Motorcycle season is here. Like all motorists, motorcyclists face the usual roadway dangers. This includes dangerous road conditions, inclement weather and other drivers. However, motorcyclists are exceedingly more susceptible to severe injuries in the event of an accident. Motorcycle safety is a shared responsibility among motorists and motorcyclists. Below, our San Jose motorcycle accident attorneys highlight motorcycle safety tips to follow this season.
Motorcycle Safety Tips for Motorcyclists
Riders need to be aware that they are undeniably at risk while riding. To help reduce dangers, motorcyclists should follow these safety tips:
- Wear a helmet and protective gear at all times. Wearing a helmet is the best way to protect yourself from a head injury. Under California law, motorcyclists are required to wear helmets approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT). The Motorcycle helmet should also visibly show a DOT sticker. In addition to a helmet, the proper protective apparel for a motorcyclist to wear includes a heavy-duty jacket and pants, boots, gloves and eye protection.
- Be visible. Wear bright clothing and reflective gear to help other motorists see you. You should also use headlights at all times of the day.
- Avoid road hazards. Road hazards such as potholes, road debris and puddles are a common cause of motorcycle accidents. It is important for motorcyclists to stay vigilant and to avoid these hazards if at all possible.
- Give ample following distances. When following another vehicle, leave enough distance to adjust or stop if needed.
- Practice safe lane splitting. Lane splitting is legal in California. However, it can be dangerous if motorcyclists do not follow California’s lane splitting guidelines. For example, motorcyclists should stay out of drivers’ blind spots.
- Follow traffic laws. Obey traffic lights, traffic signs and speed limits. Motorcyclists should also abide by California motorcycle laws.
Motorcycle Safety Tips for Drivers
Motorcycles can be more difficult to see than passenger vehicles. Drivers should follow these motorcycle safety tips for drivers to help avoid accidents:
- Stay alert. Be attentive and know your surroundings. Look for motorcyclists who may be on the road with you. Distracted driving is a common cause of accidents.
- Check blind spots. Before changing lanes or turning, check your blind spots. Motorcycles are much smaller than the average car and may be easy to overlook.
- Utilize turn signals. You should utilize your turn signals to let other motorists and motorcyclists know that you are changing lanes or turning.
- Understand California’s lane splitting law. Motorists must share the road with motorcyclists. Understanding the guidelines around lane splitting can help prevent accidents.
Injured in a Motorcycle Accident? Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you have been involved in a motorcycle crash, you should consult an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. It can be very challenging for the injured person and his or her family after a motorcycle accident. People are often seriously injured and need advice on how to proceed. An attorney can help you carefully weigh your legal options, so you have the information that you need to make an informed decision.
The personal injury attorneys at Needham Kepner & Fish LLP offer a free consultation for this purpose. Call us today at (408) 956-6949 to set up an appointment with a San Jose motorcycle accident attorney from our firm.