7 Effective Ways to Prevent a Motorcycle Accident

motorcycle rider enjoying roads during wisconsin summerAfter months of (winter and spring) snow, Wisconsin motorcyclists are finally back on the road again. The weather is great. Why not go for a ride? Unfortunately, the newspapers and television newscasts are dotted with stories about motorcyclists injured or killed in accidents, usually with other vehicles. We’ve seen many of those motorcyclists in our office, dealing with aftermath of a difficult motorcycle accident. While you can’t change the behavior of other drivers (unfortunately), there are steps you can take to prevent a motorcycle accident when you are taking the bike out for a ride.

Make sure other drivers see you.

You can’t always control a driver double checking their rear view mirror, but there are steps you can take to ensure that you are highly visible. Wear bright clothing when riding. Purchase a brightly colored helmet and add a bright reflector to the back of a helmet (usually a piece of bright reflecting tape).

Drive safely.

Obviously, you try to drive safe when out for a ride. Take that commitment an extra step by not adding speed and alcohol into the mix, which can increase your chances of an accident.

Wear adequate gear.

As tempting as it may be to head out in shorts and a tank, that decision can increase the chance and severity of injury during accidents. Instead, wear a helmet, goggles (or a helmet shield), long sleeve jacket (with thick fabric for sleeves), long pants, and motorcycle boots.

Purchase a quality helmet.

A quality helmet can be invaluable when an incident causes you to go down; it gives you another layer of protection against brain and head injuries. If you decide to wear a helmet, do you research and purchase a quality helmet that fits properly and can protect you against injury.

Pay attention to conditions and the weather.

Heavy rain can negatively impact visibility for any driver—especially motorcycle riders. Storms can also make roads greasy and impact traction. Watch the news, monitor an app, and a close eye on the sky so you are up-to-date on the weather. Likewise, watch the road closely for sand, potholes, and excessive gravel that can cause an accident.

Take a motorcycle safety course.

A motorcycle safety course can be a real asset for new motorcyclists, and an excellent refresher for experienced riders. Before riding your new bike, search and enroll in a local motorcycle safety course.

Look twice, proceed once.

Statistics show that most motorcycle accidents happen at intersections. Before proceeding across any intersection, slow down and double check for other vehicles. If you have a stop sign, look at each car in the intersection before proceeding. If you do get in accident, do not move your bike until the police ask you to do so (or for safety reasons). Take pictures of the accident scene and consult the appropriate professionals for advice.

Most importantly, drive safe and enjoy the ride!

The materials on this website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date and should in no way be taken as an indication of future results. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and the receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between sender and receiver. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney.

Summer Safety Tips

kids swimming and having a healthy summerWisconsinites live for the fun of summer. After months of anticipation, though, summer shouldn’t be a series of ER visits and legal headaches. Use these summer safety tips to ensure that your summer is a time of fun.

Home

  • Check first aid kits to ensure they are stocked up in case of emergency.
  • Sign up for first aid training.
  • Purchase sunscreen to keep everyone safe this summer.
  • Reapply sunscreen frequently.
  • If you get fireworks and sparklers, supervise children closely to prevent burns.
  • Make sure everyone stays hydrated on hot summer days.
  • Test all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they work properly.

Yard

  • Inspect all play equipment to ensure that it is safe.
  • Supervise children when on play equipment.
  • Check for wasp and bee nests that could sting your family and visitors.
  • When bike riding, follow the rules of the road.
  • Make sure all helmets fit properly; always wear a helmet when biking, skateboarding, or riding on a scooter.
  • Inspect all lawn mowers to ensure they work properly and all safety guards are functional.
  • When doing yard work on a hot summer day, take frequent breaks to avoid heat-related illness.

Pool

  • Make sure the pool deck is not slippery. Do not allow running on the pool deck.
  • Put a proper enclosure around your pool to prevent pool accidents.
  • Always make sure the pool gate is closed.
  • Closely supervise kids in the pool (especially inexperienced swimmers).
  • Throw or extend a flotation device to a struggling swimmer to assist them without getting in trouble.
  • Never swim alone.
  • Be careful about mixing alcohol and swimming, which can lead to accidents in and around the pool.

Car

  • Make sure that all your vehicle first aid kits are stocked and conveniently located.
  • Check tire pressure in all tires to prevent accidents.
  • Bald tires do not handle as well during summer storms; replace tires with low tire tread.
  • Keep insect repellant on hand for any outdoor time (hiking, camping, etc.)
  • Check for ticks after spending time outdoors. Know the right way to remove a tick.

On the Water

  • Do a full inspection of your tow vehicle and boat to ensure safe towing and boating.
  • Use life jackets when boating or tubing.
  • Drink plenty of water when out in the sun to avoid heat-related illnesses.
  • Be careful about consuming alcohol when boating; it can impair your ability and cause accidents.

The materials on this website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date and should in no way be taken as an indication of future results. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and the receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between sender and receiver. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney.

“I’ve been in a bike accident! What do I do now?”

biker getting ready for a ride on the roadIt’s the perfect time of year to take a bike ride, and cyclists across Wisconsin are seizing the opportunity. If you’re one of them, chances are that you’ve had numerous close calls with drivers who were driving too fast or not paying attention. Sometimes those run-ins turn into a bike versus car accident, it can be hard to know what to do—and a bicycle accident can feel very different from any car accident you’ve been involved in.

While a bike accident may be different, the consequences of the accident can be similar—and some serious consequences may not show up immediately, such as a serious injury. A bike-car accident can result in lawsuits and legal action, making it imperative to take the necessary steps to protect yourself after an accident.

Take photos.

If you have a phone or camera, take as many photos as possible. Take pictures of the damage (to your bike, vehicle, clothing, and helmet), car license plate, any skid marks or landmarks, the accident scene, and any injuries. While you wait for the police to arrive, do not say anything to bystanders or the other person involved in the accident, except to collect contact and insurance information.

Make a statement.

While you shouldn’t say anything to other people on the scene, make sure that you do make a statement to the police officer on scene. Tell the police officer all details about the accident, including any injuries that you may have (even minor ones). Once the report is filed, request a copy for your records. Seek medical attention for any injuries stemming from the accident; be aware that not all injuries show up right away. Some injuries can take hours to show up or can progress from a minor condition to serious over time.

Save all documentation.

Start a file with all documentation related to the accident: photos, police report, contact information. Write down a full and complete recollection of the accident (even the most minor details), as well as information about any pain or injuries that present themselves after the accident.

Consult a lawyer.

Because it can take time to resolve issues that arise from a bicycle accident, don’t make a statement to the other motorist’s insurance company until you have contacted a local and experienced lawyer. Make sure you bring all documentation to the meeting so the lawyer gets a full picture of the situation—and you can get to the final step of a satisfactory resolution.

The materials on this website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date and should in no way be taken as an indication of future results. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and the receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between sender and receiver. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney.