10 Tips to Motorcycle Safety Awareness in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, The United States and in the UK- A comparative Analysis
Motorcycling is the most dangerous way to travel in the United States and on the roads in the UK, RI and MA. Every day, an average of 30 motorcyclists are killed or seriously injured in the UK in motor vehicle accidents, which means they are 75 times more likely than car drivers to sustain a serious or fatal personal injury when on the road.
While the number of accidents involving motorcyclists has fallen in England in recent years, it still remains a disproportionately dangerous way to get around. Other road users are often found to be at fault in personal injury compensation claims involving motorcyclists, but there are still a number of things people can do to improve their safety and prevent accidents.
In the United States including Rhode Island and Massachusetts, “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, helmets are estimated to prevent 37 percent of crash deaths among motorcycle riders and 41 percent of crash deaths for motorcycle passengers.” http://barrington.patch.com/articles/should-ri-re-think-its-motorcycle-helmet-laws
Surprisingly, Rhode Island only requires motorists under 21 and new Bikers to wear helmets. RI Law is set forth below:
“Title 31. Motor and Other Vehicles. Chapter 10.1. Special License for Motorcycles, Motor Scooters, and Other Motor Driven Cycles. Section 31-10.1-4. Equipment. : “. . . Any operator under the age of twenty-one (21) shall wear a helmet of a type approved by the administrator of motor vehicles. In addition, all new operators, regardless of age, shall be required, for a period of one year from the date of issuance of the first license pursuant to s 31-10.1-1, to wear a helmet of a type approved by said administrator.”
1- Wear a helmet
Motorcyclists are legally obliged to wear helmets when on the road in the UK. However, “Just 20 states, plus the District of Columbia, have universal motorcycle helmet laws requiring usage despite the fact that studies show that helmets can help reduce your injury risk in a crash.” http://news.consumerreports.org/cars/2011/06/state-by-state-guide-to-motorcycle-helmet-laws.html
Any motorcycle or moped helmet sold in the UK must meet certain safety standards. Goggles and visors must also meet British or European safety standards and will have a BSI Kitemark or equivalent European mark. A SHARP rating system judges helmets on their safety standards and gives them a mark from 1 to 5. Helmets prevent against brain and head injuries and have undoubtedly saved countless lives.
2- Wear protective clothing
While there is no legal requirement for motorcyclists to wear any protective clothing other than helmets, it is highly advisable that they also wear gloves, boots, trousers and jackets. People can sustain horrific personal injuries when they fall from a motorbike at high speed, but protective clothing can prevent this from happening. Motorcycle shops frequently sell clothes that have been tested for strength and resilience.
3- Wear high-visibility clothing
While many bikers may prefer to wear black leathers, this choice makes them considerably harder to see and increases their likelihood of being involved in a motor vehicle accident. Many motorcycle clothes have high-visibility fluorescent patches on them, while others come in brighter colors. Motorcyclists ought to wear bright clothes so other road users can see them easily. This is important when riding in the daytime as well as at night.
4- Wear comfortable clothing
Motorcyclists should ensure they are completely comfortable in the clothes they purchase are completely comfortable. On a long journey, slightly uncomfortable clothes could start to cause chafing or irritation, which can be a distraction. Distractions will reduce concentration and can lead to motorcycle accident claims.
5- Anticipate the actions of other road users
Defensive riding ensures that motorcyclists can prepare for any adverse road conditions and take careful evasive action when needed. Riders should travel a doors’ width away from parked cars and ensure they can be seen when overtaking vehicles. Bad Weather conditions are particularly problematic in Northeastern states such as Rhode Island (RI) and Massachusetts (Mass.) Proper defensive driving will also ensure that a motorcyclist never finds themselves liable in a car accident compensation claim.
6- Consider additional training
A Motorcycle safety course is relatively cheap and saves lives. Riders shouldn’t consider themselves competent and skilled motorcyclists when they pass their initial test – there are plenty of additional training courses that they can go on post-test. For example, BikeSafe is led by the police force, and when riders complete an assessment, they will receive feedback on the areas they could improve on, which could prevent them suffering a serious personal injury in the future.
7- Don’t ride in bad weather
Research has shown that motorcyclists and other road users are considerably more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident when the weather is poor than during dry conditions. Motorcyclists should not go out on the road in poor weather unless the journey is absolutely unavoidable and there are no alternative methods of transportation they can use. The most dangerous time is immediately after the rain begins or during icy conditions, as this is when traction is lowest.
8- Less-skilled motorcyclists should not ride high-performance motorbikes
Modern Bikes are considerably more powerful than they used to be and many new models should only ever be rode by competent professionals. Riders should not overestimate their skills and should ensure they are capable of controlling a motorcycle and maintaining a safe speed when they buy a new vehicle. New motorcyclists are advised to choose slower and less powerful bikes.
9- Buy a vehicle with anti-lock brakes
Research has shown that anti-lock brakes considerably improve safety on motorcycles by maintaining traction on the road. This means that in adverse weather conditions, motorcycles can stop quickly without skidding or losing control. Riders will therefore be able to avoid motor vehicle accidents and take evasive action when required. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, motorcyclists with anti-lock brakes reduce their likelihood of being involved in a road traffic accident in which they sustain a fatal personal injury by 31%.
10- Check motorbikes before every journey
Before riders set off on journeys, they should check that the directional signals, lights and horn work properly and that the chain, brakes and belt or shaft are functioning properly. They should also ensure the Tire pressure is correct and that the tires are not worn down.
While following these tips will not eliminate the likelihood of riders being involved in motorcycle accident Lawsuit or other personal injury claims, it should improve their safety significantly.
If you are injured in a Rhode Island Motorcycle Accident or MA Bike Crash please contact Personal Injury Attorney David Slepkow 401-437-1100
Carla Steve loves traveling but she is always acutely aware of the risks he faces while on the roads. As a result, she spends a lot of time blogging about motorcycle accidents and head injuries due to accident. She also likes listening to heavy metal.
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