Riding Safe This Fall
As temperatures cool down and fall foliage transforms into a colorful show of scarlet, gold and burnt orange, a motorcycle trip sounds especially inviting this year. You may be planning a ride in the Smoky Mountains, returning to the Tail of the Dragon or Cherohala Skyway. If you prefer to stay closer to home, the Lowcountry has plenty of scenic routes available, from those overlooking the Charleston Harbor to rides through the Francis Marion National Forest. When autumn road conditions meet Daylight Saving Time, taking extra precautions as a motorcyclist can help to keep your ride safe and enjoyable. Keep reading for our safety tips from a Charleston motorcycle crash attorney.
The Statistics on Motorcycle Crashes According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 80% of all reported motorcycle crashes result in injury or death. The NHTSA found 4,985 motorcyclists were killed in crashes in 2018. This is a small decrease from 2017 (5 percent), keeping in mind “motorcyclists are about 28 times as likely as passenger car occupants to die in a motor vehicle traffic crash.” The National Safety Council (NSC) found motorcyclists accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities in 2017.
Daylight Saving Time Including Daylight Saving Time in the mix means “shorter days, fatigue, compromised night vision, rush hour and impaired drivers” according to the NSC. If you’ll be riding into the evening, understand the impacts of compromised depth perception, color recognition and peripheral vision for those on the road.
Staying Safe on the Roads This Fall Adequately preparing for your time on your motorcycle could save your life. Below are a handful of safety tips for motorcyclists.
- Ride Legal —NTHSA reports 29 percent of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes in 2017 lacked a valid motorcycle license.
- Ride Sober —NSC reports “28% of riders who died in a motorcycle crash in 2017 were alcohol-impaired.” Steer clear of this major safety risk by always riding sober.
- Wear the Right Helmet —Review the research and reach for a new, full-coverage, DOT approved helmet.
- Educate Yourself —New to riding? A motorcycle safety course is essential. Has it been some time since you took a ride? Look into a refresher course.
- Be a Defensive Driver —NSC recommends driving defensively, taking extra care at intersections.
- Safety Check —Ensure your motorcycle is ready to ride (NHTSA’s list includes checking tire pressure, tread depth, hand and foot brakes, headlights, signal indicators and fluid levels).
- Watch Your Speed —Observe speed limits and adjust down for road conditions and time of day or night.
- Increase Your Conspicuity —There are a variety of ways to boost the likelihood of other drivers seeing you. Refer to this article from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF).
We’re Here to Help
In need of a Charleston motorcycle crash attorney? Contact our personal injury firm if you or a loved one has been the victim of a motorcycle crash in South Carolina. We offer a free consultation and 24-hour answering service. We have five convenient locations, with three South Carolina locations being fully staffed with full-time attorneys and experienced support staff, or we can meet you at your home or hospital, with evening and weekend appointments available. Call John Price Law Firm, LLC at (843) 552-6011.