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Motorcycle Accidents - Prevention and Safety

Robert Karns

Because motorcycles do not offer the same protection as an automobile or truck it is important to avoid motorcycle accidents by using prevention and safety techniques that will avoid motorcycle accidents and injury while operating a motorcycle.

Riders Training Course - It is important that a motorcyclist attend a motorcycle rider training course to learn how to safely and skillfully operate a motorcycle. The training course will teach the rider to operate the motorcycle safely. It will teach the rider how to operate in emergency situations such as awareness in intersections, emergency braking, staying away from another vehicle's blind spot, and teach the motorcyclist how to drive defensively.

Visibility - It is important to be visible to other vehicles. Because a motorcycle is not as large as an automobile too often motorists don't see a motorcycle. Therefore the attention of the other motorists must be attracted including having the headlamps on at all times, and wearing bright clothing utilizing reflective material. It is also important to use turn signals. The horn on the motorcycle should be used whenever necessary to get the attention of the other motorists.

Wearing proper gear while operating the motorcycle is essential in motorcycle accident prevention and safety.

  • Helmet - It is imperative to wear a helmet to prevent head injury. Since helmets come in various sizes it is important to make sure the helmet fits and that it is approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation with a DOT sticker on the outside back of the helmet certifying that the helmet meets the requirements of FMVSS 218 (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard).
  • Eye Protection - Even a motorcycle with a windshield does not offer eye protection as particles can get behind the windshield and strike the eyes of the motorcyclist. Proper eye protection is a shield on the helmet or a pair of goggles or shatterproof glasses.
  • Jacket - A motorcycle jacket should be worn, made of sturdy materials such as denim, nylon or leather.
  • Pants - The pants of the motorcyclist should be made of a thick material and resist abrasion and provide protection from the elements.
  • Gloves - Gloves should always be worn even on a hot day as the car in front of you may throw up a stone injuring your fingers.
  • Boots - Boots should be worn over the ankles made of strong leather.
  • Hearing Protection - As long term exposure to engine and wind noise can cause permanent hearing damage it is important to utilize ear plugs or reusable custom molded devices that reduce noises but also allow you to hear important sounds like car horns.
  • Rain Gear - It is important to have rain gear available to use as needed.
  • High Visibility Gear - As indicated above, it is important that the gear the motorcyclists wear be brightly colored and give high visibility.
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