Motorcycle Safety Checklist in Las Vegas
Motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable of all road users. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of 5,000 people are killed in U.S. motorcycle crashes every year; thousands more are injured.
Some motorcycle accidents are unavoidable. But many collisions can be prevented with defensive driving, proper training, regular maintenance, and good judgment. Since you have no control over the actions of other drivers, it’s essential to do everything in your power to make sure your motorcycle trip is as safe as possible.
At THE702FIRM Injury Attorneys, the safety of all Nevada motorcyclists is of utmost importance to us. Our motorcycle accident lawyers in Las Vegas have put together the following overview of motorcycle safety tips to help you understand the risks and learn how to protect yourself on Nevada roadways. For more information, call us today.
What Can Go Wrong During a Motorcycle Ride?
Many different things can go wrong on a motorcycle ride to endanger the lives of the rider or others. Examples include:
- Colliding with other vehicles on the road
- Falling off the motorcycle
- Being trapped underneath the bike
- Running into a vehicle that stops suddenly
- Getting struck by drivers drifting into the motorcyclist’s lane
- Getting hit by someone running a red light or stop sign
- Head-on collisions with people driving the wrong way
- Running off the roadway
- Being sideswiped by motorists
- Running out of fuel or experiencing an engine error caused by bad fuel
- Mechanical errors, including brake failure and tire blowouts
- Colliding with rocks or debris in the road
- Crashing after the motorcycle’s drive chain falls off
Motorcycle Accident Risk Factors
Motorcyclists are at higher risk of severe injury due to several factors:
- Motorcycles are smaller, lightweight, and do not have the same safety features as passenger vehicles.
- Because of their smaller size, motorcycles are less visible on the roads. Drivers who are not careful to check their blind spots can easily collide with a motorcyclist.
- Riding a motorcycle requires specific training. Inexperienced motorcyclists may make judgment errors that a more experienced driver would not. This could include overcorrecting and skidding into highway dividers, such as concrete barriers, steel guardrails, or another fixed object.
- Like all vehicles, driving a motorcycle while drunk or under the influence of drugs can be a recipe for disaster.
- Left-hand turns can be especially treacherous for motorcyclists. Because they are less visible, drivers can easily miss them and turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle.
- Hazardous road conditions, such as uneven pavement, oil slick, debris from other vehicles, railroad tracks, manhole covers, or loose gravel can cause a motorcyclist to spin out of control.
- Black ice, blinding sunlight, and other dangerous weather conditions can affect a biker’s ability to operate a motorcycle safely.
Motorcycle Safety Checklist
There are a number of steps that motorcyclists can take before, during, and after a ride to protect their safety.
- Select a motorcycle that fits you well and that you feel comfortable operating.
- Wear protective gear, such as a well-fitting helmet, pants, a leather jacket, boots, gloves, and protective eyewear. Inspect your gear before each ride because it can suffer damage while you’re riding or wear down over time.
- Before you operate a motorcycle, make sure you have the proper training and license needed.
- Continue to improve your driving skills by taking safety and advanced riding courses.
- Before each ride, it’s important to inspect your motorcycle to make sure it’s in a good condition and promptly fix any issues. For example:
- Check your air and oil filters, as well as the oil, brake fluid, hydraulic fluid, coolant, transmission fluid, and all other fluids critical to the operation of your motorcycle.
- Make sure your brakes function properly and regularly inspect the brake pads.
- Check that your electrical system is working properly, including your brake lights, horn, headlights, turn signals, and high beams.
- Ensure your battery is well-charged.
- Check your tire pressure and the tread on your tires before hitting the road.
- Make sure your seat is secure and your footpeg operates properly.
- Clean your windshield and ensure your mirrors aren’t cracked, dirty, or missing.
- Check the chassis for cracks, frayed or leaking hoses, loose bolts, worn belts or chains, or any other significant signs of damage or deterioration.
- Make sure all of your controls work properly, including your handlebars, pedals, and levers.
- Carry a first-aid kit with basic items like bandages and disinfecting wipes in case of a motorcycle accident.
- Keep a cell phone and a portable charger on hand at all times.
While you are on the road, exercise caution and obey all traffic rules, including:
- Avoid driving when you’re tired. Fatigue can significantly impair your ability to react quickly and stay balanced on your motorcycle.
- Don’t drive while impaired. Las Vegas is known for its partying, but you should stay off the road if you have been drinking, taken drugs, or are on a medicine that might impair your driving abilities.
- Ride with other motorcyclists that you trust. That way, you can look out for each other.
- Avoid tailgating. Maintain a safe distance between yourself and other vehicles to enable you to move quickly if an emergency arises.
- Obey the speed limit. Slow down or stop when you encounter road construction, road hazards, and dangerous weather conditions.
- Avoid distracted driving. Talking on your phone, texting, or other activities that take your attention off the road could result in a deadly motorcycle accident.
- Stay visible and predictable. Keep your headlights lights on, always use your turn signals, and wear bright colors and reflective gear to help make yourself and your movements more visible to others.
- Follow traffic signs and signals. Heed yield signals, warnings to slow down on curves, and one-way street signs.
- Stay out of blind spots. Try not to linger in other vehicles’ blind spots. Keep in mind that tractor-trailers and other large trucks have much bigger blind spots than drivers of passenger cars. Learn them and avoid them.
Nevada Motorcycle Laws
Under Nevada law, drivers must have a Class M license before they can operate a motorcycle. This involves completing an approved Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) course or successfully passing the Nevada DMV written and skills tests. To operate a trimobile or moped, drivers must have a valid driver’s license of any class.
Additionally, any driver or passenger on a motorcycle, trimobile, or moped must wear a helmet that meets U.S. Department of Transportation standards. Approved helmets have a sticker with the letters “DOT” on the outside back of the helmet. DOT approval means the government has certified that the device will help protect the wearer’s head and brain in the event of a motorcycle accident.
Furthermore, motorcyclists must obey all Nevada traffic laws, including avoiding lane splitting. This is when motorcyclists ride between vehicles instead of in a full lane, such as on the dotted white lines separating lanes. While lane splitting is prohibited, Nevada law does allow motorcyclists to share lanes by riding side-by-side with each other’s consent.
How to Best Protect Yourself as a Motorcyclist in Las Vegas
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident in Las Vegas, there are several steps you can take to protect your legal rights.
- Call for help. Motorcycle accidents often cause serious injuries and damages. Call 911 to get assistance as quickly as possible.
- Visit a medical professional. If you didn’t get medical attention when the accident happened, see a doctor as soon as possible. Medical reports will be essential pieces of evidence if you file a claim for your injuries.
- Gather evidence. Get the name and contact information of any driver involved in the collision, as well as anyone who witnessed the crash. Take pictures of your injuries, damages, and any other aspects of the wreck that you can, including skid marks, traffic signals, and road conditions. If police came to the accident scene, ask them for a copy of the official accident report.
- Contact a motorcycle accident attorney in Las Vegas. Motorcyclists often face unfair challenges when trying to get the compensation they’re owed after a wreck. Many insurance companies and jurors believe that motorcyclists are risk-takers, and those biases may encourage them to deny or reduce the motorcyclist’s claim — no matter who was at fault. The knowledgeable lawyers at THE702FIRM Injury Attorneys know how to fight against this prejudice and stand up for the justice and compensation you deserve.
How THE702FIRM Injury Attorneys Can Help You
At THE702FIRM Injury Attorneys, we’re prepared to handle all the details of your motorcycle accident claim. Our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers can help gather evidence for your case, fill out all the paperwork needed for your claim, negotiate with insurers, and demand maximum compensation for your losses. You can count on our legal team to keep you informed about developments in your case from start to finish.
Set up a free consultation today by calling (702) 776-3333 or using our online contact form.