When you’re out on the open road in a motorcycle, there’s nothing like it. It’s easy to feel incredibly connected to nature and the world at large in moments like that. Since riding motorcycles presents a unique set of dangers and challenges, though, you also need to be very careful. You can’t enjoy the moment so much that you forget about all the dangers of the road.
A lot of people in cars and semi-trucks just don’t see motorcycles. Maybe they aren’t looking, or maybe they’re too distracted by other things, like texting (it’s illegal to text and drive in most states, but that doesn’t always stop drivers).
Motorcycle enthusiasts and the people who love them have tried to raise awareness through bumper stickers that say things like “Look twice, save a life,” but the fact remains that driving a motorcycle still places you in a uniquely vulnerable position. In a car, you’re protected somewhat by the metal frame that encloses you. On a motorcycle, there’s not nearly as much between you and the unforgiving pavement below. In 2011, motorcyclists accounted for 14 percent of all traffic deaths, even though motorcycles make up only 3 percent of all registered cars in the United States.
One of the biggest things you can do to protect yourself is wear a helmet. As of 2017, nineteen states and the District of Columbia have what’s known as universal helmet laws, which means everybody on the motorcycle has to wear a helmet. That’s according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Twenty-eight states require some motorcyclists to wear helmets. For instance, Texas mandates helmets for riders twenty years old and younger. And Illinois, Iowa, and New Hampshire haven’t gotten around to putting any sort of motorcycle helmet laws on the books.
Helmets aren’t perfect, but they’re a whole lot better than nothing. You generally need your brain for any sort of quality of life, so you should really protect it. Also consider that one state study found that, in collisions between vehicles with four wheels and vehicles with two wheels, car and truck drivers were at fault sixty percent of the time. So motorcyclists can and do make mistakes on the road, but they’re a bit more likely to be the innocent party in accidents.
If you get injured in a motorcycle accident, you’ll likely be grateful you survived when so many others don’t. You may also be looking at a large amount of medical debt made worse by unsympathetic insurance agents and adjustors. In that case, it’s a good idea to speak with an attorney experienced in dealing with motorcycle accidents. You don’t want to get less than you deserve, and most attorneys offer free initial consultations.
Some people ride motorcycles when they’re younger and give them up once they get married and start a family. If you have a family and decide to keep riding, then you absolutely must obtain a good life insurance policy. Go to a site like OurLifeCovered and find a plan that works for you. If something happens to you, you want to make sure your spouse and kids will be OK financially. It’s up to you to weigh the personal risks of riding, but you don’t want to risk your family’s future in the process.
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