It doesn’t matter if you are a 30-year veteran or a first-time rider, motorcycle accidents, and even fatalities, can happen to everyone. According to statistics, motorcyclists are roughly 35 times more likely to be involved in a deadly roadway accident, but even so, motorcycle use continues to grow, with new riders registering bikes every day.
A motorcyclist remains hospitalized this morning after being seriously injured in a crash involving an SUV Tuesday afternoon in suburban Lake Villa. According to reports from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, the accident occurred while the 25-year-old victim was heading southbound on Route 45. Just after 3:00pm, the motorcyclist entered an intersection at Rollins Road on a green light, where he collided with a Ford SUV making a left turn in front of him. The accident caused the rider, who was wearing a helmet at the time, to be ejected from the motorcycle; he was taken to nearby Advocate Condell Hospital with a serious head injury. The accident remains under investigation. (Chicago Sun-Times)
Our Chicago car accident lawyers know how damaging motorcycle accidents can be, and we care about the safety of you and your family. There is no denying that motorcycle use is growing, and that is why we would like to share a few important considerations and precautions that every beginner or novice motorcyclist should remain cognizant of before they are ready to take their first ride. What follows are a few tips we have devised to help new motorcyclists keep themselves safe on the road:
Don’t Overbuy-When shopping for our first bike, make sure it fits you. That means matching your needs both physically (when seated, you should be able to place both feet flat on the ground, handle bars should be easily reached, and the motorcycle should be a weight you can handle) and in terms of performance capability. Failing to take these basic precautions can be an accident waiting to happen.
Take A Safety Course-Most states require that you take a skills test in order to attain a motorcycle license, and some also require a safety class. If your state doesn’t require some kind of safety education course, do what you can to seek one out on your own.
Invest in Antilock Brakes-ABS is a feature now available on many different motorcycle models, and IIHS data has shown that riders with these brakes are 37% less likely to be involved in a deadly accident. Although it may cost you a couple hundred bucks, it will likely save you much more in the long term by way of insurance discounts, and it could save your life.
Ride Within Your Skill Level-Riding a motorcycle is not a skill that can be mastered immediately. Operating these machines requires greater balance and physical exertion, and it can take several years to reach the level of expert rider. Don’t attempt maneuvers you may not be able to handle, and be defensive whenever possible to avoid an accident.
Avoid Adverse Weather and Road Hazards-Simply put, motorcycles don’t grip pavement as well as four-wheeled vehicles do. Avoid riding in the rain or snow, and watch out for potholes, gravel, or other roadway hazards that could result in you losing control.
Wear a Helmet-The bottom line is that this is the most important thing you can do to keep yourself safe when riding. Head injuries are the leading cause of death for motorcyclists, and anything you can do to provide protection for your brain can make a big difference. (Discovery News; Consumer Reports; Center for Disease Control & Prevention; motorcycle.org)