Motorcyclists abound in California, using their bikes to travel to work, enjoy the scenery and have fun. However, this type of transport can be risky, in part due to inattentive drivers and to the lack of physical protection motorcycles offer. To minimize these risks, motorcyclists can protect themselves in a few ways.
1. Enroll in a safety program
California offers the California Motorcyclist Safety Program for motorcyclists of all abilities. You learn how to avoid a car's blind spot and how to choose the best helmets and protective equipment. You also become more familiar with crash prevention; for example, many crashes with cars happen when a driver turns left, not realizing that a motorcyclist is beside the vehicle. Road hazards, fatigue and bad weather are other topics that safety classes may cover, and you should come out of class with a renewed ability to operate your motorcycle with more skills and confidence.
2. Check your bike before riding
Before you hit the road, give your bike a speedy review. Assess potentially dangerous elements such as underinflated tires, the chain and the brakes. Ensure that your motorcycle gets regular maintenance, and always have it checked before a lengthy trip.
3. Wear a helmet
California requires that all motorcycle riders wear helmets, so follow the law. Best practices call for getting a new helmet every five years, especially since it means your helmet benefits from the latest technological advances. Replace it sooner if you have been in a crash or if your helmet is damaged.
The bottom line is that helmets, especially full-face types, provide essential physical protection to motorcyclists. They also help delay fatigue and reduce wind noise, keeping you better focused on the road.
4. Stay aware
One of the best things you can do is keep a healthy distance between your bike and the other vehicles on the road. Study after study shows that when a motorcycle and car are involved in a crash, the car driver is at fault most of the time. Therefore, as a motorcyclist, protecting yourself means being aware of what is going on around you and understanding why t hese crashes occur. Car drivers abruptly change lanes. They follow other vehicles too closely and operate the wheel while distracted or tired. Give yourself plenty of room to work with.
Being involved in a crash is frightening. Your health and emotional well-being could be at risk, and you might even lose wages. Getting in touch with an attorney can help you understand your rights and navigate the process of seeking compensation.