With summer just around the corner, and many Albertans are thinking about hitting the open roads on their motorcycles. Whether you’re eyeing up a scenic K-Country ride, a tour of the Southern Albertan Badlands, or even the breathtaking views along Highway 93, safety is key to getting the most out of your next road trip.
To help you start planning, you’ll find six of James H. Brown and Associates’ top tips for highway motorcycle safety this spring, as well as information on how we can help after an accident.
1. Wear Your Gear
Safety gear is never optional, especially not on the highway. Approved helmets, eye wear, gloves, and full leather gear should always be worn when you’re on the open road. It can (literally) save your skin in the event of an accident.
2. Consider Taking a Refresher Course
Part of living in Alberta is not being able to ride your bike year-round. Before hitting the highway, consider taking a refresher course with a professional organization. Motorcycle safety courses are a great way to learn about dealing with unexpected hazards on Southern Alberta highways.
3. Check Your Ride, Every Time
The highway is one of the worst places for a motorcyclist to pull over with a problem. Checking your ride before heading out doesn’t take long, and it can save you from a long wait for a tow truck, or worse. Make sure you’re gassed up, your tires and rims are in good shape, all your lights are working, and your chain and engine are in good working order.
4. Ride Unimpaired
Like any other motor vehicle, motorcycles can’t be driven safely (or legally) under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Don’t put yourself and others at risk; it just isn’t worth it.
That said, you don’t have to be intoxicated to be impaired. A day on the highway can take a lot out of you, and even the most experienced riders need breaks to let their mind and body recharge. Many of the worst motorcycle accidents occur when fatigue starts to set in, so take a break when you need it.
5. Save Your Hearing
Hearing is an essential sense for all drivers, but motorcycles pose unique challenges for riders. In addition to engine noise, many riders listen to music or communicate with others via intercom. On the highway, keep non-essential radio chatter to a minimum, and consider wearing earplugs for longer trips to prevent ear fatigue and hearing damage.
6. Maintain Safe Following Distances
Just because motorcycles have shorter stopping distances doesn’t mean you can follow other vehicles closer. Always maintain safe and appropriate following distances with other vehicles, and make safe, controlled passes when necessary. Give vehicles carrying big or unstable loads extra room, and avoid riding in anyone’s blind spot.
What to Do if You’re Injured in a Motorcycle Accident
Each year, countless individuals are injured in motorcycle accidents on Alberta highways. If it happens to you or someone you’re riding with, take the following steps to protect yourself and your loved ones:
- Seek medical attention. No matter how minor your injuries appear, it’s never a bad idea to get checked out after any accident. Even seemingly “minor” injuries can worsen over time, and many insurance companies will doubt the severity of your injuries if you don’t get them looked at right away. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially if you have to pursue a claim.
- Start documenting damages. If a motorcycle accident prevents you from working, leads to additional expenses, or otherwise changes your day-to-day routine, keep track of it. We encourage all of our clients to keep a journal of “damages” and lifestyle changes caused by their accident. If you need to make a claim or seek a settlement, this information will be vital for getting complete and fair compensation for your injury.
- Seek legal advice ASAP. Getting sound legal advice is the first step towards recovery after a serious injury. Alberta motor vehicle accident law is complicated; getting a professional opinion and an experienced team on your side quickly can help you secure the compensation you need to move forward.
Motorcycle Accident Injury Law with James H. Brown and Associates
For the last three decades, James H. Brown and Associates has been dedicated to standing up for accident victims across Alberta. Our team knows firsthand what it’s like to be seriously injured, and has over 200 years of combined experience getting results for our clients.
No two motorcycle accidents are the same; that’s why we offer a full range of services and support for our clients, including:
- An award-winning team of injury lawyers with an unrivaled record of success.
- Investigation and evidence preservation services, including accident reconstruction and analysis.
- Strong relationships with organizations ready to assist with rehabilitation and recovery.
- And much more!
Have You or a Loved One Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?
Contact us today to book a free, no-obligation consultation with James H. Brown and Associates’ injury lawyers.