After years of planning and deliberation, you finally decided to purchase a motorcycle, much to your husband’s chagrin. You’ve read a lot about handling and maneuverability, watched countless tutorials and biker movies, and spent many hours practicing turns on your father’s Harley in the garage. However, now that you’ve got your own, you’re a little worried that watching isn’t the same as doing.
Although you’ve passed your motorcycle driving test, you’re painfully aware of the many things you don’t know about motorcycle control and steering methods.
Safety Steering Techniques to Avoid Wipe-Outs
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, nearly 5,000 motorcyclists die each year in traffic accidents, and another 200,000 are injured, accounting for 13% of all traffic accident injuries. As a result, bikers need to take additional safety precautions and attempt to familiarize themselves (if not master) specific steering safety maneuvers to help prevent and avoid accidents before they occur. These steering techniques include:
- Obstacle swerves. Motorcycles are inherently less stable than four-wheel vehicles. Although this makes maneuvering a little easier, it makes running over debris, obstacles, and imperfections in the road more difficult and even possibly catastrophic. This is why it is extremely important to know how to look for and safely avoid road debris by perfecting the smooth swerve.
- Quick stops. Being able to control a quick or sudden stop could make the difference between a short skid and a complete impact disaster. Once you’ve become accustomed to the feel of velocity changes and mastered keeping your bike upright, you can avoid wipe-outs, head-on collisions, and panicked crashes.
- Stop turns. A moving motorcycle turn is much smoother than a stop-and-go motorcycle turn due to a consistent center of gravity. Unfortunately, motorcyclists can’t not stop at red lights or stop signs. Therefore, it is essential to be able to control your bike and keep your center of gravity stable while stopped and transitioning into a turn. This will prevent turn accidents and give you an escape option if a car is about to collide into you at a stop.
- Cone weaves. Cone weaves are tight swerving maneuvers from left to right. The object of the weave is to make sure you can remain upright while making short, abrupt corrections in and out of a line of traffic cones (hence the name). This move is important to perfect, because it can provide you with the skills you need to (legally) weave through traffic crashes, avoid potholes, roadkill, or other materials that could potentially cause you to wipe out.
Lost Control Doesn’t Need to Mean a Lost Future
Many people believe motorcycle accidents are always caused by the motorcyclist him or herself. This assumption is completely false! Although in some instances motorcyclists lose control or dangerously weave in and out of traffic, many crashes are caused by driver error in not paying attention to motorcycles. Considering that many factors can contribute to crashes, it is extremely important for motorcyclists and automobile drivers to pay attention and know how to properly maneuver their vehicles.
Proper skills and execution can drastically decrease your risk of an accident, but unfortunately, nothing is 100% effective in preventing a crash. However, just because something or someone caused you to lose control doesn’t mean you have to lose control of your future. If you’ve recently been injured in a motorcycle collision, contact us today for a free consultation. We’ll help you learn your rights and legal options to help you get back on the road. Call today to see how our experience and extensive motorcycle injury knowledge can help you regain control.