While unseasonably cool temperatures and winter-type weather may still affect Connecticut residents for a few more weeks, spring is on its way. As the temperatures start to come up, increased numbers of individuals and families will begin spending time outside. For motorcycle owners and enthusiasts in the Northeast, spring also marks the beginning of a new riding season. Rider safety groups and government safety officials in Connecticut and around the country encourage riders to protect themselves and to help keep roadways safe for other drivers. Every driver, pedestrian, and motorcycle rider has a responsibility to take reasonable steps to prevent motorcycle accidents and the injuries they cause.
Each year, thousands of motorcycle riders are killed on American roadways, and many thousands more are injured. The tragic reality is that a large number of these injuries and deaths could be prevented if riders follow a few simple safety guidelines:
- Wear brightly-colored clothing: Black is often a preferred color for many riders, but a rider in bright or reflective clothing is much easier to see. Considering wearing a safety vest over darker clothes;
- Flash brake lights when stopping or slowing: It can be difficult to tell when a motorcycle is braking. Tapping the brakes causes brake lights to flash, giving trailing drivers more opportunity to notice;
- Use turn signals: Indicator lights and hand signals let other drivers know that the rider is about to turn;
- Be aware of other drivers’ blind spots: When passing another vehicle or when stopped at an intersection, keep in mind that most vehicles have blind spots. Staying out of them is one of the keys to safe riding;
- Maintain safe following distances: In dry conditions, riders should leave at least two seconds of distance between them and the vehicle ahead. When roads are wet, leave at least five seconds; and
- Watch for roadway hazards: Springtime brings rain, which can leave puddles on the road. Many roads may also have been damaged by snow, ice, and winter plowing. A motorcycle is much less forgiving than a car is, so riders must be careful to avoid dangerous conditions.
Motorcyclists should also ensure that their motorcycles are properly maintained. Get regular oil changes, ensure all lights and signals work properly, and inflate tires to the proper air pressure. A properly-maintained motorcycle is much easier to control at high speeds.
Other Drivers’ Responsibilities
Even if you have never ridden a motorcycle, you can help prevent motorcycle accidents too. Perhaps the most important thing you can do is to simply be aware that riders are sharing the road. The idea of “Look twice, save a life” is more than a slogan; it is the best possible advice for drivers of cars and trucks. By taking an extra moment to look a second time for motorcycles, you can literally save lives.
Injured in an Accident?
Sadly, not every motorist is vigilant about safely sharing the road with motorcycles, and accidents do happen. If you or a member of your family has been injured in a motorcycle crash, an experienced Connecticut personal injury lawyer can help you explore your options for collecting compensation. Call 860-290-8690 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at Woolf Law Firm, LLC today.