- Wear protective clothing: Leather and denim clothing can help to protect the skin against road rash. Ear and eye protection is also important. All clothing should fit close to the body, as loose clothing can impair vision.
- Wear a helmet: It's the law in Washington, and for good reason. While helmets don't prevent all injuries, they can help save lives. Make sure you're using an approved helmet, not a thin plastic "novelty" helmet that will provide little protection.
- Maintain your bike: Check the engine, brakes, tires, headlamps, turn signals and all other gear frequently.
- Avoid sharing lanes: A motorcycle may be physically smaller than a passenger car, but it's still a vehicle and still occupies an entire lane. Motorists don't expect to share a lane with another vehicle.
Here are some steps motorists can take to safely drive near motorcycles:
- Maintain a safe following distance: Motorcycles frequently need to change speeds or reposition in a lane to avoid hazards and adjust to changing road conditions. Following at a safe distance will help to prevent rear-end accidents.
- Yield in intersections: Turning in front of an oncoming motorcycle is a leading cause of fatalities. Remember, you must yield to a biker just as you'd yield to an oncoming car. Also keep in mind that many motorcycles do not have self-canceling turn signals.
- Check blind spots: Motorcycles can easily end up in a larger vehicle's blind spots. Check frequently, especially if you see a biker attempting to pass.
- Take extra care in inclement weather: Rain, snow and sleet aren't pleasant for any motorist, but they're even more hazardous for bikers. Maintaining a safe following distance is even more important in bad weather.
Both motorcyclists and motorists have a responsibility to share the road – but when a motorcycle accident happens, it's usually the biker who is seriously injured or killed. If you've been hurt while riding a motorcycle, get help today. Contact us for a free consultation.