You know what’s wrong with motorcycle safety tips? They sound like everything that happens on the road is entirely in your control. “Wear your helmet, because motorcycles are dangerous,” they say. “Get more insurance, because motorcycles are dangerous,” they say.
But how often do you hear people talk about how dangerous people are in their cars? When they’re texting on their phone and run into the back of you or side swipe you, that’s not your fault. And your injuries aren’t your fault for being on a motorcycle.
Here are four things motorcyclists must be aware of—beyond just motorcycle safety tips—every time every time you go out:
1. Many Accidents Are Entirely Out of Your Control
Except for choosing not to get out of bed in the morning, there’s nothing you can do to avoid some types of accidents. No amount of experience or safety tips are able to protect you from these and other unexpected events:
On June 24, 2019, in New Hampshire, an allegedly drunk driver was towing a flatbed trailer. Witnesses said he was swerving, which caused the trailer to swing into the oncoming lane of traffic. That’s where ten former military members were riding their motorcycles home after a service project. Seven were killed, and three were severely injured.
Two weeks later, the superintendent of the Grand Prairie Independent School District in Texas was riding her motorcycle when she suffered a stroke. She crashed her bike and died as a result of her injuries.
Ten days after the superintendent passed away, a driver of an SUV crossed the center line and hit an oncoming motorcyclist at night. He moved into the oncoming lane because he was trying to pass another vehicle in a no-passing area.
And it may not even be other drivers that get in your way—your own bike may be the cause of an accident. In 2017, Harley Davidson recalled 57,000 models of touring bikes that had an engine leak…right in front of the back tire
It’s the price we pay for riding. We do everything we can to stay safe, and the rest we take on as best we can. So how can we prepare to take it on better? Read point #2.
2. Know Your Insurance, Frontward and Backward
When motorcycle safety tips won’t save you…your insurance won’t necessarily save you, either. Having doesn’t mean you have enough insurance. According to the Hurt Report, “less than 10% of the motorcycle riders involved in … accidents had insurance of any kind to provide medical care or replace property.”
We all make money choices—do we spend the money on more coverage? Or do we save the monthly premium because we have bills to pay? It’s not an easy decision, but it is a necessary one.
When something happens on the road, your insurance is not looking for ways that your insurance will apply. And the other driver’s insurance definitely does not want to pay for anything they don’t have to.
Don’t just rely on the cheapest coverage you can buy. Make sure you have the coverage you need for the amount of riding that you do.
3. Know Your Rights
Riders often feel like they are assumed to be at fault. But did you know that when motorcycles are involved in crashes with another vehicle, the other vehicle is at fault for the collision in more than 66% of those accidents? For drivers at fault, they tend to be 20-29, or over 65.
When you get into an accident, do the following if you are still medically and physically capable:
Get witness statements—and record them on your phone, if they allow!
Record witness information
Call your insurance
Don’t leave the scene until you’ve collected as much information as possible
4. Make a Plan. And Include a Biker Lawyer’s Phone Number.
The worst time to figure out what to do after an accident…is right after an accident! You need to have a plan in place, with phone numbers to call and who to reach, right in your wallet. You could also leave a plan at home.
You will likely need a lawyer. You don’t pay out of pocket—you only pay if you win. And a biker lawyer can help you win more than you could without one! Having a biker lawyer on your side can help you get through the process and get the most amount of money you are owed. There are some things that can’t be made right again, no matter what. But having the funds can be a relief to you and your family in the middle of a crisis.
You can reach David Cole, the Biker Lawyer, at 800.245.5539.
Stay Safe, and Have Fun
Wear your helmet. Drive defensively. Give Biker Lawyer a call to make sure you get everything you’re owed when motorcycle safety tips aren’t enough.