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Heit Law, LLC
Heit Law, LLC
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As the weather warms, you may be tempted to take your motorcycle out of the garage and enjoy a more fuel-efficient method of transportation than your car. You might let the bike take over as a primary source of transportation to work, or you might decide to go on long rides down the highways with friends. But as you hang up your car keys and start up your motorcycle, it's important to be aware that your chances of being injured or killed on your bike are much higher than they are when you are in your car. Research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) indicates that motorcyclists are killed in crashes 30 times more often than those in a car. This doesn't necessarily mean you are doomed to crash. It just means you need to be smart about the way you ride.

Taking precautions while parked

One of the keys to making sure your risk of injury or death is minimized as much as possible is to make sure both you and your motorcycle are prepared every time you hit the road. Your motorcycle should not be more powerful than you can handle, but at the same time, it should be able to handle the type of road you plan to take it on. Those who ride their bikes on a series of short trips often do fine with a small lower power vehicle, but those who go on lot of long rides may need a little more. Make sure you feel comfortable on your bike and that it is in good working condition. Anti-lock brakes are an excellent safety feature to look for in a motorcycle.

Next, you want to dress for the ride, and wear substantial clothing that will keep you protected from the elements and damage from minor crashes. Helmets are your best defense for surviving a crash. Data from the Ohio State Patrol shows that those who wear helmets are two to three times more likely to survive a motorcycle crash. Eye goggles, or a shielded helmet help assure that small obstacles, such as bugs and gravel don't impair your ability to drive.

You also want to make sure you are in the right mindset before you head off. There's a certain appeal to roaring off on a motorcycle to let off steam, but doing so can put you at an increased risk for an accident. Being sober is also important. In 2010, 42 percent of motorcycle crashes involved alcohol.

Driving right

When you leave, do so with an awareness that other vehicles don't always see motorcycles the way that they should. Driving defensively is even more important on a motorcycle. Drive at the speed limit, nearly half of fatalities happen to motorcyclists when they go too fast. Take an extra look for cars when going through intersections, especially those who may be making left hand turns. Also, watch out when passing other vehicles, and avoid lane splitting since it makes you more difficult to see. In addition to other vehicles, road hazards such as potholes and road kill are also a concern, since bumps in the road are harder on two wheels than they are on four.

Watch the weather

Poor weather, such as rain, snow, or high winds also make it more difficult to ride, and more difficult for other drivers to see you. As much as possible try to avoid these conditions when you're on your bike.

Even with motorcycle drivers taking necessary precautions, accidents still occur, and those who are injured find themselves fighting to get the compensation they need. Heit Law, LLC in Westerville, Ohio has helped a variety of clients with personal injury cases, including those who are hurt in motorcycle accidents. If you need help securing fair compensation for your injuries, call 877-898-HEIT for a free initial consultation.

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