New and improved safety features are making the road a safer place for motorcyclists across the country. By carefully selecting the features which are best suited to their particular needs, riders can reduce the risk of being involved in an accident. When an accident does occur, contact an experienced West Palm Beach motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible.
How Motorcycle Features Can Help Riders Avoid Motorcycle Accidents
FairWarning reports that anti-lock braking systems are gaining traction among U.S. manufacturers. All new motorcycles sold in Europe must now include ABS. Japan, India and Brazil are all requiring ABS for motorcycles on a phased-in schedule. Despite support from NHTSA and other powerful advocates, ABS is not yet required in the United States. It is still a widely-available feature, however, and consumers are wise to access its protection. It is also interesting to note that both the California Highway Patrol and New York City Police Department require all motorcycles in their fleets to carry ABS.
Riders should also consider other features which reduce the likelihood of being involved in an accident. For example: engine size is directly related to a bike’s speed, and many motorcycle buyers immediately gravitate toward the largest engine available. But this can be highly dangerous for inexperienced or returning riders who are not prepared to handle a powerful motorcycle. Buyers should carefully test-drive different engine sizes to ensure they can safely manage the speed of their motorcycle.
Other intriguing safety options are in various stages of research and development. Airbag vests and jackets, safer helmets with GPS and backup cameras, LED and adaptive headlights, gloves with Bluetooth connectivity, system monitoring and diagnostic warnings, electronic stability control, and many other such innovations may soon become widely available to consumers.
Still, sometimes a good, old-fashioned helmet is the best protection known to reduce the risk of serious head injuries. Although helmets are not required by law, other gear is, per F.S. 316.2085.
Safety Tips for Riders
- Always wear a helmet! Make sure that your helmet is properly fitted to your head and meets Department of Transportation safety standards. Research consistently shows that helmets save lives, and that states with mandatory helmet laws have fewer motorcycle fatalities that states without such laws. Wear a helmet even when riding through states that do not legally require you to do so.
- Wear other appropriate safety gear. Long sleeves and leather pants can protect you from road rash in the event you are thrown from your bike. Gloves should be properly fit so there is no chance that they will interfere with your hand controls.
- Stay visible. Motorcycles are smaller than passenger vehicles, and this makes them more difficult to see – especially at night or in inclement weather. Use reflective clothing and proper signaling to help other drivers see you.
- Perform regular inspections of your motorcycle and safety equipment. Anything that is not in good working condition should be repaired or replaced immediately.
- Never drive while tired. Take frequent rest breaks to ensure that you are alert and safe on the road.
- Pay particular attention to the condition of the roadway. Motorcycles are more susceptible than passenger vehicles to roadway conditions such as potholes, uneven surfaces, slippery surfaces due to ice or water, etc.