Motorcycle Accidents: How to Prepare for the Worst

By: Patricia Woloch

No motorcycle rider likes to consider the possibility of an accident, but unfortunately they do happen. And since they are going to happen, even to the most experienced rider, it is best to be prepared. Here are a few tips to make sure you are prepared in the event of a motorcycle accident.

Wear the Right Gear
In this case, the right gear means gear that can protect you. Because you are exposed from head to foot when you ride, your gear must likewise protect you from head to foot, including:
&bullAn approved helmet: One out of every five motorcycle crashes results in head or neck injuries, and these account for the majority of fatalities among riders. Also most of these crashes happen on short trips, often just minutes after starting out, so don't avoid putting your helmet on because you're just taking a short trip. Most crashes occur at speeds of less than 30 mph, when helmets are most effective. A study of motorcycle crashes showed that in none of the cases studied did a helmet prevent a motorcyclist from spotting danger.
&bullProtective clothing: To avoid dehydration while riding and serious injury in an accident, you should wear a jacket and pants that cover your arms completely. The jacket should be made of a durable material and fit snug, but still permit freedom of movement.
&bullGloves: Gloves give you better grip and control of your motorcycle and protect your hands in the event of a crash. Make sure they're of durable, non-slip material.
&bullBoots or shoes should be high and sturdy. They should cover your ankles for protection and give them support. The soles should be made of a sturdy, non-slip material.

Know Your Bike
Make sure your motorcycle is the right size for you. Your feet should touch the ground when you are seated. You should read the owner's manual and be familiar with the controls. You should also check the bike before every ride, and maintain it properly between rides. Modifications, though cool, can sometimes make your bike harder to handle and should be kept to a minimum. Even if you are an experienced rider, use special caution when riding a bike unfamiliar to you.

Ride Responsibly
Most accidents on the road are preventable if everyone is paying attention and driving with adequate caution. Normally when a motor vehicle accident occurs it is the fault of not just one person, but both people. Avoid being a party to your accident and do everything you can to avoid accidents. If you do the following, you will greatly reduce your chance of an accident:
&bullBe visible: most accidents occur when automobile drivers do not see motorcyclists. Wear bright clothing, drive visibly, use your lights, and avoid maneuvers which cause you to crop up on motorists unseen.
&bullCommunicate with other drivers by using your signals and making sure your brake lights are in working order.
&bullMaintain good spacing with cars, trucks, and other motorcycles in all directions at all times.
&bullKeep alert to hazards: scan at least 12 seconds ahead in your direction of travel. Identify multiple hazards and separate the action necessary to deal with all of them. Finally, be prepared to act appropriately.

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