During the pandemic, many New York City residents tried motorcycles for the first time. They’re popular because they allow residents to avoid public transportation, which even now isn’t as safe as keeping strangers at arms length, while avoiding cars, which come with a host of their own problems here in NYC.
Whether you’re a new rider or an experienced one, May is a great time to review some motorcycle safety tips.
Wear a helmet!
NYC law requires both drivers and passengers to wear helmets. Drivers and passengers are also both required to have protective eyewear. The CDC tells us that nearly 2,000 lives are saved, every year, when motorcyclists wear helmets. They’re 37% effective in preventing deaths for riders and 41% for passengers, and reduce the risk of head injury by 69%.
Obey traffic laws.
The most common law that cyclists disobey here in NYC is lane splitting.
Lane splitting is the practice of darting between vehicles. It’s very tempting when traffic is moving slowly, but it can be fatal. Lane splitting puts you and your bike in a place other motorists do not expect to find you.
Minor adjustments can lead to accidents while you are lane splitting. For example, even adjusting a mirror or tossing an item out the window can cause an accident.
It can even lead to you being pinned between two different vehicles.
Obviously you should obey all other traffic laws, but this one is pretty specific to motorcycles.
Unlicensed motorcyclists are the victims of fatal accidents far more often than licensed motorcyclists. 75% of fatalities involve unlicensed cyclists.
Many were also riding bikes that were not properly registered. Quite a few lost control of their bikes and hit fixed objects, which of course is not even a personal injury situation—if you’re at-fault for your own accident you can’t recover compensation, and your own insurance company is unlikely to help.
Consider an advanced riding course.
If you love your motorcycle then it probably wouldn’t hurt to get better at using it, right?
While a basic motorcycle safety course will prepare you to get licensed to be on the road, an advanced course will teach you collision-avoidance maneuvers that could save your life, and reduce the severity of any motorcycle accident you become involved in.
If you’ve done everything you can, call us for help.
Sometimes you can do everything you need to do to keep yourself safe and some negligent driver will cause you to get into an accident anyway.
When that happens, reach out to our law office to schedule a free consultation. We can help.
Until then, stay safe out there.