Road Safety Guide for Motorcyclists
Most drivers generally understand that the bigger the vehicle, the more responsibility the driver has to act safely. But what sort of responsibilities does a motorcyclist have? Motorbikes exist in the area between pedestrians and standard cars, so it isn’t always obvious how a motorcyclist should act in any given situation.
If you would like to discuss a specific situation with a legal representative, feel free to contact our team on 0345 872 6666, who can offer practical legal advice.
Wear A Proper Helmet
The same advice carries over from the pedal bike to a motorbike: always wear a helmet! When involved in a collision, motorcyclists are at significant risk of head trauma. Subsequently, they are also at significant risk of death due to this.
Unfortunately, some retailers and companies sell inadequate helmets that do not provide the required amount of protection. Make sure that any helmet you buy has been tested and approved by the Department for Transport.
Your helmet should also fit securely, without being too tight or loose. Your vision should remain unobstructed, and should offer adequate protection to your head. For the best results, it’s recommended to opt for a full-face helmet.
Not only are helmets one of the best ways to protect yourself in case of an accident, it is actually a legal requirement to wear one whilst on the road!
The Safety Checklist
Here is a general checklist that features some of the most important safety measures motorcyclists can take on the road:
- Wear a helmet
- Stop, look and listen.
- Keep your passengers informed on safety
- Wear reflective clothing at all times
- Maintain plenty of space
- Wear appropriate driving clothes
- Prepare for changes in the weather
- Carry a first aid kit
Be Aware Of Your Own Vulnerability
It’s not unsurprising to learn that motorcyclists are at much greater risk than road users in cars, generally speaking. The nature of motorbikes leaves riders at the mercy of the elements, vehicles and even the road itself.
In the case of collisions, riders are likely to feel the full force of a collision with very little there to protect them. Knowing this, it’s important to act with a degree of caution. It’s never worth risking a manoeuvre or lane change if you’re not 100% sure it is safe to do so. Don’t feel tempted to rush or pass vehicles if it isn’t safe to do so.
If you would like to learn more about the legal repercussions of accidents, collisions and fatalities, visit the government website.
Be Aware Of Vulnerable Users
Motorcyclists are vulnerable compared to some other road users, but there are also users who are considered more vulnerable than them. Recent advice from the Highway Code uses the Hierarchy of Road Users method. Here you can see that motorcyclists should generally give way to pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders. Conversely, larger vehicles should give way for motorcyclists.
Hierarchy of Road Users:
- Pedestrians, in particular children, older adults and disabled people
- Horse riders
- Larger vehicles
Stay Up To Date With The Highway Code
One of the best ways to ensure that you are acting legally and safely is through the Highway Code. With modern devices, you can even browse the Code at your own convenience.
For motorcycles, the Highway Code has dedicated advice and materials for bikes. Here you can find all sorts of information on legal responsibilities, manoeuvring and other general safety tips.
How To Respond To An Accident
If you find yourself involved in an accident, ensure your own safety before doing anything else. As a motorcyclist, you may be suffering from physical injury or shock, and it’s vital to follow the advice of any medical professionals who might be on the scene.
Call 999 if nobody has yet done so. Attend to any people who may need medical attention.
If the above steps are done, it’s then important to take information from anyone involved in the accident. Take the names, contact information and addresses of witnesses and those directly involved.
Take photos of the scene as well as any damage caused to the vehicles.
Finally, you will need to make a report to the police as soon as possible.
If a Car Hits Me on My Bike, Who Was at Fault?
Just because a car is bigger, it doesn’t mean that car drivers are immediately at fault in a collision. And with the nature of accidents, there is no clear cut template that can cover every kind of collision.
Because of this, it’s recommended that you seek out legal advice if you are ever involved in an accident. At JMW, our expert solicitors can provide fast and confidential advice via phone or email.
Can You Receive Compensation After an Accident? And How Much?
Compensation is possible after an accident, but it depends on fault and many other mitigating factors.
If you believe that you deserve financial compensation after an accident on your bike, please get in touch. Our JMW experts can speak confidentially and can discuss possible options for you to achieve maximum compensation. Please call our team on 0345 872 6666.