How to Avoid Motorcycle Accidents (and Modified Comparative Fault) on the Road
Motorcycle accidents—like truck accidents—can often involve even more injuries than auto accidents, typically because a motorcyclist does not have a lot of protection around them the way that a driver or passenger does. According to the statistics, motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to die in an accident than car drivers. Therefore, they need to be especially careful on the road, as do the motorists surrounding them.
This is also important because Texas follows what’s known as a Modified Comparative Fault Rule, which means that, if injured in an accident, a motorcyclist can only recover damages if they were not 51 percent or more responsible for the accident (for example, if the accident was mainly due to the motorcyclist engaging in distracted driving).
Below, we discuss some tips for ensuring that you stay safe on the roads:
Be careful not to ride too close to the vehicle in front of you. It can sometimes be even more difficult for cars to see bikers traveling behind them.
Bald, Under-Inflated Tires
Also do not let your tires wear down—replace them as soon as the tread starts to wear. Worn tires could lead to losing control of the bike. Also make sure that your tires are not under-inflated.
Stay aware of your surroundings and keep your eyes on the road. Becoming distracted by, say, the dashboard on the bike, can cause you to miss an important hazard. Never assume that drivers are following the rules of the road; always double check the road to make sure it is clear before heading out, making a turn, etc.
Protective Clothing & Helmets
Make sure that you wear protective clothing that protects your skin—i.e. leather jackets and boots as opposed to shorts and a t-shirt—and always, always, wear a helmet—even if Texas helmet law only makes it mandatory for riders under the age of 21 if those 21 years or older have not successfully completed a training and safety course. Also avoid wearing shaded visors while riding at night, and that often includes the helmet that you use during the day. They can make it extremely difficult to see pedestrians and hazards.
Dragging Your Feet
Avoid dragging your feet, even if you are moving slowly, as this can make the bike unstable.
Using Front & Rear Brakes
Avoid just relying on the rear brake all the time. Most braking should be done using the two brakes—front and rear.
Other Safety Precautions
- Keep your gas tank full;
- Don’t forget to turn off your turn signals once you’ve turned;
- Stay on top of motorcycle maintenance;
- Avoid riding in cars’ blind spots;
- Cover as many bike controls as you can with your hand positions;
- Always do pre-ride maintenance checks; and
- Avoid keeping your feet on the foot pegs for too long.
Contact Our Houston Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Being involved in a motorcycle accident often carries with it serious injuries and losses. If you or a loved one has suffered in one, contact our Houston motorcycle accident attorneys at The West Law Office to discuss your options.