Although the Australian motorcycle market fell by 6.1% in 2019, motorcycles are still one of the most popular means of transport in the country, with more than a million operating on Australian roads today. If you have been considering investing in a motorcycle, it’s pretty clear why you’d want one; motorcycles are cheap, fun, and if you live in one of the major cities, they are very convenient as they allow you to breeze past the peak-hour traffic. However, riding a motorcycle is also more dangerous than driving a car, especially for the less-seasoned riders. While helmets and protective clothing may reduce the severity of injuries, riders are more exposed to the massive forces of a collision – whether it’s with another vehicle, roadside trees and poles, or the road itself. As such, motorcycle riders need to know how to prevent accidents and also be adequately prepared in the event that they’re involved in one.
Take the necessary preventive measures
The first and most important thing you need to know about motorcycle accidents is how to prevent them. The best way to prevent a motorcycle accident is by following the rules to the letter; this means going to a proper riding school, getting a proper licence, following set speed limits, and wearing the required safety gear. This may sound like a no-brainer, but in some places, motorcycle riders can have a reputation for being outlaws. Another way to prevent an accident is by being alert when riding. You need to pay full attention to your surroundings 100% of the time; even glancing at your phone for one second can be catastrophic. You also should consider avoiding riding your bike during bad weather conditions such as snow.
While there’s a lot more you can do to prevent an accident, sometimes it’s just impossible to do so, especially when another road user is at fault. Maybe another driver takes an illegal turn, causing you to crash into them, or you hit a pothole that causes you to lose balance and fall off the bike. As such, you must be adequately prepared for an accident, whether you are responsible for it or not.
Gearing up for an accident
Motorcycle safety technology has come a long way, and there are various types of gear that can come in handy in an accident. If you shop around, you’ll find specialised jackets, gloves, riding pants, and riding suits that protect your skin and bones and prevent major sprains in the event of an accident. Beyond that, you can buy a wearable motorcycle airbag that inflates in a fraction of a second, protecting your spine, neck, collarbone, and rib cage from severe injuries. You can also invest in a motorcycle dashcam or helmet camera to record all your riding experiences.
Gathering evidence after an accident
After a motorcycle accident, it is vital to gather as much information as you can about it if you are in a condition to do so. Once everyone is safely out of the road, start by exchanging information with everyone else that was involved in the accident. Get their names, addresses, contact information, license numbers, and insurance information. Remember to take photos of the accident scene, and if possible, record their observations on your phone or by writing them down when the incident is still fresh in your mind. If you were too injured in the accident to gather evidence, you may have to rely on police reports, witness accounts, and the evidence of other people that were involved in the accident. A dash or helmet camera would come in handy in this process.
Getting compensation after an accident
If you ride a motorcycle and you’re injured in a collision with another vehicle – or when manoeuvring to avoid colliding with another vehicle – you’ll need to work with a personal injury attorney in order to fully understand your rights and claim fair compensation. Making a motorcycle accident claim can be a long and complicated process; the compensation or benefits you’re entitled to vary depending on your location and the circumstances leading to the accident. This is why you need a good lawyer on your side to help you navigate the process and get you the compensation you deserve. Generally, you will be able to claim for any medical, hospital and rehabilitation costs you incur as a result of the accident. On top of that, you may be able to claim for things like lost wages, home and vehicle modifications, transport expenses for medical appointments, and the legal costs associated with your claim.
Every time you hit the road on your motorcycle, you are putting yourself at risk of an accident, whether you are a novice or a seasoned rider. It is up to you to take the necessary measures to prevent accidents, and when you can’t, you should ensure that your rights are adequately protected so that you can have a smooth recovery process and get back to riding as soon as possible.