Many New Yorkers enjoy the exhilaration and freedom that motorcycles offer. Unfortunately, these two-wheeled vehicles are prone to accidents and injuries. Fatalities are also common, with 5,172 people in the United States killed in motorcycle crashes in 2017.
Motorcycles are less stable than passenger vehicles and they offer very little protection in the event of a crash. It is not uncommon for motorcycle riders and passengers to suffer serious injuries in an accident.
Motorcycle accidents can happen in a variety of ways. Reckless driving, speeding, intoxication, inexperience, lane splitting, poor weather, and distractions are just a few reasons. Because of this, New York requires all motorcycle riders and passengers to wear a helmet. Operators are also required to wear goggles or a face shield.
By wearing a helmet and goggles, you can protect your face and head in the event of a crash. These safety methods can significantly reduce your risk of brain injury. Read on to find out what else you can do to stay safe while riding a motorcycle in New York.
- Ride a motorcycle that fits you. Many people prefer high-performance bikes, but they are often smaller and harder to control, causing fatal accidents.
- Wear appropriate gear. Besides a helmet and face goggles, consider motorcycle jackets, boots, and gloves to protect your other body parts in the event of a crash.
- Turn on your headlights. Motorcycles are hard to see because they are much smaller than passenger vehicles. Use headlights, even during the day, to make yourself easily seen by others.
- Make sure your bike has antilock brakes. These can provide you with better control should you have to stop suddenly.
- Drive defensively. Half of all motorcycle accidents occur at intersections. Be especially cautious when at an intersection.
- Watch for hazards. Potholes, gravel, roadkill, puddles, oil slicks, and debris are more dangerous for motorcycles than passenger vehicles. Try to avoid these if possible to prevent skidding out or sliding.
- Don’t speed. Speed kills. The faster you go, the longer it takes to stop.
- Stay in your lane. Avoid weaving in and out of lanes or riding on the shoulder or sidewalk. Not only is lane splitting unsafe, but it is also illegal.
- Never drink and ride. Riding a motorcycle while intoxicated is even more dangerous than driving a car. Don’t ever do it. Call an Uber to get home safely.
- Take safety and refresher courses. Riding a motorcycle requires a lot of skill. New riders should take a safety course to learn to drive safely. More experienced riders should take refresher courses to stay current on their skills.
Get Hurt? Get Gary!
Motorcycles are fun but not always safe. In a collision with a car, the motorcycle rider is the one who often ends up with serious injuries.
Even if you do what you can to protect yourself, motorcycle accidents can still happen. Protect your rights with legal help from the Falkowitz Law Firm. Our aggressive representation will help you with your financial and physical recovery. To schedule a consultation, call 844-GET-GARY.
Gary P. Falkowitz is the Managing Partner and Founding Attorney of the Falkowitz Law Firm PLLC‚ one of the premiere personal injury law firms in New York. Gary received his J.D., in 2005 from St. John’s University School of Law and served as an Assistant District Attorney with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.