Motorcycle riding is popular in Clinton, where enthusiasts can take advantage of the year round temperate climate as well as a number of major motorcycle rallies which are held in our state each year. Combining the advantages of great fuel economy, the potential for social interactions with other bikers, and the thrill factor involved in having the wind in your hair and your hand on the throttle as you race around on two wheels, it is no wonder that people are taking the leap to becoming a motorcycle owner themselves.
While purchasing a motorcycle is exciting and can be a good investment, becoming a bike is more than just about looking cool. At the Joye Law Firm, our experienced Clinton accident attorney frequently handles cases involving motorcycle accidents and the injuries that result. Due to the unprotected nature of a motorcycle, even a slight fender bender with another vehicle can leave you suffering serious and potentially life threatening injuries. To help ensure your safety, we have assembled the following tips for buying a motorcycle, as well as some safety advice to be aware of both on and off the road.
Tips for Buying a Motorcycle
Few things can compare with the thrill of riding a motorcycle, but before making this type of investment, there are some things you need to be aware of up front. According to Digital Trend’s motorcycle buying guide, the first thing you need to be aware of is the type of motorcycle that would be best suited to your purposes and experience level. There are sport bikes, cruisers, and motorcycles designed specifically for touring and long trips, each with its own design and power capabilities. The best bet for beginners may be a standard model, which is the most common type of motorcycle, offering a smooth ride and allowing the driver to sit more upright, similar to how you would when driving a car. Digital Trends advises that key features to consider in any motorcycle you are thinking of purchasing include the following:
- Engine size: Engine size is often included in the name of the motorcycle, and is usually measured in cubic centimeters (CCs). More CCs does not always mean more power, as the speed and performance capabilities have more to do with how the engine is tuned.
- Motorcycle weight: Heavier bikes are generally better if you intend to do a lot of highway riding, but bear in mind the more the bike weighs, the harder it will be to get it upright when it tips over, something that happens to all riders at some point or another.
- Seat height: You do not want to be too low, but you do want to make sure both feet touch the ground when sitting on your motorcycle. Digital Trends going to a motorcycle dealership trying out a few different sizes to find the height that is right for you.
If you are a beginner motorcyclist, you may want to consider buying a used motorcycle, as opposed to investing in a newer model. Buying something pre-owned will save you money, while helping you feel better about the dents and pings that are likely to result as an inexperienced rider.
Safety Gear to Prevent Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Once you have bought your motorcycle, invest the additional money to buy the appropriate safety gear to help protect you in the event of an accident. Important items to buy include the following:
- Motorcycle boots to protect your feet and ankles while riding;
- Long pants to protect yourself from exhaust burns and contact with hot engine parts;
- A leather or denim jacket to protect yourself from cuts and road burns in the event of an accident;
- Gloves to maintain a tighter grip on the steering wheel;
- Sunglasses or goggles, to protect against glare and objects that fly up from the road.
According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, while the Palmetto State does not require helmets, wearing one is a good idea anyway. Using a helmet at all times when riding reduces your risk of being killed in a motorcycle accident by as much as 75 percent, while also helping to prevent against neck and facial injuries and head trauma, one of the most common and debilitating types of injuries motorcyclists suffer.
Motorcycle Laws and Safety Tips
In addition to making sure you have the appropriate riding gear, make sure you are in compliance with South Carolina motorcycle laws. The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) motorcycle guide book is a valuable resource for beginning bikers, and offers information on obtaining a motorcycle license and insurance, in addition to a summary of the laws governing motorcyclists in our state. Once your motorcycle is properly registered, licensed, and insured, spend some time getting familiar with your bike, its parts, and how it rides before heading out on the open road. The SCDMV urges riders to always use caution when operating their motorcycle, and to follow these safety tips to help prevent accidents and injuries:
- Avoid distractions while driving. Keep your eyes on the road, and watch for changes in traffic patterns that could require a quick response.
- Use your rearview mirror to spot motorists who are following too closely or attempting to pass.
- Make sure your headlights and brake work properly, and learn hand signals for making turn.
- Ride single file with other bikers, and stay in the center of the lane;
- The same as with any other vehicle, never operate a motorcycle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
In a Motorcycle Accident? Contact Our Clinton Accident Attorney Today
If you or someone you love is involved in a motorcycle accident, contact the Joye Law Firm right away. Our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys understand the serious damages that can result from these types of injuries, and the impacts they can have on nearly every aspect of your life. You may require ongoing medical care, while being unable to work or even engage in hobbies and activities with friends and loved ones. We can advise you on how to hold responsible parties accountable, and assist you in getting the compensation you deserve. Serving Clinton and the surrounding areas, call or contact our office online today for a free case consultation.