Evansville is located in southern Indiana along the Ohio River and supports a large Hoosier population of motorcycle enthusiasts.
For more than 10 years, the Mid America Motorcycle Festival has come to Evansville, Indiana. Motorcycle fans from all over the country travel to the heart of downtown Evansville every year to check out the latest in bike parts and accessories.
Riding a motorcycle provides a sense of freedom and can be exhilarating. However, motorcyclists must remember that other drivers can drive recklessly and cause terrible motorcycle accidents.
You cannot control how other people drive or ride around you. However, you can take certain safety precautions to decrease your likelihood of a motorcycle accident. Here are some tips for how to protect yourself from an Evansville motorcycle accident.
1. Wear a Helmet
In Indiana, you are not required to wear a helmet unless you are under the age of 18. However, we would still highly recommend that you wear a helmet whenever you ride your motorcycle.
There is a common misconception that science does not support the theory that wearing a helmet increases your safety. However, many studies show that although helmets aren’t 100 percent effective, they still contribute greatly toward protecting riders in the event of an accident.
For example, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found in 2015 that helmets are about 37 percent effective in preventing motorcycle deaths. That may sound low, but they also found that helmets are around 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries. That means wearing a helmet decreases your likelihood of death by a more than a third and your likelihood of a traumatic brain injury by about two-thirds. Such impressive numbers should encourage people to take motorcycle helmets more seriously.
But those are national statistics. How does this apply to people in Evansville?
Let’s take a look at Indiana statistics. In 2015, 58.3 percent of riders involved in a fatal motorcycle accident were not wearing helmets. But that number itself is the lowest it’s ever been. From 2006 to 2014, an average of 75.4 percent of riders in fatal Indiana motorcycle accidents weren’t wearing helmets. Getting down to 58.3 percent is a recent development. It’s also worth noting that 2015 had the lowest number of motorcycle fatalities total in Indiana.
Unfortunately, we don’t have the data for Evansville-specific motorcycle accidents. But if national and state statistics show that wearing a helmet increases a rider’s safety, you can bet that Evansville statistics would show the same thing.
2. Wear Other Appropriate Gear
Hopefully we’ve convinced you that wearing a helmet is the least you can do to ensure a safe ride. Now it’s time to consider other safety gear.
If you’re under the age of 18, you have to wear some form of eye protection when riding a motorcycle. That could be protective glasses, goggles, or transparent face shields. Older riders might consider purchasing some protective eye gear as well.
Regardless of your age, you should also invest in some ear plugs. At typical highway speeds, the sound of the wind noise alone is 103 dB. That’s equivalent to a running chainsaw. You can cause tinnitus and permanent hearing damage at that level. Helmets don’t necessarily dampen the noise; in some cases, they may actually enhance it. That’s why ear plugs are so important.
You should also consider how you’re protecting the rest of your body in case of a motorcycle accident. Your head and neck are important, but what about your torso or legs? In a motorcycle accident, you lose an additional millimeter of flesh for every mile per hour you’re going over 30 mph. Denim jeans and a leather jacket just won’t cut it in a serious motorcycle accident. You need to invest in real gear that’s made to withstand an accident.
Lastly, don’t forget your hands and feet. Gloves can protect your hands if you throw them out to try to catch yourself in a motorcycle accident. Such a reflex is great when you trip on the sidewalk, but can cause terrible injuries if you’re speeding toward the ground at 45 miles per hour. Any boots you purchase should have non-slip soles to avoid any twisting. Many experienced riders take for granted how important it is to be able to just keep upright on a motorcycle even when it’s not moving. You can still injure yourself by falling at a standstill. Quality boots will give you the support you need to stay upright.
3. Stand Out
Good eye protection will ensure that you’re able to see during bad weather, but can other drivers see you? Ditch the all-black biker look and go for bright colors instead to increase your visibility. You might want to add reflective tape to your motorcycle as well.
You should also stay in the middle of the lane to make sure you remain visible to all vehicles around you. Lane splitting is illegal, so staying in the middle of your lane will also help you follow the law.
Try to also keep equal distance between the car in front of you and the car behind you. That way, if the car in front of you brakes suddenly, you and the car behind you will both have enough time to stop without hitting each other.
Help from an Evansville Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney at Hensley Legal Group today. We have helped the residents of Evansville with many accident cases and look forward to the chance to help you. Don’t think you have to go it alone. Our team of experienced attorneys are here to help you get what you deserve. Call Hensley Legal Group today or contact us online for a free consultation.