Whether you’re an accomplished motorcycle rider or you just recently started enjoying rides on North Carolina’s beautiful byways, it’s always important to remember how to keep yourself as safe as possible. Routine maintenance and alert driving are key, but there is additional gear necessary to prevent injuries.
The most crucial part of your safety gear is your helmet. In order to fully protect yourself, you need a helmet that’s been certified. Motorcycle helmets approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT) are legal requirements in North Carolina. The DOT and the Snell Foundation are the two organizations recognized in the United States for setting highest safety standards for motorcycle helmets.
The federal government creates the standards set by the DOT for helmets, while the Snell Memorial Foundation is a private non-for-profit organization. Snell’s standards, however, are known to be some of the toughest.
The impact report is one of the critical points of a helmet evaluation that both of the organizations employ. It determines how effective the helmet would be in preventing brain injuries during an accident. To ensure you can count on your helmet to keep you safe, check that it’s certified by one of these two organizations.
There’s also the importance of your other motorcycle gear, such as gloves. If you have an accident you will instinctively try to cover your face with your hands. Leaving your hands exposed, you risk permanent damage to your hands. Although gloves will not necessarily prevent bone injuries, they can help prevent painful skin injuries that may leave permanent scars. You should also consider a jacket and motorcycle jeans or a riding suit, to help prevent skin injuries.
For added safety, you can add aftermarket high intensity LED brake lights. The bright, flashing light helps others see you better when visibility is low.
Of course, part of being a safe rider includes staying up-to-date with the latest in motorcycle safety. To maintain responsible riding skills, consider continuing your education with a professional.
Our attorney Kimberly Miller has presented legal issues that affect motorcyclists at safety classes. One particular challenge she enjoys discussing and helping victims navigate is insurance. Sometimes motorcyclists are hit by underinsured or uninsured motorists and Kimberly helps them pursue recovery from the negligent party. How will an accident victim cover medical costs and motorcycle repairs if the negligent driver does not have enough insurance or is not insured at all? North Carolina has specific UM/UIM coverage requirements. If another driver’s insurance is insufficient and there are no assets to pursue, our lawyers help make sure you receive the UM/UIM coverage provided in your own policy. When necessary, we handle litigation proceedings if the victim elects to pursue the negligent party with a lawsuit.
Even the most experienced riders can benefit from taking a refresher course from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. They even provide advanced classes for more seasoned riders. Search for North Carolina motorcycle safety classes here.