Safety Comes First. Especially for Motorcyclists.
Nearly 5,000 motorcyclists were killed in 2018 but they are still overrepresented in traffic fatalities, reported the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This statistic demonstrates the frequency of preventable crashes and how important it is to reduce them. As such, our New York traffic violations lawyer recognizes the need to lower this statistic by sharing the following motorcycle safety tips to better prevent you from suffering traffic tickets, crashes and worse, fatalities.
- Wear protective clothing: Helmets, eyewear, boots and layered clothing are essential components of motorcycle safety. In New York, weather conditions such as wind, rain and cold can exhaust you faster, therefore you should dress warmly if possible. It can also benefit you to wear bright-colored clothing to increase your visibility to other drivers, who don’t typically notice motorcyclists easily.
- Limit your riding distance: Knowing your riding limits is key to a safe journey. Since operating motorcycles require a unique and more demanding level of focus, it’s easier to feel worn out and tired. More experienced motorcyclists can typically ride for up to 6 hours a day while others ride for a few hours before their alertness and energy diminish.
- Ride defensively: Drivers who get into accidents with motorcyclists often claim they didn’t see the rider. Since motorcyclists are less visible on the roads, it is crucial to ride defensively rather than assuming other drivers can see you. Riding defensively includes keeping your headlights on, avoiding being in a driver’s blind spot, signaling in advance of lane changes and watching for turning vehicles. Scanning your environment at all times is critical to your safety.
- Take breaks: To best avoid feeling drowsy on the roads, take frequent rest breaks in between your ride. Doing so can drastically increase your ability to react and decrease your chances of getting into an accident.
- Don’t drink or use drugs: Driving while impaired is strictly prohibited in New York and all 50 states for that matter. As such, you should not drink and ride, no matter how little you drank. In New York, operating a motorcycle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher is illegal and results in jail time, fines, added driving points and restricted driving privileges, if any, upon conviction.
- Get plenty of sleep before riding: If you have a long journey ahead, do yourself an important favor and get enough sleep the night before. It’s one thing to have a 2-hour ride but it’s a whole different situation if you have to ride for six hours or more. Thus, this advice can be particularly helpful if you plan to ride for an extensive amount of time.
- Follow traffic rules: This may seem obvious, but you must adhere to New York’s traffic rules to best avoid getting a ticket. Motorcyclists are especially at risk of getting into a fatal accident if they don’t follow traffic rules because they do not have the vehicle protection that drivers do. For instance, if you fail to yield, you may get struck by a car whose driver will likely suffer minor injuries compared to you. Further, you are just as likely to get a traffic ticket as drivers, therefore it is in your best interests to follow the rules of the road.
- Ensure your friends are riding safely, too: Motorcycle safety tips are most effective when all motorcyclists are educated and aware of them. As such, we encourage not only you but also your friends to consider the safety tips above to decrease the chances of getting into a devastating situation. Take the initiative to ensure your friends are following this advice by having open and honest conversations about their safety in addition to taking action against their dangerous and risky behaviors.