Over 412 motorcyclists died in driving accidents in Texas during 2019 and more than 1,800 were seriously injured – numbers are not available yet for 2022. Although the number of fatalities are down from previous years, even one death is one too many.
Motorcycle safety is a very popular topic within the riding community. Thousands of websites dedicate numerous pages to safety tips and advice. Protective clothing and proper helmet use are common topics.
A quick Google search also pulls up hundreds of sites dealing with back pain associated with motorcycle use. The two main causes of back pain while riding are:
- Vibrations produced by the bike
- Driver positioning on the bike
Riders who suffer back pain have access to a lot of advice offering pointers for fine-tuning a driver’s riding position in order to alleviate discomfort while riding and minimizing post-ride pain.
Pain avoidance is not the only reason motorcyclists need to pay attention to their positioning. Driving a motorcycle while in pain or mild discomfort is also a safety issue. No matter how much a driver is enjoying the ride, neck, back or arm pain can cause a person to change his or her driving habits, leading to a distraction at an inopportune moment.
The following are some tips to help keep you safe while driving, avoid motorcycle accidents and to make your ride more enjoyable at the same time:
- Chose a motorcycle seat that fits you and suits your riding style
- If you use a backrest, buy one adjusted to the correct position for you
- Set your handlebars at the correct distance – you don’t want to lean too far forward nor have them so close they bump you on turns
- Your elbows should be bent and at, or slightly below, the level of the handlebars
- Your torso should not put any weight on the handlebars – your torso should be relaxed and feel natural
- Buy leathers that do not pinch and a helmet that fits correctly
Motorcycle Accident Prevention
Because the risk of serious injury and death is over 30 times greater for motorcyclists than for vehicle drivers and passengers in traffic accidents, the issue of motorcycle safety and accident prevention is paramount. As motorcycle accident attorneys in Austin, we encourage motorcyclists to be proactive about riding safely.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (which is sponsored by motorcycle manufacturers and distributors) research and promote motorcycle safety in a number of ways. Both groups have explored the following motorcycle safety issues in recent years.
The use of helmets is perhaps one of the greatest steps a motorcyclist can take to reduce their risk of injury in a motorcycle accident.
Motorcycle Training Programs
Lack of skill and experience riding motorcycles is a major contributing factor to motorcycle accidents in the United States. In an effort toward accident prevention, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, state governments, and other organizations across the U.S. offer education, training and licensing programs to motorcyclists. Over 3 million Americans have taken the MSF training courses since 1973. This group and others promote rider safety, skills, the use of protective gear including helmets, sober riding, and other safety measures.
Other Motorcycle Safety Issues
Anti-lock brakes on motorcycles. Some studies have found that anti-lock brakes on motorcycles can help to reduce accidents. As any motorcyclist knows, the process of stopping a motorcycle is more complex than stopping a car. With separate brakes for the front and rear tires, motorcycles run the risk of flipping over when a rider brakes too hard. Conversely, not braking hard enough can put a rider in danger on the road. Anti-lock brakes, optional on motorcycles, have been found to reduce accident risks.
Air bags. The first company to offer optional air bags on a motorcycle is Honda Motorcycle Company in 2006. Honda currently offers this motorcycle feature solely on its top line of bikes. Additional companies offer wearable air bags worn inside or outside of a motorcycle jacket. While these motorcycle safety features may reduce the impact of certain accidents, there is currently no data on their effectiveness.
It is crucial to accident prevention and motorcycle safety for motorcycle riders to take the proper precautions to protect themselves. Even with the greatest of precautions, accidents can still happen.
Contact Our Serious Injury Lawyers in Austin
Despite doing everything right, accidents still happen, sometimes to the best riders on the road. If you have been in an accident while riding, get assistance from a lawyer who is knowledgeable about motorcycle accidents. If your accident was caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
If you have been involved in an Austin motorcycle accident, it is important to speak with a qualified attorney who can evaluate your case to determine how to protect your rights and recover compensation for your losses and suffering. Please call us locally at (512) 982-1510 to schedule your free initial consultation. You can also contact us online.