Motorcyclists face heightened risks. According to data cited by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), more than 6,000 motorcyclists were killed in collisions on American roadways in 2021 alone. An additional 100,000+ riders sustained significant injuries in motorcycle crashes. For reference, data from NHTSA’s Motorcycle Safety Program shows that an estimated 81 percent of motorcycle crashes lead to rider injuries. It is a startling figure that emphasizes the importance of motorcycle safety. At Redkey Gordon Law Corp, we have extensive experience fighting for the rights of injured motorcyclists. We want to make sure that riders know how to best protect themselves. In this article, our Stockton motorcycle accident lawyers offer ten safety tips for riders in California.
Safety Tip #1: Know Your Ability—Training Matters
Before you hit the roads in Stockton, ensure you’re adequately trained. Just having a motorcycle does not make you an expert rider. Training programs teach foundational skills, safe riding practices, and how to handle emergencies. A good rider knows their limits and does not push past them. Play it safe: Know your ability on a motorcycle and adjust accordingly. Remember, you need to have the appropriate motorcycle license to operate a motorcycle on public roads in California.
Safety Tip #2: Always Wear a Motorcycle Helmet (Legal Requirement in California)
Motorcycle helmets save lives. Federal highway safety researchers estimate that many thousands of lives have been saved by motorcycle helmets over the past several decades. California requires all riders to wear a motorcycle helmet. Age does not matter. Of course, wearing a helmet is not just about obeying the law—it’s a crucial safety precaution. Helmets significantly reduce the risk of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) during accidents.
Safety Tip #3: Wear Other Motorcycle Safety Gear When You Ride
Beyond the helmet, invest in a full range of safety gear: gloves, boots, protective eyewear, and a durable jacket and pants. In the event of a fall, these can reduce the impact and prevent severe injuries, especially when sliding on asphalt. Remember, you cannot completely eliminate the risk of being involved in a motorcycle crash.
Safety Tip #4: Ensure that Your Motorcycle is Well-Maintained
Your motorcycle should always be properly maintained. Doing so can reduce the risk of a crash. Indeed, a well-maintained bike is less likely to malfunction on the road. Regularly inspect your motorcycle, checking brakes, lights, tire pressure, and fluid levels. If something feels off when riding, pull over and inspect it immediately. Once again, it is best to play it safe.
Safety Tip #5: Try to Make Yourself as Visible as Possible to Other Motorists
A significant number of motorcycle collisions happen because other drivers fail to recognize the presence of a nearby motorcycle. One of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents is other drivers claiming they did not see the motorcyclist. Do not assume that other motorists see you and your bike. Be proactive in trying to make yourself visible. Enhance your visibility by wearing reflective gear, using headlights even during the day, and employing hand signals when turning.
Safety Tip #6: Slow Down (Speed Makes Crashes More Likely and More Severe)
It might be tempting to zip through Stockton’s roads, but speed is a significant factor in motorcycle accidents. Going faster than the recommended speed limits or what is safe for current road conditions can lead to catastrophic consequences. Remember, the faster you go, the less reaction time you have. A high-speed motorcycle crash can cause catastrophic injuries or fatalities.
Safety Tip #7: Keep a Safe Distance from Other Vehicle
Tailgating is dangerous. There is nothing wrong with giving yourself a little extra stopping distance when you are on a motorcycle in California. By maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle in front, you have more time to react if they brake suddenly. In wet or slick conditions, this distance should be even more considerable as motorcycles can skid easily.
Safety Tip #8: Avoid the Big Risks (Intoxication, Distraction, and Fatigue)
Make sure you are in good condition to ride every time you get on your bike. Never ride under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or when overtired. Stockton’s streets are challenging enough without an impaired mind or body. Ensure you are mentally and physically fit before you ride. Beyond that, avoid distractions like fiddling with music or trying to operate a GPS while moving.
Safety Tip #9: Seek Immediate Medical Attention for Any Injuries
Even if you do everything right, you could still be involved in a serious crash based on another driver’s negligence. Getting immediate medical care after a motorcycle crash is a key safety tip. The soon you see a doctor, the better. If you are involved in an accident, it is vital to get checked by a medical professional. Adrenaline can mask pain, and some injuries might not present symptoms immediately. Early detection and treatment can prevent complications down the line.
Safety Tip #10: Get Help From an Attorney Right Away After a Crash
You need financial compensation to ensure that you have access to all of the necessary medical treatment and rehabilitative care after a motorcycle crash. If you are involved in a motorcycle wreck in Stockton, working with a top attorney can help you navigate the legal claims process. We are committed to helping injured motorcyclists secure the full and fair compensation that they deserve, including for medical bills, physical therapy, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
Contact Our Stockton, CA Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
At Redkey Gordon Law Corp, our Stockon motorcycle accident attorneys have the professional expertise you trust in a complex case. Across our practice areas, we have secured millions of dollars in financial compensation for victims and families. Reach out to us by phone or contact us online
to set up your free, no commitment consultation. With a conveniently located law office right here in Stockton, we handle motorcycle accident claims throughout the surrounding area in California.