Tips For Staying Safe On Your Motorcycle This Summer
Before Your Ride
- Inspect Your Bike. Inspect your motorcycle before you ride. It only takes a few minutes, and can save your life. Team Oregon has a handy inspection and maintenance checklist at TeamOregon.org
- Wear Safety Gear. In Oregon, all motorcycle riders and passengers must wear a Department of Transportation (DOT) compliant helmet. A motorcycle helmet is the single most important piece of equipment in protecting against brain injury. Also wear protective clothing, including gloves and boots that cover your ankles, even in the warmer summer months. Consider high visibility gear to increase your chances of being seen.
- Keep hydrated. For trips, bring more water than you think you’ll need, and plan stops along your route to cool off. Heat exhaustion or heat stroke can cause your body to shut down, which is obviously dangerous, especially on a bike.
- Prepare for changing weather. Even though it’s summer, weather conditions change. Conditions like rain, dust, or excessive heat can be hazardous, particularly for less experienced riders. Check the weather before planning a ride. Consider postponing or taking a different method of transportation if weather conditions look bad.
- Make sure you’re properly trained. There’s a lot more to riding a motorcycle safely than meets the eye. All Oregon motorcycle operators need to get a motorcycle endorsement, and new riders must first pass an approved class. For more information, see Team Oregon Get Endorsed
- Get adequate insurance. In our experience, most motorcyclists do not carry enough Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage, which is to protect them in the event a negligent driver hurts them. And many motorcyclists do not realize that their motorcycle insurance, unlike their car insurance, does not automatically provide “Personal Injury Protection” benefits for wage loss and medical bills right after a crash. You need to specifically ask for this coverage.
During Your Ride
- Stay Visible. Drivers tend to look for other cars, not for motorcycles. Motorcycles are the smallest vehicles on the road. Keep adequate distance between you and the vehicles around you. Ride in the best lane position to see and remain visible to others. Be aware of other drivers’ blind spots, and stay out of them.
- Never ride distracted, impaired, aggressive, or drowsy. Riding a motorcycle takes a great amount of focus, skill, and good judgment. Riding while impaired in any way can have devastating and deadly consequences. It’s also illegal to operate any motor vehicle while under the influence.
- Be safe at intersections. As you approach an intersection with traffic, reduce your speed to buy time and space, position yourself to be seen, cover your brakes, and look for an escape route.
- Watch out for corners. Approach a curve from the outside and at a safe speed. Look through the turn to where the corner ends. If you’re going too fast for the corner, gently reduce your speed.
If Things Go Wrong, Consult an Experienced Motorcycle Crash Attorney. Eugene Motorcycle Crash Attorney Don Corson has years of experience in representing injured motorcyclists. He understands what injured motorcyclists are up against in an automobile-dominated world. If you were hurt because someone else was irresponsible and caused a crash, Don will work hard to help you. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a crash, please feel free to contact our office for assistance or call to speak with our experienced attorneys.
The Corson & Johnson Law Firm has been named by Expertise as one of the 5 Best Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Eugene.