A cool spring day in Connecticut is a siren call to hardcore bikers and recreational riders alike. After months of wet weather and dreary snowfall, bikers are itching to dust off their helmets and plan a cruise across our state’s gorgeous coastal cities and rural landscapes. However, despite its many virtues, operating a motorcycle is an incredibly dangerous activity that sends thousands of riders straight to emergency rooms each year.
According to Amy Parmenter, a AAA spokeswoman in Greater Hartford, “Motorcycle fatalities are a significant issue here in Connecticut, even more so than in most other states.” During an interview with The Day, Parmenter explained that many of these fatalities are due to bikers not wearing helmets or driving while intoxicated. Of course, negligent or distracted car and truck drivers also pose a significant threat to riders on a daily basis.
The Southington motorcycle accident lawyers at Sheffy, DeNigris, Grey & Bedard, LLP are intimately familiar with the medical and financial repercussions associated with a serious accident. To help our fellow Nutmeggers stay safe this spring, our attorneys have compiled this summary of information.
Tip #1: Wear Appropriate Safety Gear
Let’s be blunt: your motorcycle isn’t going to protect you during an accident. If you’re hit by a vehicle going 65 mph, you’re going to wish you were the Man of Steel himself. While we can’t all be aliens from the planet Krypton, we can wear protective gear that mitigates the overall damage. Modern motorcycle gear typically includes textile suits, reflective tape, ankle-protecting boots, and durable helmets. While this may not fit the gruff biker image we all know and love, it can protect you from sustaining a catastrophic injury.
Protective safety gear includes:
- Leather or textile jacket
- Leather or textile pants
- Protective suit
- Riding boots with nonskid soles
Tip #2: Schedule Routine Maintenance
You might be ready to escape hibernation, but your motorcycle likely needs a little TLC before you take it on a pleasure cruise. Scheduling or performing routine equipment maintenance is part and parcel of being a responsible motorcycle owner. Not only does this preserve the condition of your vehicle in the long run, it also protects you from operating a malfunctioning motorcycle that breaks down in the middle of the freeway.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation created the T-CLOCS mnemonic to help bikers complete a thorough pre-trip safety check:
- T – Tires & Wheels
- C – Controls
- L- Lights & Electrics
- O – Oil
- C – Chassis
- S – Stands
Please review the link above to learn more about this checklist. This information could save your life.
Tip #3: Be Wary of the Weather
As you well know, the spring season in Connecticut lives up to the saying, “April showers bring May flowers.” Before taking off on an adventure, it’s important to check the weather and make sure it’s safe to go riding.
While we don’t recommend operating a motorcycle in the rain (for your health and safety), spring weather is often unpredictable, so if you find yourself in a risky situation, follow these tips:
- Wear bright colors and reflective tape to make sure other motor vehicle operators can spot you.
- Increase your braking distance.
- Keep your hands warm so that you can accurately control and stop your motorcycle.
- Because the rain can reduce the traction on your tires, avoid riding on painted lines, tar snakes, or utility hole covers.
- Install a helmet breath deflector to keep your visor clear.
- Rainfall can also obscure potholes, so it’s best to slow down and squeeze your clutch before coasting through puddles.
- Pull over at a coffee shop or rest stop if you see lightning.
Tip #4: Be Mindful of Fatigue
Cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats – this tip applies to anyone operating a motor vehicle. If you’re feeling tired, you need to get off the road as soon as possible. Exhaustion can impair your focus, slow your reaction time, and impact your ability to make swift judgments.
The warning signs associated with drowsy driving include:
- Nodding off
- Blinking frequently
- Fluctuating driving speeds
- Drifting between lanes
- Missing signs or exits
Tip #5: Ride Defensively
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were nearly 300 reported traffic fatalities in Connecticut in 2017. Most of these accidents are caused by reckless motorists failing to practice defensive driving habits. No matter your vehicle, it’s important for all drivers and bikers to focus on the road while respecting the rights of other motorists. By being attentive and cautious of your surroundings, you can predict traffic changes, avoid road hazards, and prevent collisions.
Follow these tips to be a defense rider:
- Obey state and local traffic laws
- Mind the speed limits
- Try not to weave between vehicles
- Stay out of blind spots
- Wear reflective taps
- Keep your headlights on
- Signal before changing lanes
Injured in an Accident? Contact Our Firm Today – 844-367-0314
We hope these tips help you have a safe and enjoyable spring season. However, it’s impossible to predict the future or the actions of other motorists. If you’re injured by a negligent or distracted driver, contact our Southington motorcycle accident lawyers today. Our trial-tested legal team has been providing compassionate guidance, personalized case strategies, and innovative legal strategies to the residents of Connecticut for over 30 years. Because we’re armed with aggressive negotiation and litigation techniques, we’ve been able to recover millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients.
You can experience a variety of personal, physical, and financial hardships after a serious motorcycle accident. If your medical bills are piling up, schedule a consultation with Sheffy, DeNigris, Grey & Bedard, LLP today by calling 844-367-0314.