Lever & Ecker, PLLC May 15, 2017 General
Motorcycle season in New York is upon us. As the winter begins to fade off into the distance, people all across the state of New York will begin to throw on the leather and “pony up.” It’s no secret to anyone who has ridden a motorcycle that they are fun, fuel efficient and downright fast.
On the other side, it is also no secret that they can be dangerous. Riders who choose to hop on their machines on a day to day basis are putting themselves at an extremely high risk. Studies show that motorcyclists are close to thirty times more likely to perish in a crash than those in vehicles according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Riders above the age of sixty encounter even higher risk due to reasons including eyesight issues, weaker bone structure and delayed reflexes. Because of these factors, riders who are older are much more likely to be hospitalized in a crash than their younger counterparts.
While a large number of New Yorkers go through life without experiencing a motorcycle related injury, it is important to optimize your safety by preparing yourself to ride the right way. Being prepared starts from the clothing you wear down the bike you choose to ride and ultimately, it is this preparedness that will minimize your risk while enjoying your amazing ride.
Below we will outline some helpful tips to keep you prepared and safe on your bike while on the road this coming summer…
Whether you are a rookie rider, or just haven’t ridden in a while, buying the right bike is an essential aspect to optimizing your safety while on the road in the cities surrounding New York. Modern day bike performance has risen to new heights, and even bikes with smaller engines nowadays have more power than the models of 20 years ago. Also, make sure your bike fits. Make sure your feet can reach the ground and the handlebars are well within reach. For commuter bikes, consumerreports.org suggests that riders look in the 250-300 cc range while highway riders should look in the 500-750 cc range.
Find a riding course in your area. It is said that in order to perfect something it takes 10,000 hours. Taking that into account with riding a motorcycle, that is a lot of riding time in order to perfect it. Assuming most riders may never reach this point, (or may take years to do so) it is important that riders practice as much as possible. An MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) course can be helpful in this process. The cost ranges however, in order to make sure you’re riding correctly, it may be worth it. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s website shows seven locations in the state of New York. You can visit ridemss.com for more details about a course near you.
Wearing a tank top, shorts, and some tennis shoes can spell a painful trip to the emergency room (or worse) while riding a motorcycle. Ideally, you would choose to equip yourself with gear that protects you from all elements you may encounter while on your bike. High winds, bugs, road debris, and the possibility of sliding on the road all can be accounted for with the proper gear. It is recommended that if you want the most reliable protection, that you buy reinforced leather jackets, gloves, pants and footwear. Most of these are made with terrific ventilation enabling them to be used in even the warmest weather. Eye and head protection are also extremely important. A helmet with a visor and eyewear are highly recommended in order to ensure safety. There are many online and in store outlets you can go to shop for such gear.
As we are sure most are aware, bikers are very hard to see on the road especially in congested cities like the ones around New York. It is important to take all measures to make sure you are seen while on the road. Wearing bright colors makes it easier for other vehicles on the road to know where you are at all times. Being a defensive biker is also important. Rather than weaving through traffic and driving aggressively, it is important to know that you are smaller and more vulnerable than most everyone around you, so take proper precaution. Studies show that in most accidents involving a motorcycle and a car, close to 60% of the time, the vehicle is in the wrong. Knowing this, be on the lookout because most of the time, vehicles aren’t watching out for you.
Most people nowadays have access to some sort of weather information. Knowing this, make sure you are prepared for any type of weather. Motorcycles do not exactly ride well in the rain. Slippery conditions on the road up your chances of accident. Proper braking and avoiding sudden change of direction at all costs is paramount. Not only does rain make the road more dangerous, but it also has an effect on visibility. Because you don’t have windshield wipers, seeing in heavy or even light rain, may prove to be difficult.
It is important that before heading out for a ride that you make sure your bike is in working order. Walk around it. Check to make sure your lights, horn and signals are in working order. Examine the chain and the brakes. Check the tires and their pressure in order to ensure what’s between you and the road is up to standards. Without properly functioning brakes and tires, you’re putting yourself at higher risk. If you notice something is wrong with your bike, take it in! Routine maintenance checks are essential to keeping your bike in working order and helping you stay safe while on the road
With these helpful tips in mind we encourage you to get out and do what you love! New riders, enjoy your new bike. Old riders, enjoy getting back on the saddle. However, we do encourage you to stay safe and review these safety tips because here at Lever & Ecker, PLLC and our White Plains motorcycle injury lawyers, care about your safety on the road. So get out there, and ride!