As a motorcycle rider, you are likely familiar with many of the popular misconceptions about motorcycles and their owners: Motorcycles are dangerous. Motorcycle riders take risks with their (and others’) lives. If a motorcycle rider was injured in an accident, he or she must have been to blame.

But, as many motorcycle riders know, the greatest risks they face on the roads are not themselves, but rather inattentive drivers who often put riders in harm’s way. Unfortunately, even the safest riders can be left helpless to protect themselves when negligent drivers make careless mistakes. As a rider, here are five steps you can take to reduce (but not eliminate) your risk of being injured in a collision with another vehicle:

Five Steps to Reduce Motorcycle Riders’ Risk of Injury

1. Wear Your Protective Gear

While riders over 21 (with adequate insurance) do not have to wear a helmet under Florida law, wearing a helmet is still a good idea. In addition, riders can help reduce their risk of injury by wearing riding boots, gloves, pants and a motorcycle jacket as well. Most accidents occur close to home, so think about suiting up each time you ride.

2. Make Yourself Visible

Many “cage” drivers have a tendency to overlook motorcycles on the road, so it can be helpful to make sure you are as visible as possible. To do this, you should:

  • Make sure your brake lights work,
  • Turn on your headlight during the daytime,
  • Use your turn signals, and
  • Consider investing in high-visibility riding gear.

3. Inspect Your Bike Before You Ride

Most motorcycle safety instructors will tell you to conduct a quick inspection of your motorcycle each time you ride. In addition to checking your brake lights, try to remember to:

  • Check your brake fluid level,
  • Check your headlight and turn signals,
  • Check your chain,
  • Check your oil, and
  • Check your tire pressure.

4. Ride Within Your Limits

Whenever you are on public roads, you should focus on riding within your limits. A busy intersection is not the place to work on your cornering speed or lean angle. Similarly, unless you are confident riding in the rain, be sure to check the weather before you set out so that you do not end up putting yourself in a dangerous situation.

5. When in Doubt, Err on the Side of Caution

To help reduce your chances of being involved in an accident, always err on the side of caution. If someone is tailgating you, let them pass. If vehicle up ahead is weaving or drifting out of its lane, be sure to give it a wide berth when you go by. Do your best to stay out of drivers’ blind spots (though this is not always a possibility in traffic), and try to maintain a buffer of at least a couple of seconds between your motorcycle and the vehicle in front of you.

Contact a Niceville Motorcycle Accident Lawyer at Powell, Powell & Powell, P.A.

At Powell, Powell & Powell, P.A., we provide experienced legal representation for motorcycle accident victims in Niceville and throughout Northwest Florida. If you have been injured in an accident and would like to speak with an attorney about filing a claim for compensation, please call (850) 682-2757 or request a free consultation online today.