Tips for Newly Licensed Motorcycle Riders to Reduce the Risk of a Crash


May 11, 2014

There are many factors that contribute to the high level of exposure of motorcyclists to potentially severe injuries, including the limited stability and protection motorcycles offer to those who ride. Motorcycle riders are thirty times more likely to die in a crash than occupants of a passenger car according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Although many who ride suffer injury caused by negligent drivers of passenger vehicles, rider inexperience with evasive maneuvers and hazards that routinely confront riders also constitute a significant cause of motorcycle accidents.

The role of rider inexperience as a factor in motorcycle crashes is evidenced by the fact that nearly half of all motorcycle collisions are single vehicle wrecks. These numbers are expected to rise because older riders and other non-traditional demographic groups, such as celebrities and young urban professionals are gravitating toward motorcycles. Older riders may be especially vulnerable to serious injury because of slower reflexes, diminished vision and more brittle bones. According to the IIHS, motorcyclists who are age sixty or above face triple the risk of needing treatment in a hospital following a motorcycle crash.

Although our Georgia Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at Montlick and Associates tenaciously represent those injured by negligent and reckless drivers, we also are committed to promoting motorcycle safety to reduce avoidable injuries, which is why we have provided safety suggestions for newly licensed motorcyclists. This safety blog covers an overview of expert tips provided by the IIHS.

  1. The Usual Suspects: Whether you are traveling on a car or motorcycle, the factors of speed and alcohol constitute two of the most significant factors in crashes. The IIHS reports that alcohol plays a role in 32 percent of motorcycle collisions while speed is a factor in nearly half of all motorcycle accidents (48 percent).
  2. Choose a Bike to Fit Your Size & Ability: Former riders returning to riding with limited recent riding experience may not realize the extent of the advances in the power of motorcycles during the last decade or so. New riders should get a bike that is properly fitted to one's size and that does not provide more power than a rider can handle.
  3. Never Multi-Task: While most people know that distracted driving is dangerous when trying to control a passenger car, the inherent challenges of riding a motorcycle place a premium on reaction time when engaging in evasive maneuvers or braking. Many people try to talk on cell phones while riding a motorcycle, but this can cause a distraction that delays a rider's ability to respond to a potential hazard.
  4. Consider Anti-Lock Brakes: A growing number of models of motorcycles come equipped with anti-lock brakes. Inexperienced riders are more likely to panic and lock up the brakes which compromises a ride's ability to steer and maintain control of a bike. ABS brakes helps reduce the risk of inexperienced motorcyclists skidding and losing control during an emergency stop. The IIHS reports that motorcycles with ABS brakes are 37 percent less likely to be involved in a motorcycle accident than riders of bikes that are not equipped with ABS technology.
  5. Protect Your Head: While many riders are opposed to helmet laws, the decision to wear a motorcycle can save the life of a new motorcycle rider. Motorcyclists who are not wearing a helmet are forty percent more likely to die because of head injury when they are involved in a collision, and they are three times more likely to suffer a serious brain injury according to government research. Riders are advised to ensure that their helmet has a Department of Transportation (DOT) sticker so that it complies with government mandated safety standards.
  6. Evade Hazards in the Roadway: While wet leaves, potholes and speed bumps might not even be noticeable when driving a sedan, pickup or SUV, these can be potentially deadly obstacles for a motorcyclist. If it is possible to avoid these hazards, this is advisable especially for new riders.
  7. Participate in a Safety Class: A motorcycle driving course can teach a range of skills from basic motorcycle safety to advance riding skills like engaging in emergency maneuvers. Many inexperienced motorcyclists assume operating a bike is intuitive even though it takes a special skill set.
  8. Inspect Your Bike: Before departing on a ride, an inexperienced motorcyclist should carefully examine his or her bike. This visual inspection might include the tires, brakes, chain, belt and shaft. Tires need to be checked for both tire pressure and wear. When tires are underinflated, a motorcycle becomes very difficult to steer.
  9. Avoid Adverse Weather: Rain can compromise tire traction and interfere with visibility. While newly licensed riders might be well advised to entirely avoid driving in adverse weather conditions, the decision to do so is particularly risky right after a rain storm when it has not rained for some period. When the precipitation mixes with residue of oil in the road, the roadway can become extremely slick.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 30 Years of Experience to Work For You

If you or a loved one is injured in a motorcycle accident, you may have a right financial compensation for your injuries or the loss of a loved one. Montlick and Associates has been representing injury victims for over thirty years throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.