It’s that time of year again. With the warm weather and vibrant sunshine, who could resist brushing off the bike and cruising greater-Sioux Falls’ open roads?
For motorcyclists, riding is more than just a mode of transportation. It’s a way of life enjoyed by many Sioux Falls residents and visitors.
On the flipside, riding can be dangerous. In most cases, motorcycle crashes are caused by inattentive or reckless passenger vehicle drivers. In other cases, they can be attributed to road defects and malfunctioning parts.
In April, a 61-year-old rider sustained non-life-threatening injuries after being thrown from his bike due to hitting a rut on 18th street.
In May, another rider sustained serious injuries on Highway 46 due to equipment failure that caused the man to lose control of his motorcycle. He was then airlifted to a Sioux Falls hospital.
In order to prevent accidents like this, The Balance offers some tips on how motorcyclists can stay safe this riding season.
Wear a Helmet and Protective Gear
In South Dakota, helmets are only required for motorcyclists age 17 and under. That doesn’t mean that adult riders shouldn’t keep their heads protected. According to the Institute for Highway Safety, riders who wear helmets are 37 percent less likely to sustain fatal injuries and 67 percent less likely to sustain brain injuries than those who don’t. When choosing a helmet, make sure it’s properly fitted and of high quality.
Riding without protective clothing or gear can spell disaster in the event of a crash. It’s important to cover up as much as possible. Wearing a jacket, gloves, arm guards, and boots can prevent serious bodily injuries from occurring should you fall off your bike.
Get Your Bike Inspected
When taking your motorcycle out of winter storage, it’s crucial that you get it thoroughly inspected and repair all defects. Even throughout the season, you should get your motorcycle periodically inspected.
Be sure to check the following and make sure they are up to speed:
- Tires and tire pressure
- Fluids and hoses
- Lights and turn signals
- Brakes, clutch, and throttle
Practice Safe Riding Habits
Vehicle drivers don’t always see motorcyclists or respect them. When sharing the road with motor vehicles, it’s crucial to ride defensively and practice safe riding habits. These include:
- Keeping a safe distance from motor vehicles
- Using your horn to alert drivers who may get too close
- Making yourself visible by using your headlight and wearing reflective gear
- Staying attentive, sober, and alert
- Avoiding riding in hazardous weather
- Brushing up on your riding skills by practicing and taking additional safety courses
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident for any reason, speak to an experienced Sioux Falls attorney to learn about your legal options. The legal team at Northern Plains Justice, LLP is dedicated to helping crash victims pursue justice. Contact us today to find out how we can help.