There is nothing like riding California’s highways and back roads on a motorcycle. But whether you are riding alone or with friends, it’s important to protect yourself from injury at all times.
Bad weather, poor road conditions, and unforeseen circumstances can make the roads more dangerous for motorcycles than passenger vehicles. To protect yourself and avoid being injured in a motorcycle accident, keep these five tips in mind:
1. Wear Protective Gear
Every motorcyclist should wear protective gear at all times while riding. And during inclement weather, you should wear additional layers of “warmth and protection”, including:
• A helmet – motorcycle helmets are required by California’s mandatory helmet law, Vehicle Code Section 27803. Not wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle in California is punishable by a fine of up to $250 and/or one year of probation. Furthermore, not wearing a helmet will cause a problem for your motorcycle accident claim. You may be found partly negligent for your injuries, which will reduce the amount of compensation you can recover.
• A face mask – to keep your face warm and allow you to breathe properly (if you have an open helmet);
• A jacket – that is resistant to wind and rain; and
• A pair of gloves – to keep your hands warm and enhance your grip, allowing you to be in control of your bike at all times.
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, wearing the appropriate gear can save your life. Riders are more likely than the drivers of passenger vehicles to suffer traumatic brain injuries and other life-threatening injuries in an accident, especially if they fall off their motorcycle during the crash. Wearing a helmet and eye protection will reduce your chances of suffering a serious injury if you are in an accident.
2. Follow the Rules
You should always obey and follow traffic rules and regulations. That means obeying the speed limit and driving even slower in bad weather or road conditions, watching out for blinds spots, and remembering that the faster you are traveling, the longer it will take for you to stop.
3. Be Defensive
Just because you can see the vehicle in front of you doesn’t mean that the driver can see you. Two-thirds of all motorcycle accidents happen because a driver didn’t see a motorcycle and violated the rider’s right of way. Always ride your motorcycle with the headlights on, and try to stay out of a driver’s blind spot.
4. Be Alert
Before you go for a ride, make sure that you are well-rested and that you have not consumed any alcohol, or anything else that could make you less alert. You need to be alert at all times to avoid accidents on the road.
5. Check Your Motorcycle Before Going for a Ride
Do a full preparation check before going for a ride on your motorcycle. Always check the following:
• The tires;
• Under the motorcycle for oil or gas leaks;
• The levels of the hydraulics and coolant fluids (at least weekly); and
• Your headlights, taillights, and signal lights (be sure that they are in perfect working order). In California, all motorcycles should have their headlights on as long as the engine is running, that’s the law. What’s more, you can be sure that if you are involved in an accident with a car, the driver will claim that you were hard to see. That’s why it’s important that you have a working headlight, and that you know it was working at the time of the accident.
What To Do After Being Involved in a Motorcycle Accident
After being involved in a motorcycle accident, you have to take certain steps to preserve your right to compensation. Most importantly:
1. See a Doctor
Perhaps the biggest mistake that people often make after a motorcycle accident is not getting checked out by a doctor. It doesn’t matter how you feel or whether you are injured or not, you may have suffered a concussion or other injuries that you are unaware of.
Furthermore, your injuries need to be evaluated and documented by a licensed physician in order to support any motorcycle accident claim. Therefore, you should seek immediate medical attention, and then continue to be treated by a doctor for as long as your injuries dictate.
2. Refrain from Signing Anything
If you are contacted by an insurance adjuster, you may be asked to give and sign a recorded statement or some other document. However, you have the right to remain silent and the right to call your attorney before you sign anything. Always consult with your attorney before giving any recorded statement or signing any documents.
Contact an Experienced California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Just as riding a motorcycle is different from driving a car, so too are motorcycle accidents different from car accidents. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in California, you need an attorney who has experience in getting California motorcyclists compensation for their injuries and losses.
The California motorcycle accident lawyers at eAccidents can help you. Call us today at 844-400-0123 to arrange a free consultation. We never charge you a fee unless we recover compensation on your behalf.