. Shifting Gears Smoothly

Smooth-shifting makes handling easier, increases stability, and prevents locking up the rear wheel. You can improve your shifting skills by viewing them as one fluid motion instead of a series of steps and understanding the friction zone of your clutch.

 Downshifting smoothly can function as an engine brake. Downshifting allows you to slow your bike while saving wear on your brake pads. It also lets you respond to dangerous conditions in the proper gear for the best handling. You must be careful not to slow too suddenly in front of other drivers.

  1. Anticipating and Reacting to Other Drivers’ Movements

Develop riding strategies to anticipate other drivers’ actions. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation teaches the SEE method, or Search, Evaluate, and Execute.

Search

Searching involves being aware of your surroundings, possible risks, and escape routes if something goes wrong. Some things to watch for include:

  • Oncoming traffic that may turn left in front of you
  • Traffic coming from the left or right
  • Traffic coming from behind
  • Hazardous road conditions

Developing the ability to anticipate threats helps you avoid them. Practice these skills every time you ride.

Evaluate

Evaluate the potential risks and how you can avoid them. Traffic patterns can influence how you safely avoid potholes or puddles. Keep enough space in front of you so that you have time to react to an emergency and have a plan for when other cars move into that space. Practice evaluating risks will make you quick, which will help you take action sooner to avoid accidents.

Execute

Once you have decided which actions to take, act on them. Let other drivers know your intentions by using your signals and horn if necessary. You can adjust your lane position, switch lanes, or swerve to avoid hazards.

The ability to search out potential problems, evaluate them in the context of current traffic, and execute the plan might save your life.

The Vance Law Firm Can Help if You’ve Been Injured in a Motorcycle Crash

Despite using these safety skills on your motorcycle, you may still experience an injury accident. If this happens, The Vance Law Firm can help. We understand the bias motorcycle riders face from the police and insurance companies, and we will protect your legal right to fair compensation.

A Montgomery motorcycle accident lawyer with The Vance Law Firm can evaluate your case during a complimentary consultation. You need an experienced personal injury attorney to advocate for you at all stages of the claims process. Take advantage of our winning track record and contact our law firm today.

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