Motorcycle accidents in Southern California claim hundreds of lives and injure thousands each year. In Los Angeles alone, there were 105 fatalities and more than 3,500 injuries in 2013.

To avoid motorcycle accidents, bikers should consider the following motorcycle safety tips before their next ride:

1. Wear the right gear

All motorcyclists, regardless of skill level, should wear protective gear. Aside from a helmet, bikers should wear a leather or reinforced jacket, gloves, full-length pants and over-the-ankle-footwear. Bright colors can help increase visibility to other motorists on the road. It is also a good idea to wear reflective strips for riding after dark.

2. Check the bike

Before pulling onto the road, motorcyclists should quickly check all electrical and motor systems. Flash the lights, beep the horn, turn on the directional signals, check the tire pressure, and look at the chain belt and brakes. These simple steps can help motorcyclists avoid trouble once on the road.

3. Wear a helmet

Wearing a helmet is an absolute must for safe riding. Motorcyclists that ride without a helmet are 40 percent more likely to suffer a fatal head injury in an accident, and three times more likely to suffer traumatic brain injuries. A full-face motorcycle helmet provides optimal protection and is therefor the best option. Additionally, it is recommended that helmets be replaced every five years or so to keep pace with technological improvements.

4. Hone your skills

Beginner or expert, it is advisable to take a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) riding course to learn the best riding techniques. MSF courses teach the basics, such as emergency maneuvers, as well as advanced techniques. In addition, completion of a MSF course could lead to discounted insurance rates and other motorcycle dealer specials.

5. Buy the right bike

Riding the wrong motorcycle could spell disaster, so riders should purchase bikes that they can handle. Both feet should be able to rest flat on the ground, the handle bars should be easy to reach, and the motorcycle should not be too heavy to lift off the stand.

6. Avoid Bad Weather

Motorcyclists should avoid riding in poor weather conditions. Rain reduces traction and visibility, making it difficult to safely operate a motorcycle. To prevent a motorcycle accident, riders that are caught in the rain should gently use the throttle, brakes, and steering to avoid sliding.

7. Ride defensively

Avoiding motorcycle accidents requires defensive driving. All motorcyclists should be alert, signal for lane changes and turns, follow other vehicles at a safe distance and know the local traffic laws. Most importantly, motorcyclists should not ride when they are tired or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 

If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, you should seek the counsel of an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Southern California, call Steinberg Injury Lawyers, 24/7 at 1-800-350-8888 for your free case evaluation.

Peter Steinberg
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Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Since 1982
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