Now that the weather is warmer, motorcycle owners are taking their machines out of storage, donning helmets, and hitting the road.

Motorcycling is a great opportunity to get fresh air and enjoy the emerging greenery, but it can be riskier than driving a car. Motorcyclists are easy to miss visually because drivers are used to watching for larger vehicles, which increases the risk of a devastating crash.

Motorcyclist injuries: the statistics

According to a 2016 study (PDF) by the New York City government, riders in the city are at a disproportionate risk of a fatal accident. For example:

  • Only 2% of registered vehicles are motorcycles, but riders accounted for 14% of traffic fatalities in the city between 2010 and 2014.
  • The rate of fatal motorcycle crashes in the city is nearly twice the rate for riders in the state.

In addition, the study found that crashes causing injury are more likely to occur during the afternoon or evening and on weekends and that the number of incidents goes up during the summer months.

To stay safe on the roads this season, follow the tips below.

1. Maintain a safe speed

When you drive too quickly, you limit the amount of time available to recognize and respond to dangers like oncoming vehicles, obstacles in the road, or a wet patch in the asphalt. High speed is a factor in two-thirds of motorcycle accidents, so stay within the legal speed limit and maintain more control over risk.

2. Wear a helmet

Accidents can occur even if you are doing everything right. A car could suddenly swerve in front of you, giving you no time to get out of the way. Prepare for this worst-case scenario by wearing a helmet. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, modern helmets don’t interfere with your ability to see and hear properly, and if the unexpected occurs, one could save your life.

3. Don’t drink and ride

Alcohol and motorcycles don’t mix. When you have a few drinks before setting off, it significantly decreases your coordination and balance, which are essential for you to ride safely. Alcohol is a factor in a high percentage of fatal motorcycle collisions, so pass on the beer if you plan to ride soon.

Safe motorcycling means doing everything possible to prevent an accident from happening and wearing the right protective gear in case the unthinkable occurs. If you are injured, then be sure to contact a New York personal injury attorney who will help you get compensation and send the message that it is everyone’s responsibility to share the road safely. Jayson Lutzky is a Bronx, NY accident lawyer with over 35 years of experience. He is dedicated to helping his clients receive the compensation that they need. Call 718-514-6619 to learn more.