Alaska is full of motorcycle riders: our state has the tenth-highest per capita motorcyclists-to-population ratio in the country, according to a recent article in the Anchorage Daily News.
This article urged motorcycle riders to take steps to stay safe this motorcycle season, and we couldn’t agree more.
In the same month that was Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month (according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), at least four people died in motorcycle accidents throughout Alaska.
One Anchorage motorcyclist was killed after colliding with a truck pulling a trailer. Currently, the cause of the accident is unknown, KTUU reported.
Three other motorcyclists were killed, and another injured, in just one accident. The Anchorage Daily News reported that this accident occurred when a van collided with a pickup truck, pushing the truck into the oncoming lane. The motorcyclists, travelling together, all hit the truck. Three were declared dead on the scene, and the other was rushed to the hospital.
Taking safety precautions won’t guarantee that you will never get into an accident. The accident with the pickup, for example, wasn’t caused by the motorcyclists. However, they can reduce your risk of accidents and injury.
It’s critical that you do everything you can to stay safe while riding: you don’t have the protection of metal, seat belts, or air bags on a motorcycle, and an accident can result in serious injury—even death.
The past president and founder of The Roadracing Association of Alaska, Sam Combs, offered a number of tips for safe riding. Consider the following:
- Wear proper gear. Bandanas and beanie helmets may look cool, but they’ll do nothing to protect you in a crash. Wear a full face helmet, gloves, boots, and an armored jacket and pants. Combs said that he also wears a vest called “Hit-Air” that inflates to protect his upper body if he is ever thrown from his motorcycle.
- Take advantage of new safety features. Motorcycles are becoming safer: pick one that has traction control and ABS braking systems to reduce your risk of falling. Alaska roads are often covered with debris that can be dangerous.
- Take a riding course. If you’re a beginner, this is essential. But even if you’re a veteran, your skills could still be honed. As Combs said, “You’re never too experienced to learn.”
- Drive defensively. Some drivers may be texting, talking on their phone, eating, talking to passengers, and otherwise distracted. Still others may be impaired by alcohol or drugs. Assume that other drivers don’t see you and could potentially make a wrong move at any point.
- Don’t stay in blind spots. Make sure that you are as visible as possible by wearing bright colors and using your headlights. Get out of drivers’ blind spots as soon as possible.
- Keep your motorcycle in good condition. Make sure that your tires, brakes, fluids, and controls are working properly before every ride.
- Learn first aid. In the unfortunate event that you get in an accident or see an accident happen to someone else, it helps to know what to do.
At Kelley & Canterbury LLC, our personal injury attorneys have seen too often the devastating effects of a motorcycle accident. The injuries sustained are often life changing.
We want you to be safe and enjoy motorcycle season!