According to Maureen Finnegan, MD, professor at the University of Texas and orthopaedic surgeon at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, most motorcycle injuries involve the extremities and the spinal cord. Majority of fatalities are results of head injuries. Thus, she said that the most important tip for motorcycle safety is to wear a helmet. Wearing helmets are estimated to be 29 percent effective in preventing fatal injuries and 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries for motorcyclists. Another thing is the wearing of proper clothing in riding and of course, really learning how to ride a motorcycle and handle certain situations throughout the ride.
Here are other helpful tips in preventing motorcycle injuries:
• Get professionally trained in motorcycle riding. Research shows that more than 90 percent of all riders that were involved in crashes are just self-taught or taught by friends.
• Secure your license to drive. Nearly 27 percent or one out of four motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes in 2001 was not properly licensed.
• Do not drink and ride. Those most at risk in getting into accidents are inebriated motorcyclists.
• Use helmets that meet the DOT (Department of Transportation) standards.
• Wear protective clothing – this includes goggles or sun shades for eye protection, jacket, full- fingered gloves, long pants and over-the-ankle boots.
• Make sure that your motorcycle clothing and gears are made of abrasion-resistant material, such as leather. Avoid loose, flailing clothing that could impair your vision.
• Wearing brightly colored garments may help other vehicles see/notice you.
• Proper maintenance and monitoring of your bike is of high importance. Observe proper lane positioning of your bike to further increase your visibility to drivers. Keeping a "space cushion" between your bike and other traffic should also be kept in mind.
• Avoid sharing a lane with a car since its driver may not expect you to be there or may not become aware of your presence. Most drivers look out for other bigger vehicles that they may fail to notice you instantly unless something has happened already.
• Ride according to your skill level. Never overestimate yourself. -30-
About The Author
Kay Zetkin discovered the pleasure of writing through her daily journals as a teen-ager. Writing in it helped sort out her thoughts, relieve her feelings and record what she observes of the world.
For her, writing is an effective tool to express your viewpoints... To write is already to choose, thus, writing should be done along with a critical mind and a caring soul. She hopes to become more professional, skilled and mature in her craft.
Aside from writing Kay spends her time reading. Reading lets her travel to far-off imagined places and situations. She also learns a lot from devouring books, especially from the socio-political and historical ones.
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