Accidents are aptly named disruptions in life. Rarely is it a planned event, but in many cases, the rider knows that a motorcycle accident is going to happen just before it does and can do little to prevent it.
The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported in 2010, that fewer than 1 in 100 million passenger car occupants died in an accident that year. Motorcyclists are 25 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash.
Understanding the true level of danger that comes with riding in such an exposed fashion is important. It helps a person react appropriately to potentially dangerous circumstances such as a motorcycle accident. When faced with an inevitable collision, there are ways to reduce the chances of serious or fatal injuries. Before you leave your Saint Petersburg driveway, be sure that you know what to do in those few crucial moments.
Use Your Brakes. Use both the front and the back braking systems to slow the bike as quickly as possible. The slower your speed at impact, the better the chances that you will walk away from it. The front brakes might try to lock up on you. If they do, release and reapply pressure.
Look for Outs. Well before potential emergencies arrive, you should be scanning the road and knowing ways out. That is to say, be sure that you are aware of how you would get away from a sudden obstacle during a motorcycle accident. This might mean steering into the shoulder of the road, entering the passing lane, or even riding off the road completely. Recognizing your options can save your life. It might not always be wise to follow those routes, but at least you are aware of them, if you need them.
Stay Upright. Motorcycling 101 should teach you that keeping your bike upright is your primary goal if an accident is likely to occur. Metal and plastic are not meant to ride on the road. The brakes aren’t going to do anything to stop the bike when it’s on its side, and there will be nothing there to protect you against impact. Keep the bike upright and use the steering and braking to keep control for as long as possible.
Prepare for Impact. If you know that you are going to hit something – a car, another motorcycle, a lamp post, or the road, for instance – then do your best to prepare your body for the impact. First and foremost, relax! Yes, it sounds ridiculous, but it can save your life. Relaxed muscles will absorb the impact more readily and you will likely wind up with far fewer injuries than you would if you tried to fight the momentum. Forget the old adage about tucking and rolling. All too often, this means that the head meets the ground first. Once you have stopped, remember to stay down. Unless you are in harm’s way, it is best to stay put until your injuries have been assessed. Moving too quickly – especially while the adrenaline is still pumping – can exacerbate injuries.
Whether riding in St. Petersburg or in the coldest climates of the world, there is always danger lurking for motorcyclists. Being prepared is the very best way to protect yourself against tragedy, while enjoying an activity that you love. If you are left with serious injuries, sky-high medical and repair bills, or too many questions to count, then contact a personal injury attorney.