Motorcycle Safety: Are You at Risk?

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stumbled black motorcycle at the side of the road

The number of motorcycle accidents in Los Angeles is one of the highest in the nation. Unlike driving in a car, bikers don’t have the protection of a 2-ton vehicle with accompanying seatbelts and airbags. With only a helmet for protection, riding a motorbike can be quite dangerous, and some factors magnify these dangers.

Untrained Riders

Riding a motorcycle is a lot more complicated than driving a car; you need good balance, hand-eye coordination, and sharp reflexes. You also need to know how to avoid obstacles, use your gears properly, and do a lot of things at the same time. You have a smaller margin of error when riding a bike and accidents can be more dangerous. A 2-day training course really won’t prepare you for harsh road conditions, and if you’re over 21, you don’t even have to attend these training sessions. It is essential that you use a motorcycle dashcam or some other recording device on your rides. You’ll also need the number of a good lawyer just in case you get into an accident. Even if you’re the most excellent biker, you can’t predict the drivers around you. Some car drivers have difficulty seeing or perceiving motorcycles, putting bikers like you at higher risk.

Weekend Warriors

Almost half of all motorcycle accidents occur on the weekends. Weekend warriors who ride their bikes once or twice a week tend to go hard on the road and get a bit more daring. There are fewer cars on the road during the weekend and bikers can go faster for longer stretches. However, going faster exposes you to more risk. The slightest miscalculation or the slightest bump can leave you flying on the asphalt, and more speed means more severe injuries. When you’re riding hard, you don’t even need another vehicle to get into an accident. Most motorcycle accidents are single-vehicle crashes — caused by inattention, risky behavior, or simply too much speed. If you need to ride fast, ride on a dedicated racetrack. Riding on a track allows you to get your need for speed while staying relatively safe. There are no cars to collide with, and you can get immediate emergency treatment if you get into a bit of a tumble.

Boozed Bikers

man driving fast a motorcycle

25% of fatal motorcycle accidents involve bikers with blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08. Bikers need to give their full attention to the road to avoid accidents and having a BAC that’s over the legal limit can dampen those senses. Alcohol is a downer; it slows your reaction times, skews your balance, and makes it harder to see and avoid road hazards. A split-second can mean life and death on a motorcycle, so don’t go drinking when you’re riding that bike.

Riding a bike is dangerous in itself, but the risk shoots through the roof when you only have basic training, gun it on the weekends, or mix in a little alcohol. Accidents can be unavoidable, but you can lower their chances of happening by staying vigilant and prioritizing safety every time you ride your motorcycle.