1st person perspective of driving a motorcycle wearing black jacket and helmet
Drew Palcsik Esq.

Drew Palcsik Esq.

Personal injury & accident lawyer with offices located in Middlebury, VT and Plattsburgh, NY

Top 5 Tips for Preventing Motorcycle Accidents

motorcycle laying on pavement with parts and pieces scattered after a car hit the motorcycle in a crash accident

Top 5 Tips for Preventing Motorcycle Accidents

The vast majority of motorcycle accidents—about 80 percent—result in injury or death. Even if you’re the most experienced rider on the road, all it takes is one drunk, distracted, or careless motorist to cause a tragic collision.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics

The most recent data calculates that 4,990 people were killed in motorcycle accidents in 2017. This number suggests that motorcycle accidents have gone down by 5.6% from 4,286 deaths in 2016. While the number of deaths each year is decreasing, we can continue that trend if motorcycle drivers and drivers of other automobiles practice safe behaviors. 

Vermont Motorcycle Accident Stats

In 2018, there were 7 deadly motorcycle crashes.

Vermont Motorcycle Accident Stats

In 2018, there were seven deadly motorcycle crashes. This number has decreased from thirteen deaths in 2017 and eleven deaths in 2016. Of the seven deaths in 2018, one rider was not wearing a helmet and the other was not wearing a DOT approved helmet.

New York Motorcycle Accident Statistics

While there may be a trend across the United States, New York’s accident statistics have actually increased by 14% from 2016 to 2017. Sadly, that means that New York makes up a significant portion of deaths happening annually in the United States on a motorcycle

Unfortunately, not every state saw fewer fatal crashes in 2017. In New York, there was a 14 percent increase in the number of fatal motorcycle accidents from 2016 to 2017. This means New Yorkers made up a significantly larger share of motorcycle deaths than in previous years.

Recent data also shows that riders over the age of 40 are the most likely to be involved in a fatal accident. Previously younger riders were in the highest risk pool; however, the national average is riders 43 years of age.

 

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of being involved in a crash. Some things like avoiding distraction can help you prevent injury from yourself, other tips can help prevent other drivers from injuring you. Although there’s no foolproof way to avoid all accidents, you can hedge the odds in your favor by following the tips below:

Motorcycle Safety Tips

1. Help Other Drivers See You

Motorcycles are far less visible than larger vehicles, yet many riders fail to take the necessary steps to help other drivers see them. Here are a few tips to consider:

Buy a jacket and helmet with a reflective material;
Wear a reflective vest;
Keep your headlight on whenever you ride—even during the day;
Avoid riding in other vehicles’ blind spots;
Don’t split lanes; and
Avoid riding at night.

2. Never Ride Under the Influence

About 1 in 4 motorcycle riders who died in accidents in 2016 had a BAC above 0.08. The bottom line: Never ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Riders of motorcycles who are under the influence are actually 25% more likely to get in an accident than drivers of any other vehicle.

 

Motorcycle on kickstand in front of golden field rider may need an accident or injury attorney

3. Obey the Speed Limit

If quick acceleration was one of the reasons why you purchased a motorcycle in the first place, it could be challenging to resist the temptation to speed. But the faster you travel, the less time you will have to react to unexpected hazards. Speeding also increases the force of impact in a collision.

4. Avoid Riding in Poor Weather

Although a passenger vehicle might be able to navigate through rain and high winds with ease, these hazards can be deadly to motorcyclists. Ice, snow, and other inclement conditions can also lead to devastating accidents. When the weather turns, it’s best to play it safe and stay off the road or drive a passenger car.


5. Take an Advanced Safety Course

If you already have a motorcycle license, the idea of spending your time and money on an advanced course might not seem all that appealing. But the lessons and techniques you learn in these classes could save your life.

An advanced course will help fine-tune your skills in the following areas:

Throttle control; 
Brake control; 
Taking low-speed turns; 
Vision techniques; 
Evasive maneuvers; 
Line selection; and 
Road speed cornering.

Don’t Forget to Wear a Helmet!

A helmet might not prevent an accident from occurring, but it is the single most crucial piece of safety equipment a motorcyclist can wear. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, helmets are about 37 percent effective at preventing deaths and 67 percent effective at preventing brain injuries in motorcycle accidents. Riders should also invest in a high-quality jacket, boots, and gloves.

motorcycle helmet on ground after crash with a car

Already Injured in a Motorcycle Crash? Contact Drew Palcsik at Champlain Valley Law

Although the tips above can reduce your risk of getting into a motorcycle accident, nobody is immune to collisions. If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle crash, turn to Champlain Valley Law for legal guidance.

Attorney Drew Palcsik provides honest, aggressive, and compassionate representation to victims of personal injury and wrongful death. Our law firm has offices in Middlebury, Vermont and Plattsburgh, New York. Contact us online or call (802) 231-3377 to schedule a case evaluation.

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