What’s the Safest Way to Fall Off a Motorcycle in a Crash to Avoid Serious Injury?
If you ride a motorcycle, you’ve probably heard that it isn’t a matter of if you fall; it’s a matter of when. The truth is that most riders experience a motorcycle crash at least once. Learning the right way to fall early on can mean fewer injuries to you and damage to your bike.
Before you start riding, make sure you know some basics. Even experienced riders take courses to brush up and learn new ways to keep themselves safe once the riding season starts again. You should also make sure your motorcycle is well maintained and its size fits your body height and weight.
Having insurance coverage and riding unimpaired should also be standard practice to help keep you safe and protect your rights if you are involved in an accident.
Safety checks and inspecting six key areas of your motorcycle are recommended by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) prior to each ride. The acronym T-CLOCS helps riders remember the areas to inspect.
T stands for tires and wheels; there shouldn’t be bulges or foreign objects in the tires, and spokes and rims should be straight, with none missing. Be sure to check your brake pads, too.
C is for controls; they should all work correctly, handlebars and grips should be straight, and the throttle should move easily. Check levers, pedals, hoses, and cables during this step.
L is the lights and electrics. Check your batteries, headlamps, brake lights, wiring, and switches.
Oil and other fluids are O and include fuel, coolant, hydraulic, and transmission fluids, seals, gaskets, and hoses, and looking for signs of leaks.
The second C stands for the chassis, check gussets, and mounts for cracks and damage, test your bearings and bushings, and make sure your chain and belt look fine.
Finally, S is for the stands; you want to ensure your motorcycle can support itself when you finish your ride. Make sure your center and side stands aren’t cracked or bent and your springs have enough tension to hold your bike up.
In the middle of a crash, there isn’t a lot of control, obviously, but there is usually a brief time right before the incident when you can try to at least slow down and, hopefully, avoid obstacles. You’ll want to try and look for the softest spot to land.
A tumbling motorcycle can easily crush a rider, so let go of your bike immediately once you’ve hit the ground. Try and tuck your appendages in, and roll with the fall. Using your arms and legs to brace yourself or prevent the impact leads to broken bones.
Once you are on the ground, you can spread your arms and legs and add drag to slow your momentum, like a baseball player stealing home base. Relaxing your body as much as possible can help keep damage to ligaments, tendons, and softer tissue to a minimum, too.
Give yourself a few seconds once you think you’ve stopped moving. This gives you time to check your balance and regain your bearings. There’s no real need to stand right away, so you can crawl to safety without becoming a hazardous distraction to other motorists before doing a head-to-toe injury check on yourself.
Manage Your Surroundings
The next thing you want to do is check your scene. Find out where your bike is and if anything else, like another vehicle or motorist, was involved. Ascertain whether there is danger in the immediate area, and make yourself and others safe.
An ambulance and the police should be called immediately. Essential steps to take at the scene include talking to witnesses, asking for a police report, and taking notes and photographs of evidence, damage, and injuries.
Getting contact information for anyone who witnessed the crash is essential for filing a claim. The police report also provides important information to document the crash, official statements regarding the scene, and any evidence of fault.
Victims of a crash in Missouri also have the right to call a Missouri motorcycle accident lawyer to pursue filing a claim. Hiring a personal injury attorney can help you navigate the path to financial recovery.
Cofman Townsley can help you determine your rights and what claims should be filed to protect your interests. If you’re in Missouri or Southern Illinois, contact us for more information or to set up a free consultation.