In the previous post, I discussed some of the obstacles that await when you leave your St. Petersburg driveway on your motorcycle. However, I hardly scraped the surface; there are many potential hazards for bikers with regard to motorcycle accidents today. Recognizing potential dangers and having a plan in place can save your life.
Rush Hour. First, let me say that, as a personal injury attorney, I strongly recommend avoiding this situation, if at all possible. More cars mean more drivers, and more drivers mean an increased potential for human error. On a motorcycle, you are at a much greater risk accidents than those in traditional vehicles.
• Recognize your invisibility. In all the chaos that rush hour brings, other drivers can easily overlook a motorcycle. Keep your lights on, wear bright or reflective clothing, and try to stay away from drivers’ blind spots to avoid motorcycle accidents.
• Ride in front of or behind other cars. Drivers tend to look ahead and behind far more often than they peer to the side.
• Allow extra time to reach your intended destination. If you leave yourself ample time, you are far less likely to try risky maneuvers, such as lane splitting.
Riding at Night. Human beings have certain weaknesses. One of those is difficulty seeing in the dark. Nighttime driving can be tough, even when operating a passenger car. On a motorcycle, you are even more prone to accidents.
• Be alert. Other drivers are contending with road glare and reduced visibility, which means you are even more likely to be overlooked.
• Use your high beams as often as possible. This will make it easier for you to see, but also make you more visible to others.
• Travel at safe speeds, always.
• Allow more distance between you and other drivers, which will allow for slower reaction time.
• Watch the lights of oncoming cars. They can point out potential rode hazards as they bob and bounce.
Bringing Others Along. When taking another person along on your bike, you automatically assume more risk. After all, should you make a poor decision, it could cost two lives instead of one. In order to minimize the hazard, ensure that you provide proper instructions.
• All riders should be properly attired, so they have some protection in the event of a motorcycle accident.
• Passengers should always sit forward, hold on to your person, and keep feet on the rests at all times.
• Turns are definitely a bigger issue with a passenger. Be sure to explain how to lean into turns before leaving your Saint Petersburg home.
• As for you, drive more cautiously when bringing others along; maintain slower speeds, enter turns carefully, and ensure that your rider is abiding by your rules.
Bad Weather. It is always wise to check the forecast before you leave on your motorcycle, but, unfortunately, it is not always possible to predict what the weather might bring – especially hours in advance. Therefore, be sure that you are properly prepared for rain and/or slick conditions.
• Travel at slow speeds, using warning lights, and avoid quick maneuvers.
• Never slam on the brakes when the roads are slick. This will only increase the risk of an accident. Instead, pump the brakes on and off to slow.
• Pull over whenever possible and get to a safe location to wait out the storm.
• Bring rain gear along, so you can change into it should the skies suddenly decide to unleash the water they hold.
Remember, these are just a few of the circumstances that can arise on the roads. Please, ride carefully!