May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, a great time to review the tips below for avoiding a motorcycle accident. While there is no way to completely eliminate the risk of a crash, there are practical steps you can take to lower your risk of a collision.

These crashes are extremely dangerous and often have catastrophic consequences. In 2016, nearly 5,000 motorcyclists and their passengers died in motorcycle accidents, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). This accounted for 13 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2016. Another 88,000 people sustained nonfatal injuries in motorcycle crashes in 2016.

The Silver Spring motorcycle accident attorneys at Goldberg Finnegan may be able to represent you if you were injured or lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident. We can thoroughly investigate your accident to determine if it was caused by negligence. We are prepared to pursue all the compensation you deserve for your damages.

1.      Follow the Rules of the Road

One easy way to minimize the chance of being injured in an accident is to follow the rules of the road. It is particularly important to follow traffic signals and other right-of-way rules while at an intersection. For example, when making a left-hand turn, be sure that you yield to all oncoming traffic and do not initiate the turn until you know that you can safely complete it.

You should also follow all posted speed limits because speeding gives you less time to slow down or take evasive action to avoid a collision. You cannot count on other drivers to obey the rules of the road so you need to give yourself time to take action to prevent a crash.

2.      Avoid Loose Gravel

Loose gravel can be dangerous for a motorcyclist, particularly at the end of a turn. One of your wheels could lose traction with the pavement, causing you to lose control of the bike. Experienced bikers know to ride at a safe pace so that when a danger arises they have enough time to respond to it.

A good rule of thumb when turning is to slow down when you enter the corner and speed up as you come out of it.

3.      Do Not Drink and Drive

One proactive step that motorcyclists can take to minimize the risk of injury is to never drink and drive. In 2016, 26 percent of motorcyclists who died in a motorcycle accident were alcohol-impaired, according to NSC statistics.

Even though the legal limit is 0.08 percent, studies have shown that even a little bit of alcohol can affect a driver’s performance. Drinking affects a person’s depth perception and judgment, which can be catastrophic for motorcyclists. You need all of your faculties to safely handle your bike.

4.      Stay Out of Blind Spots

One common reason for motorcycle accidents is that drivers of other motor vehicles often do not anticipate motorcycles, which make up few of the overall registered vehicles on the roadway. You can minimize accidents caused by other motorists not seeing you by not riding in these vehicles’ blind spots.

Another practical tip is to wear brightly-colored clothing to increase your visibility. This way, even if you are in a blind spot, drivers may be more likely to see you.

Contact a Lawyer for Help

If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, it is important that you contact an experienced Silver Spring personal injury attorneys at Goldberg Finnegan for assistance. A motorcycle accident attorney can evaluate a claim and identify the parties that may be liable for the damages you sustained, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Motorcycle accidents often lead to serious injuries that require a lot of time and money to properly treat, so it is important that you have a knowledgeable attorney on your side who can assess the full extent of your damages. Our attorneys help hold negligent drivers accountable so that you can get the compensation you deserve.