A simple Google search of the keywords “teen,” “fatal” and “motorcycle” turns up a list of tragic accidents from coast to coast. Motorcycles and teenagers are a dangerous and intoxicating mix of speed, adventure, risk and freedom. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, traffic accidents are the number one killer of teenagers in the country. An estimated 10 to 12 teenage motorcyclists are treated in hospital emergency rooms every week in every city in the United States.
Motorcycle safety for all
Most accidents involving teenage motorcyclists are caused by excessive speed and alcohol use. While it should not need to be said, teenage drivers should obey speed limits and never drink prior to taking the wheel. Here are a few more safety rules for teenage motorcycle riders:
- Wear a helmet — Helmet use significantly increases chances of survival in a crash, and it prevents debilitating head and brain injuries.
- Obey traffic rules — Avoid passing on the right or swerving around cars.
- Use directional signals — Always alert other vehicles to your intentions.
- Use caution in inclement weather — Wet or icy roads are slippery and can easily cause a biker to lose control.
- Use your mirrors — Regularly check the surrounding traffic.
- Maintain your bike — Keep brakes and tires in good condition, and check lights and reflectors regularly.
Teenagers wishing to obtain a motorcycle license have the option to take California Motorcyclist Safety Program (CMSP). This class gives riders the opportunity to learn the rules governing the operation of a motorcycle and to practice driving skills in a controlled environment.
Tips for parents of teenage drivers
Parents can help raise safe drivers by setting a safe example. Parents who ride motorcycles should be vigilant about helmet use, obeying speed limits and driving in a courteous and defensive manner. It is also crucial that parent drivers maintain their calm behind the wheel and refrain from using any vehicle as a weapon or as a means of expressing rage on roadways.
Motorcycle accidents commonly result in serious injuries. If you are involved in a wreck, speak to a California motorcycle accident attorney today.