By: KGD Law
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How to Crash Your Motorcycle
No one ever plans to get into an accident. However, if the inevitable is about to happen, you would likely rather be prepared as much as possible. Did you know there is a safe way to crash your motorcycle? Most motorcyclists will experience a crash at some point in their riding career if it lasts long enough, so it is important that you know how to mitigate your risk of injury as much as possible. There are even things you can do to prepare before you ever get into a crash that will help you prevent it or make sure you are better off if it does happen. Read on for some advice on how to make sure you are prepared for the worst.
Things You Can Do Before a Crash
Before you ever even get on your bike, there are a host of things you can do to prevent a crash or improve the outcome if one does occur.
- Whether you are brand new to riding or have a few seasons under your belt, it is worthwhile to enroll in a training course at a riding school. If you are new to the motorcycle world, you should make every effort to take a course at a basic riding school. If you have been riding for longer, there also advanced rider courses that teach you different techniques and different styles of riding so you can be prepared for any situation. This can also be a good way to brush up on your skills if it has been a while since you have ridden your motorcycle or gone on a longer trip.
- Sizing your bike correctly for your specific body can make a huge difference in how well your bike handles, as can choosing the right type of bike for how you will usually ride. You may very well be spending a lot of time sitting on your bike, so it should be comfortable to sit on and fit your inseam well. Make sure your bike is not more weight than you can reasonably handle.
- One of the best preventative steps you can take is performing regular maintenance on your motorcycle. This should be a cost your factor in when you decide to buy a bike, but you can also save a little money by learning to do minor repairs on your own. Sometimes the dealership will offer maintenance packages, or you can barter for some free oil changes and the like. If you are buying your bike used, you should ask the previous owner what maintenance has been done and if they have records showing the mileage everything was done at. A well-maintained bike will also depreciate in value slower.
- Protective gear is absolutely necessary. A motorcycle helmet, riding jacket and pants, and boots that go over the ankle are a good place to start. Gloves and eyewear will protect hands and eyes, two small but important body parts for riding that are often overlooked.
- Make sure you have sufficient insurance, including medical coverage for yourself. Property can easily be replaced, but you can’t be! Any costs that you would have to pay out-of-pocket after an accident would be way more than the insurance premiums you pay monthly, so adequate coverage is worth it.
- Be prepared. Travel with an emergency kit on your bike, and factor in enough buffer time on either end so you are not rushing when you ride. Traffic, distracted drivers, and rapid weather changes can all have an effect on your ride, but if you have a strategy before you leave, you will be prepared to meet any unexpected challenges.
- This goes without saying, but never ride under the influence. Drugs and alcohol can slow your reaction time and cause you to have poor judgment, and you need to be as sharp as possible whenever you get on your motorcycle.
How to Safely Crash a Motorcycle
You may be thinking this header is an oxymoron, but there are actually techniques you can use to try to save yourself from an accident or limit the damage or injury if it can’t be stopped. Practice and take these steps if you ever find yourself about to enter a wreck.
- Before you crash, use your brakes to slow down as much as possible. The front brakes will be the most effective for stopping, so apply them progressively to reduce your speed. You can also do the same with your rear brakes to reduce your velocity.
- If possible, choose the spot where you want to go down. You will often have a little bit of control of the bike just before you crash, so use this to your advantage. Try your best to direct your bike to one side to avoid obstacles that could harm you or to find a softer landing spot, such as grass.
- Once you are down, let go of your motorcycle. Once you have crashed, your bike can also become a projectile that could injure or crush you, so let it travel away from you as soon as you hit the ground.
- Try to tuck in your limbs and roll into the fall, if possible. An outstretched arm will more likely result in a broken bone than an arrested fall, and it will not absorb that much impact.
- Alternatively, if you are in a position to slide, pretend you are a baseball player sliding into a base. Reach your arms and legs out wide to add drag and decelerate yourself.
- This might be the last thing on your mind, but try to relax your body. A relaxed body will absorb impact better and prevent more serious injuries.
- Once you believe you have stopped moving, count to five. When you tumble, your balance can be thrown off, and you may still be moving but are unaware of it. Do not stand up immediately. Crawl away from the scene of the crash to a safer location so you do not become an obstacle for anyone else on the road and call for help.
After the Crash
Before anything else, you should asses yourself for injury after a crash. Figure out if you are bleeding anywhere and if anything feels broken or hard to move. Note any soreness or discomfort. Keep in mind that adrenaline can mask pain sensations, so visually checking yourself is important before you move, even if you feel okay.
If you feel safe enough to move, assess the scene and your surroundings. Locate your motorcycle and consider whether the is any danger of further impact around you. If you are okay and there is another driver or rider who was involved, check on them and assess their injuries, if any. If possible, move your bike or the other vehicle if they are in a dangerous spot. Always call for help as soon as possible.
Accidents are unpleasant, but that does not mean your legal experience has to be.
If you were involved in a motorcycle accident, contact the Law Offices of Kirshner, Groff, and Diaz right away to find out if you could be entitled to compensation for your situation. All initial consultations are no-obligation, and you will be put in touch directly with a real attorney.