Riding a motorcycle can be a joyful, exhilarating experience. Unfortunately however, it can also be a dangerous one. According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), while motorcycles account for just two percent of all registered vehicles, they also represent about 10 percent of all state fatalities on the road.
This is often due to three factors: They are harder to see than cars; they are inherently less stable than other vehicles; and their operators often lack the proper safety protection. With these factors in mind, here are 3 tips for motorcyclists to stay safe while sharing the road.
- Avoid Blind Spots
Motorcycles are much smaller than other passenger vehicles on the road. While this may make it easier to maneuver, it also means that they can easily go unseen by other drivers. Motorcycles are often overlooked when they are in a car’s blind spot. This is why it’s so important that motorcyclists take the extra time to ensure that they have checked the traffic prior to changing lanes – especially when at intersections, where a large majority of accidents occur.
- Always Wear a Helmet
A big difference between a motorcycle and another passenger vehicle is that a motorcycle lacks the same type of protection. If a car is involved in an accident, the car’s sides and roof protect the driver. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for a motorcycle. That’s why it’s so important to wear a motorcycle helmet.
Under North Carolina law, everyone on a motorcycle must always wear a safety helmet that complies with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218. Therefore it’s not enough just to wear a helmet. You must also ensure that your helmet is in compliance. In order for it to be compliant, a motorcycle helmet must:
- Have a thick inner lining of polystyrene foam. You should be able to feel this.
- Have a DOT symbol on the back of the helmet permanently installed by the manufacturer
- Have a permanent label inside of the helmet that includes: the name or identification of the manufacturer, the model name, the size, the date it was manufactured, the type of liner and shell materials, and an instruction label regarding how to care for the helmet.
The above requirements must come with the helmet at the time of purchase – it is not compliant if you add them yourself.
- Obey All Signs and Signals
When you’re stuck in a long line of traffic you may feel tempted to weave in and out of the vehicles in front of you, simply because you can rather than wait. However, to safely share the road with other vehicles, motorcyclists must always follow the rules of the road and must always drive defensively. This includes maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you, checking the weather prior to getting on your motorcycle, assuming you can never be seen, and always using your turn signals. The more that you can indicate your next move to other drivers, the safer you will be.
An Experienced North Carolina Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, it can result in very serious – even deadly – consequences. The experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at Daggett Shuler understand the serious nature of such an accident and understand how to best deal with insurance adjusters. We want to help you to move forward. Contact us at 336-724-1234.
Daggett Shuler Law – You Can Depend on Us