Riding a motorcycle is fun, but it can also be risky because of the actions of others on the road. Unlike other vehicles, you don't have much protection if you crash. Additionally, riding a motorcycle can be dangerous on roads with a lot of potholes or if you're riding in unsafe weather conditions. Below are some tips for staying safe while riding.

Staying Safe on a Motorcycle in Wisconsin

  • Take a Safety Course: Riding a motorcycle requires good judgment and skill, and a safety course will help you achieve that. A motorcycle safety course will teach you the rules of the road and what to do in unpredictable riding situations.
  • Wear Appropriate Gear: The right gear will protect you from debris, road rash, and the elements. Your gear should feature a helmet, leather jacket, eye protection, leather pants, over the ankle boots, and non-slip gloves. Appropriate protective gear can significantly reduce the risk of injuries or fatalities.
  • Keep Your Bike Maintained: Replace the air filter, change the oil regularly, and maintain your bike's tire pressure. Inspecting your motorcycle before you hit the road is also a good idea. Check your turn signals, headlights, taillights, fuel, brakes, handlebars, and mirrors.
  • Stay Alert: Being aware of your surroundings and riding defensively can prevent motorcycle accidents that could be caused by dangerous driving.
  • Maintain a Safe Distance: Riding too closely behind another vehicle is unsafe. It is advisable to stay a few seconds away from the car or motorcycle in front of you. This allows you enough space to stop during an emergency. Additionally, you should always have an escape route in mind if you cannot stop in time.
  • Be Visible: One of the most significant mistakes riders make is assuming they are visible to other motorists. Most motorcycle accidents are a result of drivers not seeing the motorcycle. You can stay visible by avoiding other motorists' blind spots, driving with a headlight, and wearing reflective clothing. Using your hand and turn signals can also help ensure you are visible.

Common Motorcycle Road Hazards

  • Distracted or Drunk Drivers: Although it may not be easy to identify if someone is drunk driving, it is wise to be attentive to your surroundings and take appropriate measures.
  • Rain or Snow: The hazardous weather can create slippery and unsafe road conditions. Avoid riding while it is raining or snowing.
  • Tar or Debris: Since tar has a different texture from asphalt, it can compromise traction. Additionally, parts of tire treads and other debris on the road can be hazardous to motorcycles.

Contact a Milwaukee Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today

If you or your loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident in Wisconsin, working with a Milwaukee motorcycle accident attorney is in your best interest. 

At Natasha Misra Law, we are equipped to offer the guidance you need to know whether you are entitled to compensation. We will provide the representation you need to pursue compensation if you qualify. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Natasha Misra law is experienced representing injured cyclists. Because cyclists are largely unprotected when up against a motor vehicle, we understand that accidents can cause traumatic and lasting injuries. We work with accident victims to help them recover the compensation they need to recover financially.

What Happens When The Accident Is Caused By A Cyclist?

Under Wisconsin law, a cyclist’s own negligence does not bar recovery if his negligence was not “greater than the negligence of the person against whom recovery is sought.” Rather, the cyclist’s damages would be reduced in proportion to the extent to which he was negligent. 

In other words, if a cyclist was only 40% at fault, then he will still be able to recover up to 60% of his available damages. However, if he was deemed 60% at fault, he would be barred from recovery.

What Are Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents?

All forms of negligent or reckless driving can cause collisions with bicyclists. However, other causes include:

  • Low visibility: Bikes are small and may be hard to see, particularly at dusk or on narrow, winding roads. 
  • Distracted driving: Drivers may be distracted by phones, music, other passengers, and more. This can lead them to drive recklessly, take their eyes off the road, and strike an unsuspecting cyclist.
  • Road or weather conditions: Sometimes, accidents are unavoidable tragedies. A car may slip on ice, hydroplane, experience a tire blowout, or otherwise swerve into a cyclist. Similarly, poor road conditions like potholes can send a vehicle off course. 
  • Failure to yield: If a driver fails to yield to a biker as they are legally required, they can strike and seriously injure - or even kill - a cyclist.

How to Prevent Bike Accidents

Defensive driving is the most effective way to avoid a collision with a biker. Maintain the speed limit, pay attention to the road, eliminate distractions, obey all posted signage, yield, obey traffic signals, and let others have the right of way. Above all, always keep a lookout: even if you are doing everything you can and should to stay safe, other drivers - or even cyclists - may not be. Who was doing the “right thing” simply won’t matter if you end up in a lethal collision, so put your pride aside and drive safely, even if someone else is acting reckless.

What To Do After A Bike Accident

You should immediately reach out to a personal injury lawyer for guidance on the right steps to take. However, in general, you should also:

  • Call the police: A law enforcement officer will investigate the cause of your crash and record the facts in an official accident report. Your attorney will use this report to prove your case down the road should you decide to file a claim.
  • Exchange information with involved parties: Gather contact information from the motorist who hit you, as well as any eyewitnesses. Be sure to take down their names, phone numbers, addresses, and drivers’ license and insurance information. 
  • Snap photos: If possible, take photos of the accident scene, including the vehicles involved.
  • Seek medical treatment: It is vital to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Some injuries may not present for days or even weeks after the accident, so take time to ensure you’ve identified any serious latent injuries.
Natasha Misra

My law practice is dedicated to helping people who have suffered injuries in accidents which were not their fault. Born and raised in Milwaukee, I come from a family of medical professionals. My background and experience help me understand and represent individuals injured in accidents.