Spring is in the air: 3 important steps for motorcycle preparation

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2024 | Motorcycle Accidents

The temperatures are rising, the sun is peaking out, and the open road is calling. Motorcycle riding through the scenic routes of Washington State can be an exhilarating experience and few rides are as thrilling as that first of the season after a long and bleak winter. However, the freedom of the open road comes with risks, particularly when sharing the space with larger vehicles.

One way to reduce these risks is to make sure your bike is in good working order before hitting the roads. Although the nuances will vary for each bike, three important steps that apply across the board include:

  1. Fluids. A failure to make sure the fluids are at proper levels can result in serious damage to the engine. Check gas, engine oil, and brake fluid levels before taking the bike out for a ride.
  2. Brakes. Inspect the brake lines and pads of both the front and rear tires.
  3. Tires. Check the tire pressure. Inspect the tire for flat spots, cracks, or balding.

Although these steps are a great start, they are just the beginning. Additional inspections are recommended depending on the type of motorcycle to reduce the risk of a crash.

What are common causes of motorcycle accidents?

Motorcycle accidents often result from a combination of factors that can be broadly categorized as rider error, environmental conditions, and other drivers’ actions. One of the most common causes of these crashes involves driver inattention. Drivers not seeing motorcycles in traffic can contribute to catastrophic crashes and serious injuries, including:

  • Road rash: Abrasions caused by sliding across the pavement.
  • Fractures and broken bones: High-impact crashes often result in broken limbs.
  • Head injuries: Even with a helmet, riders can sustain concussions or more severe traumatic brain injuries.
  • Spinal cord injuries: Damage to the spinal cord can lead to paralysis or other long-term disabilities.

These injuries are often more severe for a motorcycle rider because they do not have the same protection as those within a passenger car or truck.

Who is responsible for the cost of the accident?

There are instances when another driver’s reckless or careless behavior results in a motorcycle crash. In Washington, a person may be considered negligent if they fail to exercise reasonable care, resulting in harm to others. Victims who are looking to build a negligence claim generally need to establish four elements:

  • Duty of care: All drivers have a responsibility to operate their vehicles safely.
  • Breach of duty: A driver is negligent if they fail to meet this standard.
  • Causation: The negligent behavior must be the direct cause of the accident.
  • Damages: The victim must have sustained injuries or losses due to the crash.

Injured riders can collect evidence, such as witness statements, police reports, and medical records, to support their case.

Although few modes of transportation provide the same level of enjoyment and connection to the road, motorcycle riders in Washington face significant risks on the road, often due to factors beyond their control. By recognizing the common causes of accidents and the types of injuries that can occur, riders can be better prepared to protect themselves. Moreover, understanding the legal concepts of negligence and liability is important for those who have been seriously injured due to another’s actions. In the event of an accident, it is advisable to seek legal counsel to navigate the complexities of personal injury law and ensure just compensation for the harm suffered.


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