Motorcycle Safety Tips From Albuquerque Personal Injury Lawyers
Spring is upon us, which means if you own a motorcycle, you are probably itching to ride it. Although motorcycle season can be considered to be year-round in Albuquerque, nothing compares to riding when those first couple of warm days sweep through the city.
Riding a motorcycle can be fun and exhilarating, especially when you get to cruise through the beautiful New Mexico outdoors. Considered to be the ‘Land of Enchantment’, New Mexico boasts various popular motorcycle routes that stretch for many miles. Mountains and highlands cover the state, creating multiple sites that motorcyclists like to adventure to and ride to see.
Other than the enjoyment of riding a motorcycle, there are many additional advantages of riding rather than driving another type of vehicle. The maintenance on a motorcycle 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.
The Albuquerque Personal Injury Lawyers at Ron Bell Injury Lawyers want you to enjoy riding through our many hills and valleys on your motorcycle, and we believe the best way to do so is safely.
Just like when driving or riding in other motor vehicles, motorcycle wrecks can happen and have happened. In addition, motorcycle accidents tend to, unfortunately, be more catastrophic than other auto collisions.
According to the National Highway traffic Safety Administration, in 2020 alone, 5,579 motorcyclists and passengers were fatally injured and 84,000 were injured, with fatalities increasing by almost 11% from 2019.
Also in 2020, motorcyclists accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities, 18% of occupant fatalities, and 4% of all occupant injuries.
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 is also dangerous, especially when not properly following safety recommendations and precautions.
There are many safety measures you can take while riding your motorcycle to avoid injury. Our team at Ron Bell Injury Lawyers puts safety above all else, and we’ve summarized some tips for motorcyclists in preparation of riding season.
Safety Tips When Riding Your Motorcycle
Stay Visible – Before departing for your motorcycle adventure, inspect the bike and make sure all parts and elements are working properly. Before leaving every destination, check all signals, headlights, and taillights to ensure they are functioning in the correct way. When riding in both daytime and nighttime, having working lights is extremely important to remaining visible to other drivers on the road. Motorcycles have a fraction of the lights that other vehicles do and are a fraction of the size, as well. Do your part to be seen by other motorists!
Routine Checks – Even though some individuals ride their motorcycles no matter the temperature or weather conditions, others tend to be more seasonal riders. Whether you ride year round or only a few months of the year, you need to routinely check your bike to make sure all parts or working correctly. Check the brakes, check the throttle, check all of it. Before embarking on any long trips covering vast distances, it is good practice to get your motorcycle serviced and examined by an experienced motorcycle mechanic. Let the professional check that everything is working properly to avoid any breakdowns or malfunctions on the road.
Dress for Safety – Whether a rider or a driver, it is very important to wear proper clothing and safety equipment when riding on a motorcycle. Although being comfortable when riding is also important, we’d argue that you should think of safety first, as it could be the difference between life and death if a motorcycle wreck occurs. Each time you ride (driver or passenger), the following should be worn:
- Helmet (with eye protection – visor, goggles, sunglasses, etc.)
It’s important to note that, although helmet regulations in New Mexico are lax, there are still laws in place to protect certain riders. Those under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet while riding on or operating a motorcycle. That means any adolescent passengers with you must be wearing a helmet. We strongly encourage all motorcyclists to wear a helmet, regardless of their skill level or age. Optimally, riders should have a full-face helmet, which will offer the greatest level of protection against the dreaded road rash and help prevent Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs). Remember, if you’re in a wreck or another situation where your helmet takes a heavy hit, it must be replaced.
Although you could be riding in high temperatures, it is still important to wear thick, long sleeves and pants. In a motorcycle wreck, you are most likely going to slide across the ground, especially if the bike gets knocked over. If wearing a helmet when the wreck occurs, your face and whole head will be protected from the impact of hitting the ground, as well as the slide across the ground – which could be for several yards. A jacket, long pants, and gloves (jeans, leather, etc.) will protect your limbs and the rest of your body from severe cuts that could result from the impact and the slide. Everyone remembers falling and skimming their knee as a child; now imagine that, but instead of running, you are traveling at 60-70 mph. Ouch! It is better to be safe rather than sorry when dressing for a motorcycle ride.
Use Common Sense – There are a few basic (and we think – obvious) things you should NOT do when driving a motorcycle. Don’t travel too closely to other vehicles, on either side or behind them. Avoid weaving through traffic, and keep in mind that in New Mexico, as with almost every other state, lane splitting is illegal.
Overall, be alert. It is best to assume that other drivers on the road don’t know how to drive. Some people don’t use their blinkers (which is and always be illegal), so be sure to check all of your surroundings before making any turns or lane shifts. Watch for sudden stops by the vehicles around you, obey all traffic laws, and don’t speed.
Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
If you’re a motorcyclist in Albuquerque, or the surrounding New Mexico area, and are injured in a motorcycle wreck, we’re here to help. Even when following all of the tips above, you could still be injured due to the negligence of another driver.
Our team of personal injury attorneys at Ron Bell Injury Lawyers has experience representing motorcycle accident victims. 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 motorcycle, call now at 505-898-BELL (505-898-2355). You can also visit our website to fill-out a free case form or submit a chat. We do free case evaluations with each caller and are available 24/7.
Contact us today for more information on what our motorcycle accident lawyers can do for you.