3 Safety Tips for Merrillville Motorcyclists

safety tips for motorcyclists in Merrillville

In 2019, there were nearly 2,700 motorcycle accidents in Indiana. And although motorcycles make up less than 10% of all the registered vehicles in the state, motorcyclists account for more than 14% of all traffic fatalities in the region. Needless to say, cars and large trucks have significant safety advantages over riding a motorcycle.

Still, though, motorbike enthusiasts say nothing beats the freedom and fun of utilizing a motorcycle for transportation. At Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys, we believe in making the road safe for all users, from pedestrians and bicyclists to motorcycles and semi-trucks. That’s why, in honor of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, we’re highlighting the top safety tips for motorcyclists in Merrillville and throughout Northwest Indiana.

#1: Invest in Adequate Protective Gear

Before you hit the road, suiting up in protective gear is a must. Most importantly, you should invest in a high-quality motorcycle helmet. Under Indiana law (IC 9-19-7-1), all motorcycle riders or passengers under the age of 18 must wear a helmet and eye protection such as glasses, goggles, or a transparent face shield. In addition, those holding a motorcycle learner’s permit must also wear a helmet. This protects the rider from potentially devastating injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, neck injuries, and paralysis.

Not all helmets are created equal, however. When shopping for a motorcycle helmet, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends choosing a helmet that has a hard outer shell, face shield, face/chin protector, stiff foam lining, sturdy chinstrap, and strong rivets. Of course, your motorcycle helmet should also bear a DOT certification label, which lets you know that it meets or exceeds the strict safety guidelines set forth in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218

In addition to a helmet, the following safety gear can prevent or minimize injury in the event of a motorcycle accident: sturdy, over-the-ankle boots, well-fitting full-fingered motorcycle gloves, and a jacket and pants made from leather or other abrasion-resistant materials.

#2: Enroll in a Motorcycle Safety Course

Ride Safe Indiana (RSI) is a safety program offered by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles. RSI teaches three courses: the Entry-Level Motorcycle Safety Course, Advanced Skills Motorcycle Training Course, and a Three-Wheel Motorcycle Entry-Level Safety Course. These classes provide basic instruction and crucial safety tips for motorcyclists in Northwest Indiana.

The entry-level courses are perfect for those who have little or no experience on a motorcycle and want to obtain their motorcycle endorsement. You’ll get five hours of classroom instruction and 10 hours of practical riding in a controlled off-street environment. You’ll get a free motorcycle to practice on, and after a knowledge assessment and riding-skill evaluation, you can get your motorcycle endorsement.

The advanced course is ideal for those who want to fine-tune their skills and increase their overall safety. This course is just seven hours long and can be completed in one day. It is suitable for those with an Indiana motorcycle endorsement or learner’s permit. No matter how much you think you know about Merrillville motorcycle safety, there’s always something new to learn about balancing the mental and physical aspects of safe riding, managing risk, and increasing your visibility.

#3: Pretend You Are Invisible to Other Drivers

Seasoned motorcyclists will often swear by this rule when it comes to driving around other motorists. The reasoning behind it is simple: in many cases, you are invisible to other drivers. Why is this? Scientists have suggested that because most drivers aren’t used to seeing motorcycles all the time (and because they are so much smaller than the average vehicle), their visual cortex may not even register a motorcycle that is in their field of vision.

For this reason, even when you’re not riding in someone’s blind spot, act as if you are. By assuming that any vehicle which can hit you will hit you, you’ll learn to become hyper aware of your surroundings whenever you ride. You can increase your visibility and protect yourself by following these additional tips:

  • Wear bright, conspicuous clothing and protective gear.
  • Always have your headlight and tail light on.
  • Practice braking and swerving maneuvers often. Knowing how to quickly and safely get out of the way or stop can prevent a motorcycle accident and save your life.
  • Vary your speed and lane position so that you are always in the best spot on the road to avoid a crash.
  • Plan escape routes in case a driver violates your right-of-way.

Injured in a Merrillville Motorcycle Accident?

If you or a loved one has sustained injuries while riding a motorcycle in Northwest Indiana, legal help is available 24/7 at Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys. Our Merrillville personal injury lawyers have the experience, skill, and dedication necessary to secure fair compensation for motorcyclists after they’ve been injured due to another motorist’s negligence.  

Personal injury victims may be entitled to a settlement covering damages such as medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, and funeral expenses (in cases of wrongful death). If the insurance company is giving you the runaround or trying to offer you subpar compensation, reach out to our law firm. We’ll schedule a free, no obligation consultation with our legal team to help you understand all your options after an accident. Should you decide to move forward with our services, you won’t pay us a penny unless we make a financial recovery on your behalf.

Get in touch today by calling 219-227-4993. You can also connect with a LiveChat agent online for immediate assistance, or you can send us some information about your case by filling out this form

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.