This Summer Riding Season is turning out to be a Real Meat Grinder!

California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez on Motorcycle SafetyI am always preaching about motorcycle safety to everyone I know. I have written many articles on motorcycle safety here on the Biker Law Blog.

This summer is turning out to be the absolute worst motorcycle accident season that I have ever seen as a biker. I am gauging my analysis on the number of calls coming into my office, and reports of motorcycle accidents that I get from all over the world.

I assume that the rise in gas prices and the increase in motorcycle popularity are the main factors in the vast increase in accidents. However, I am getting calls from guys with many years of riding experience!

Whatever the cause of the vast increase in motorcycle accidents this summer may be, I will again reiterate some basic motorcycle safety tips:

(1) Do not ride your motorcycle until you take a certified Motorcycle Rider Safety Course.

(2) If you are an experienced rider, or you have purchased a new motorcycle, take an advanced Motorcycle Rider Safety Course. Remember you do not really know your motorcycle until you have ridden it at least 1000 miles.

(3) No matter how experienced you think you may be on your motorcycle, practice makes perfect. You must careful all of the time.

(4) Assume that cagers and people in other motor vehicles do not see you!

(5) Always wear a helmet, leathers, gloves, boots, and proper riding attire, even if it is hot. You may not look as cool, but if the meat hits the pavement, the pavement wins. It is always better to go home to ride another day.

(6) Do not tailgate Cars.

(7) Keep you motorcycle in gear when stopped, and always monitor your rear view mirrors for someone who looks like they are going to rear end you. Always plan an escape route at stop lights.

(8) Always cover when going through intersections. Assume that someone will turn left in front of you or blow through a red light.

(9) Make sure that your insurance is up to date and that you have at least $500,000 in liability, underinsured, and uninsured motorist coverage. It may cost a bit more, but if you do go down, you want to have enough insurance to cover your passenger, and you.

(10) Always keep an emergency card with you while riding. The emergency card should contain emergency contact names and numbers, relevant medical information such as blood type, medications, health problems, etc.


(12) Always inspect your motorcycle and tires before riding. Look for loose screws, bolts, nuts and tighten them. Check your tires for pressure, and wear.

Riding your motorcycle can and should be one of the most pleasurable things in your life. Take it easy out there. Remember it is not the destination that matters; it is the ride that counts!

You can read many more safety tips here on the Biker Law Blog by clicking on the Safety Tips button on the top of the Blog.

Keep Both Wheels on the Road!

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2007

9 thoughts on “This Summer Riding Season is turning out to be a Real Meat Grinder!

  1. Make your riding safer this summer
    Over on the Biker Law Blog, Greg has put together a good post on increasing your chances for a safe riding season. The post, ‘This Summer Riding Season is turning out to be a Real Meat Grinder!’, can be found here.
    His list contains many …

  2. We have had quite a few motorcycle accidents here resulting in deaths and injuries. In a few cases there was nothing the motorcycist could do. It was a bad case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. But most could have been avoided if the motorcyclist had just slowed down. Most of the deaths and injuries were because they lost it in a turn in the city and on our mountain roads.

    We have had a noticeable influx of new riders and they won’t take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation beginners course. I can’t say enough good things about this course. It’s awesome!!

  3. Norm, great article! Safety is a subject that needs to be instilled via repetition.

    You said:
    “(7) Keep your motorcycle in gear when stopped, and always monitor your rear view mirrors for someone who looks like they are going to rear end you. Always plan an escape route at stop lights.”

    Excellent points! When stopped, it is so vital to spend time reviewing what’s behind you and what is coming at your “6”. I’ve seen so many riders drop their bikes into neutral and they simply don’t have a chance of escape should they need to.

    I would like to add that it is vital to keep at least two vehicle lengths in front of you at stop lights. This provides two very important safety points for the rider. One, as you stated, it can provide an escape route, and two, just as important, it provides oncoming traffic a better view. In other words, it is OUR responsibility to be as visible as we can be, and if we are tucked behind the vehicle in front of us, we are compromising traffic’s observation of our presence.

    Additionally, lane position is important as well. It is best to stop the bike to the left of the middle of the lane you’re in. This positioning aids motorists better observation of our presence, and, since we are putting our left foot down, it keeps the anchoring foot out of the grease and oil slicks.

    Another advantage of this lane positioning is that if we are turning left, it gives oncoming cagers better visibility of our blinking turn signal(s). We all use our turn signals for ALL turns, don’t we???

  4. Yeah! The best thing about a trip is when things get harder. When you really meet problems with bike, heat, dangerous roads… that’s what makes your trip very… “chilly”. Without a drop of adventure, any trip is useless.

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