With its many curves and detours around natural hazards, Redmond's roadways present potential dangers for motorcycle riders. For teenage riders who haven't had time on the motorcycle to develop good riding skills, these hazards are especially concerning. Motorcycles are risky for teenagers, and parents should ensure teens recognize the potential hazards and follow motorcycle riding safety tips.
Motorcycle Hazards that Teen Riders Face
Motorcycles have certain elements of risk by their design. They are much smaller and weigh less than cars, so in an accident there is more of a chance of injury for the rider, who also has less protection in the event of an accident. Because they are two-wheeled vehicles, motorcycles also require more skill to operate than four-wheeled passenger vehicles.
In general, a variety of factors, including weather, traffic conditions, distractions, drunk driving, lane splitting, speeding, and vehicle and roadway defects can cause motorcycle accidents. All motorcycles are particularly vulnerable when turning left across oncoming traffic – a situation that causes many accidents.
Teen drivers also face specific hazards, like reckless driving -- not uncommon with teens, regardless of the vehicles they choose. Speeding is a concern for all teen drivers, including teen motorcyclists. Speeding reduces the time that a rider has to react to hazards, whether they are other vehicles, roadway defects, animals and more.
Tips for Safe Motorcycle Riding
In Washington, riders are required to complete a basic motorcycle safety course to qualify for a learning permit. There are also intermediate and advanced classes that teens can take to gain more riding skills after completing the basic course.
Washington requires all motorcyclists to wear a helmet. The helmet should have Department of Transportation (DOT) certification on the inside and fit snugly. Do not allow your teen to wear a novelty helmet. Many of these do not provide adequate protection.
Eye protection is required for motorcyclists, and it's a good idea to have a full face shield on the helmet. Riders also should wear proper clothing -- either leather, heavy denim or a riding suit, and gloves to reduce the risk of road rash in an accident. Boots are also important to avoid slipping off the pedals and to protect the feet and ankles.
Parents should speak with their teens extensively about the hazards they face – speeding, left turns, negligent drivers, road conditions, etc. – and go over safety tips to keep them safe. This includes exercising proper caution like refraining from speeding and using proper signals. Parents can develop a riding contract that outlines safe driving habits that their teens can sign to have access to the motorcycle.
Teens Injured By Negligent Drivers
Of course, parents and teens know that even taking all of these precautions does not eliminate all risks. Some drivers may be negligent and cause an accident. Parents can consult a local attorney if another driver caused their teen’s accident.
Max Meyers Law even offers a free book, Motorcycle Accident Secrets Unlocked. Contact our office at 425-399-7000.