Connecticut Motorcyclists: Ride With Care
On a clear morning this past Thanksgiving weekend, a 55-year-old motorcyclist died in Thomaston in an accident that apparently did not involve another vehicle. The biker, who was not wearing a helmet, leaves behind a wife and three children.
While there is nothing like riding a fast motorcycle in the Connecticut countryside on a beautiful day, bikers need to take care when doing so. Without the protection of metal casing like those in other motor vehicles, drivers and passengers of motorcycles are especially vulnerable in car accidents to severe injury or death from direct impact with roads, other vehicles, and stationary objects.
How to Protect Yourself as a Motorcyclist
- About three-quarters of Connecticut’s motorcycle injuries and deaths are caused by operator mistakes, on average.
- About three-quarters of the motorcyclists killed in 2002 Connecticut accidents were not using protective gear.
Because of the chance of serious road accidents, here are some tips for Connecticut bikers:
- Be sure your bike is properly insured. Those completing state-sanctioned motorcycle safety courses are eligible for discounts on their insurance premiums.
- Never drink and ride.
- Although Connecticut law only requires drivers with training permits, and motorcyclists and passengers under 18 to wear approved helmets, all riders should wear them, given the high incidence of head injuries from motorcycle accidents.
- Follow the rules of the road.
- Apply reflective material to your bike and clothing.
- Drive defensively; not all car and truck drivers take the care they should around cycles, and sometimes it’s hard to see a motorcycle in darkness or bad weather.
- Be aware of road hazards; the small size of a bike makes it more vulnerable to danger from pavement irregularities.
- Be properly trained and licensed.
- Have your motorcycle regularly inspected and follow a regular maintenance schedule.
- Take care especially in bad weather conditions. Two wheels on a wet or icy pavement can be a recipe for disaster.
If you are in a crash on your motorcycle, get proper medical care immediately. Don’t use the bike again unless a trained mechanic has signed off on the safety of the equipment. Consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to learn about your rights and the possibility of recovery for your injuries and property damage from the accident. Another driver may be responsible for the accident through negligent or reckless driving, or your equipment may have been faulty.
Similarly, if your relative or loved one was killed in a motorcycle accident, speak with a skilled motor vehicle accident lawyer about the possibility of a wrongful death lawsuit.