Motorcycle Safety Tips From Albuquerque Personal Injury Lawyers

March 8th, 2024 | by RON BELL

Motorcycle Safety Tips From Albuquerque Personal Injury Lawyers

Spring is upon us, which means if you’re a motorcycle rider, you’re probably itching to get out there! Although motorcycle season can be considered year-round in Albuquerque, nothing compares to hitting the open road when those first couple of warm days sweep through the city.

Motorcycle riding can be fun and exhilarating, especially cruising through our beautiful state. Considered to be the “Land of Enchantment,” New Mexico boasts various popular motorcycle routes stretching for many miles through mountains and highlands.

The Benefits of Riding a Motorcycle

Other than the pure enjoyment of riding a motorcycle, there are many other advantages to riding rather than driving other vehicles. Motorcycle maintenance tends to be less expensive than that of a car, truck, or other type of motor vehicle. In addition, gas mileage is better due to it being a smaller and lighter vehicle. Similar to the advantages of riding a bicycle rather than driving a car, motorcycles are a great, cost-efficient way to have some outdoor fun on warmer days.

Motorcycle Safety Statistics

Just like when driving or riding in other motor vehicles, accidents involving motorcycles can happen and have happened. Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents tend to be more catastrophic than other auto collisions. Here are some statistics from 2021 (the most recent published data available) you should be aware of.

With motorcycles only making up about 3% of all registered vehicles, these numbers should show just how dangerous riding a motorcycle can be. Standard passenger vehicles offer a level of protection against a crash that motorcycles simply don’t have. As a motorcyclist, you’re far more exposed to danger and will take the full impact of a collision. Riding a motorcycle is fun and freeing; however, it’s also dangerous, especially when not properly following safety recommendations and precautions.

14 Motorcycle Safety Tips

Motorcyclists can take many safe riding practices to avoid serious or fatal injuries. The Albuquerque personal injury lawyers at Ron Bell Injury Lawyers want you to enjoy riding through New Mexico’s hills and valleys on your motorcycle, and we believe the best way to do so is safely. Here, we’ve summarized 14 motorcycle safety tips in preparation for riding season.

1. Get regular maintenance

Whether you ride year-round or only a few months of the year, your motorcycle requires routine pre-ride safety checks to make sure all parts are working correctly. Check the brakes, check the tire pressure, check the throttle—check all of it! Before embarking on any long trips, get your motorcycle serviced and examined by an experienced motorcycle mechanic. Let them check that everything is working properly to avoid any breakdowns or mechanical failures on the road.

2. Wear protective gear

Whether you’re the driver or passenger, certain protective gear is essential. A motorcycle helmet with eye protection is the most critical, especially for riders under 18, according to New Mexico law. Ideally, it should have a full-face helmet offering the best defense against road rash and traumatic brain injuries.

A durable motorcycle jacket provides protection against abrasion, impact, and adverse weather conditions, while gloves keep your hands safe and comfortable during your ride. Thick, long pants are important even in warm weather to protect against sliding across the ground in a crash. Additionally, motorcycle boots not only make a statement but also safeguard your feet, ankles, and lower legs, offering traction and control, especially in challenging road conditions.

3. Wear high-visibility gear

Wearing bright clothing or gear with reflective strips makes it easier for other drivers to spot you, especially when it’s low-light or dark outside.

4. Plan your route

Before you start your ride, take some time to review your route, especially if you’re going somewhere new. Be aware of speed limits and any potential dangers, like construction areas or tricky intersections, along the way.

5. Watch for road hazards

Be vigilant for potential road hazards such as potholes, railroad tracks, gravel, oil slicks, wet leaves, and debris. These common hazards can cause you to lose traction, especially on two wheels.

6. Use your turn signals

Motorcycle riders should always use their turn signals to indicate their intentions to other drivers. Make sure to move out of blind spots before signaling. Clear communication is a simple way to help prevent accidents caused by sudden maneuvers.

7. Stay sober

Of all the motorcycle safety tips, this is the most important. Never operate a motorcycle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Riding impaired greatly reduces your reaction time and judgment, increasing the risk of accidents.

8. Stay focused

Accidents happen in a split second. Avoid distractions while riding, such as using your phone or adjusting your stereo. Instead, focus your attention on the road, other drivers, traffic lights, and your surroundings at all times.

9. Watch your speed

Speeding increases the severity of accidents and reduces the time you have to shift gears and react to hazards. Obey the speed limit and adjust your speed based on road and weather conditions.

10. Practice braking techniques

Ride defensively and make sure your brake lights are functioning correctly. Always keep a safe distance from other vehicles and practice emergency braking in a safe environment to refine your technique and response time.

11. Be mindful of inclement weather conditions

Be extra cautious when riding in reduced visibility and poor weather conditions such as rain, strong winds, or fog. Reduce your speed, increase following distance, and be prepared to stop if road hazards and conditions worsen.

12. Be prepared for emergencies

Carry essential items such as a first-aid kit, tool kit, tire repair kit, and emergency contact information in case of breakdowns or accidents.

13. Know your skill limits and engage in continuous learning

Continuously work on improving your riding skill level through practice and education. Consider taking an advanced hands-on training course that focuses on techniques such as cornering, maneuvering, and emergency maneuvers.

14. Use common sense

When it comes to motorcycle riding safety, just use your good judgment and common sense. If it makes sense, it’s probably a safe practice.

  • Maintain a safe distance from other cars, on either side or behind them.
  • Avoid riding in other drivers’ blind spots.
  • Avoid weaving through traffic.
  • Remember that lane splitting is illegal in New Mexico.

Overall, be alert. Motorcycle riders should assume that other motorists on the road don’t know how to drive and won’t notice you on your bike. Some drivers don’t use their turn signals when they want to change lanes. Be sure to check all of your surroundings before making any turns or changing lanes. When it comes to basic motorcycle safety, remember to watch for sudden stops by the larger vehicles around you, obey all traffic laws, and follow the speed limit.

Your Albuquerque Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

Even when following all of the motorcycle safety tips above, you could still be injured due to the negligence of other car drivers. If you’re a motorcyclist in Albuquerque and are injured in a motorcycle crash, we’re here to help.

Our team of Albuquerque motorcycle accident lawyers at Ron Bell Injury Lawyers has experience representing motorcyclists involved in accidents. We always have and will continue to fight for the compensation each injured individual deserves.

If someone’s negligence caused you or a loved one to be injured while riding your bike, call now at 505-898-BELL (505-898-2355). We provide free case evaluations and are available 24/7.

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