Motorcycle Safety Tips

Author: Elizabeth M. Allen

Following these steps will help you protect yourself against a motorcycle accident

En la carretera, las motocicletas son "pequeños alevines". Es fácil que los autos y camiones los pasen por alto o los ignoren. Durante la última década, ha habido un aumento en las lesiones graves y, a veces, fatales de los motociclistas. En consecuencia, los motociclistas responsables siempre se mantienen alerta a los vehículos cercanos y sus alrededores. Pero eso no es suficiente si quieres dar un paseo seguro.

¿Cuáles son algunos de los conceptos básicos de la seguridad de las motocicletas?

  • Facilite que los conductores de automóviles y camiones lo vean.Wear bright colored clothing. Fluorescent, orange and/or yellow shirts, vests, jackets, and helmets enhance visibility during the day. At night, wear reflective material on helmets, vests/jackets, and even shoes. Remember, you must be seen from the side, not just the back and front. Put reflective material on the sides of your helmet, clothing and shoes, not just on the front and back. If a motorist can’t see you or your bike, he won’t take action to avoid you.
  • Make it a habit to use your turn signals – always. Turn signals tell other drivers what you plan to do. They make your bike easier to see on the road. Nearby motor vehicle operators are more likely to notice your bike’s flashing turn signal than its activated taillight. Equally important, however, is the need to deactivate your turn signal as soon as you complete your turn or as soon as you decide not to turn after all. If your turn signal remains activated after you have made a turn, the driver behind you may assume you will turn again, and he may pull directly into your path.Enhance your visibility by tapping your foot brake lightly before you slow down, especially when you anticipate a quick stop. The flashing brake light will alert the driver behind you to your sudden change in speed.
  • Manténgase alejado de los puntos ciegos.Motorcyclists are more at risk in a blind spot or no-zone than other motorists because their cycles are relatively small compared to trucks and automobiles. Whenever you approach a vehicle you may want to pass, you must make a choice, and quickly too. Do you really want to pass? If so, pass as fast as you reasonably can. If not, drop back, well out of the blind spot. The less time you spend in another driver’s blind spot, the safer you will be.As you travel along the roads and highways behind another vehicle, take care to position your bike where the other driver will be able to see you in his rear view mirror. Keep in mind that intersections are always dangerous. It’s where most motorcycle crashes happen because auto or truck drivers who approach an intersection sometimes fail to see the motorcyclist who has the right of way.
  • Mantenga las luces delanteras encendidas día y noche. Sound strange? Yes, but studies show that keeping your headlights on high beam during daylight hours increases your visibility to oncoming traffic and prevents accidents.
  • Use un casco que cumpla con el estándar federal de seguridad para vehículos motorizados (FMVSS) No. 218 cada vez que monte en bicicleta.It’s the law in many states so you may have no choice in the matter. Regardless, it is always safer to ride wearing a helmet that meets recognized Snell, ANSI, and/or Federal DOT standards. Statistics show helmets are 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries. What does this mean? For every 100 motorcyclists who die in motorcycle crashes, 37 of them would have been saved had they been wearing a helmet when the accident happened. And make certain your helmet is, in fact, a certified/compliant helmet. Watch out for helmets with false certifications or counterfeit stickers imprinted with a DOT symbol.Accidents happen close to home, not just far away. Never say to yourself, “Well, I’m just going a mile or two to the store or to a friend’s house, why should I bother with a helmet?” Helmets save lives. They give you some measure of protection against traumatic brain injuries in the event of an accident.In addition to helmet laws, there may be requirements in your state regarding face shields and safety glasses or goggles. Face shields protect your face from rain, dust, insects and flying debris. Goggles protect your eyes. Special regulations may control whether or not a motorcycle may carry a second passenger. This usually depends on whether your motorcycle is equipped with a permanent seat specially designed to carry a second person. A passenger who is not properly seated on a motorcycle is at increased risk of falling off a bike and accidental injury.
  • Siga las leyes de tránsito estatales y locales. Motorcyclists must follow the same “rules of the road” and traffic regulations as automobiles and trucks. These laws may be even more important to the safety of the motorcycle operator than to drivers of other motor vehicles. After all, motorcycles are not equipped with the same physical protections and restraints found in autos and trucks. Familiarize yourself with the general motor vehicle laws of your state. Just as important, study carefully the statutes directed specifically at the operation of motorcycles. They were enacted to help ensure your safety.
  • Realice un curso de formación para motociclistas.You can pay with your life if you don’t learn the essential skills necessary to operate a motorcycle properly and safely. Most everyone takes a driver training course to obtain an automobile driver’s license when they are teenagers. In fact, many states mandate such instruction because well trained automobile operators make for safer roads and highways. It makes just as much sense for motorcycle operators to take a skills training course given by a professional instructor and designed specifically for motorcycle operation.There are motorcycle rider skills training courses in most states. Your state department of motor vehicles should have information on such programs. And remember, there are skills training courses not just for the novice but for the more experienced rider as well. Take the time to refresh and refine your rider techniques by taking an advanced skills course every few years.
  • Obtain the driver’s license endorsement you need to legally operate a motorcycle in your state.Las estadísticas de la Administración Nacional de Seguridad del Tráfico en las Carreteras (NHTSA) nos dicen que el 25% de los motociclistas que murieron como resultado de accidentes de tráfico en 2004 no tenían ninguna licencia o no tenían la licencia adecuada para operar una motocicleta.
  • No acelere.In 2004, 36% of all motorcyclists involved in fatal accidents were speeding at the time of the accident. It’s simple. Speed kills.
  • Keep a safe distance behind other vehicles.¿Cree que no tiene que mantener la misma distancia detrás de un automóvil o camión que debe mantener un automóvil o camión cuando viaja detrás de otros vehículos? ¡Incorrecto! Una motocicleta normalmente requiere tanta distancia de frenado como un automóvil. Los estudios han demostrado que seguir demasiado de cerca es una de las principales causas de accidentes por parte del motociclista.
  • Don’t ride in an impaired condition.No es de extrañar que el alcohol y otras drogas desempeñen un papel importante en demasiados accidentes de motocicleta. En 2004, por ejemplo, el alcohol estuvo involucrado en un porcentaje mucho más alto de accidentes de motocicleta (31% más alto) que los accidentes automovilísticos. Y lo que es peor, según la NHSTA, el 41 por ciento de los 1672 motociclistas que murieron en choques de un solo vehículo en 2004 tenían niveles de alcohol en sangre por encima del mínimo legal de .08 g / dL. Nunca conduzca en estado de ebriedad.
  • Give your bike a “pre-trip” inspection. Los camioneros de larga distancia realizan inspecciones diarias previas al viaje a sus tractocamiones y los operadores de motocicletas deben hacer lo mismo con sus bicicletas. Por ejemplo, verifique la presión de aire de los neumáticos y el nivel de líquido hidráulico. Busque señales de una fuga de aceite o gas. ¿Funcionan los faros delanteros y las luces traseras tanto con luz de cruce como con luz de carretera? ¿Están en funcionamiento las luces de freno y los intermitentes? ¿Necesita rellenar su depósito de refrigerante? El embrague y el acelerador deben funcionar sin problemas. Limpia tus espejos y ajústalos cuando sea necesario. Active las palancas de los frenos delanteros y traseros, un freno a la vez, para asegurarse de que funcionen correctamente.
  • Nunca conduzca la bicicleta de otra persona sin antes familiarizarse con sus características particulares y / o sin realizar una inspección previa al viaje. Don’t assume that someone else’s bike is just like yours. Make sure you know the location of the turn signals, the horn, the headlight switch, and the engine cut-off switch. Familiarize yourself with the controls and the bike’s gear pattern. Practice working the throttle, clutch and brakes a few times before you take a borrowed bike for a spin.
  • Beware of road surface and other hazards. Road surfaces that may not be so dangerous for auto and truck drivers may be very dangerous for the motorcyclist. Gravel roads, wet pavement, wet pavement with oil slicks, and paved roads with loose sand and gravel are especially treacherous. These surfaces provide poor traction for motorcycles traveling along them. Motorcyclists should think twice about taking their bikes out at all in mud, snow, or icy conditions. In Autumn, wet leaves can cause problematic conditions as well.Uneven surfaces can be dangerous. The motorcyclist should drive especially carefully when passing over bumps, broken pavement, potholes, railroad tracks, steel plates, grates, manhole covers or raised lane and highway markers, to name just a few.
  • Recuerde que la oscuridad reduce la visibilidad en la carretera. If a motorcycle can sometimes travel unnoticed by traffic nearby in broad daylight, the situation at night is even more hazardous. Darkness reduces visibility. At night, it is more difficult for other drivers to see your relatively small motorcycle or to pick up its headlights and tail lights from among the myriad of other vehicle lights surrounding you.It’s up to you to keep the odds on your side. Drive slower at night. Keep a greater distance between you and the vehicle directly ahead of you. Unless you are following immediately behind another vehicle or another vehicle is approaching you from the opposite direction, use your high beams. They will help you see unexpected obstacles or animals in the road in front of you.
  • Permanezca siempre alerta a su entorno y a los vehículos cercanos.You can’t take action to avoid a potential accident if you are not aware of the danger. There are negligent motorists on the roads. They may drive recklessly so defensive driving is essential. What is one of the most deadly maneuvers a motorcyclist is likely to confront everyday on the road? It is the other driver who turns left in front of the cyclists while the cyclist is doing one of three things: (1) traveling straight, (2) passing the other vehicle, or (3) overtaking the other vehicle. In 2004, 39% of fatal motorcycle accidents occurred under one of the foregoing fact patterns. Do what it takes to ensure the other driver knows you are in his path if he decides to turn left in front of you.

Seguir las sugerencias descritas anteriormente hará que la motocicleta funcione de manera más segura. Las apuestas son altas. ¿Y quién tiene más interés en la seguridad de las motocicletas que el propio motociclista? El ciclista que asume la responsabilidad de asegurarse de que ha tomado todas las precauciones para que su viaje sea seguro tiene menos probabilidades de lesionarse en un accidente grave.

Here are a few of the things you need to know about driving motorcycles and Virginia law.

  • La ley de Virginia exige que Todos los conductores y pasajeros de motocicletas usan cascos protectores. que cumplen o superan los estándares y especificaciones de la Snell Memorial Foundation (Snell), el American National Standards Institute (ANSI) o el Departamento de Transporte federal (DOT) (Código de Virginia 46.2-910).
  • La ley de Virginia requiere que, en todo momento mientras se conduce una motocicleta, un operator must wear a face shield, safety glasses or goggles or have his motorcycle equipped with safety glass or a windshield. This equipment must comply with the standards and specifications of Snell, ANSI, or the DOT.
  • La ley de Virginia proporciona regulaciones especiales para pasajeros de motocicletas. Una segunda persona (pasajero) no puede viajar en una motocicleta a menos que la motocicleta esté diseñada para llevar a más de una persona y el pasajero viaje en el asiento permanente diseñado para ese propósito o en un asiento firmemente sujeto a la parte trasera o lateral del asiento del operador. .
  • Bajo la ley de Virginia, a person who operates a motorcycle must have a valid Virginia driver’s license with a Class M designation/endorsement or a motorcycle license. To obtain such a license, the applicant must take and pass a special examination which includes written material and a road test. (Va. Code 46.2-337). With the successful completion of a motorcycle rider safety training course offered by a qualified provider, the Department of Motor Vehicles may waive the written test and/or road test.

Want to know more about motorcycle licensing and safety? The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles has published a Virginia Motorcycle Operator Manual. You can obtain a copy at your local DMV Office or download a copy at

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of others, call the motorcycle accident attorneys at Allen and Allen for a free consultation at 866-388-1307.