Warmer weather means an increase in outdoor activities. For many people in Portland, that means getting their motorcycle tuned up and ready for another year of driving adventures. While few things can compare to the feeling of freedom you experience when riding down the open road with the sun at your back, it is important for Portland motorcyclists to be aware of the specific dangers present when riding in the pacific northwest.
Unfortunately, with each year comes new reports of dangerous motorcycle accidents, resulting in serious and potentially life-threatening injuries. Before hitting the road, make sure you are prepared by knowing some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents, as well as what you can do to prevent them.
Motorcycle Accident Causes and Statistics
According to the latest motorcycle safety report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), close to 5,000 motorcyclists are killed each year in motorcycle accidents in the United States, while more than 80,000 suffer serious injuries. Research conducted by the NHTSA indicates three factors which often contribute to motorcycle accidents:
- Speeding, which includes racing and going too fast for conditions;
- Alcohol use and driving under the influence; and
- Driver inexperience and driver errors.
The TEAM OREGON Motorcycle Safety Program, an outreach program of Oregon State University, offers motorcycle training classes and certification to instruct drivers of the potential dangers they may face while riding, particularly in the pacific northwest. Winding roads and wet weather resulting in slippery road surfaces can present special hazards for Portland bikers, particularly if they are inexperienced or unprepared. TEAM OREGON states that scenarios in which fatal motorcycle crashes commonly occur include maneuvering corners and turns, dealing with stopped or stalled traffic, passing and overtaking other vehicles, and group riding situations.
Safety Tips to Prevent Motorcycle Accidents
To protect yourself against being involved in a motorcycle accident, follow these motorcycle safety tips from the NHTSA:
- Take a defensive driving course, such as those offered by TEAM OREGON;
- Wear protective gear, including a helmets, goggles or sunglasses, the proper footwear, and gloves for increased traction;
- Use caution when riding in wet weather, and be aware of the potential for slippery surfaces;
- Obey the speed limit, and slowdown in traffic or construction zones; and
- Avoid drinking, drugs, or using medications which could impair your judgement and reflexes while behind the wheel.
It is also important when riding a motorcycle to make sure you are visible to other drivers, particularly cars and trucks. Wear bright clothing, make sure you have the proper headlights and brake lights, stay out of other driver’s blind spots and use your horn if you suspect a driver does not see you.
Contact Us for Assistance
If you or a loved one is injured in a motorcycle accident, contact an experienced Portland motorcycle accident attorney today. At Johnston Law Firm, P.C., we know the serious injuries that can result from these accidents, injuries that have the potential to result in permanent disabilities. We represent each of our clients with passion and skill, and can advise you on how to get the compensation you need to recover.