As healthcare professionals, you may have seen firsthand the devastation caused by motorcycle accidents. Even if you don’t have direct contact with patients, chances are you’ve heard about how serious motorcycle injuries can be. Already this year there have been several deadly collisions involving motorcycles on the news.
Soon thousands will take to the road to kick off another riding season. That’s why it’s especially important for you to focus on motorcycle safety and injury prevention. Not only will you help keep yourself out of the Emergency Room, but you’ll also help prevent others from being injured in collisions involving motorcycles.
Motorcycle Safety Dos and Don’ts
- Do wear a helmet every time you ride.
- Don’t drink and ride. Ever.
- Do take a course through the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program. There are courses for all skill levels.
- Don’t wait until it’s too late to find out your brakes don’t work. Perform regular checks on your motorcycle.
- Do follow the proper staggered formation when on a group ride.
- Don’t speed or ride aggressively.
- Do wear proper riding attire – protective eyewear, gloves, thick pants, shirt with long sleeves or jacket, and over-the-ankle boots. Never wear sandals.
- Don’t ride without motorcycle insurance or health insurance. Make sure you have your own personal health insurance or are covered through your employer.
There are many more motorcycle safety tips to follow, so be sure to read about all of them. It could save your life.
After an Accident – Every Second Counts
Healthcare professionals see it all the time. After an accident, every second counts – motorcycle accidents are no exception. Carry a ‘Just in Case’ card with you at all times while riding. The card should be easy to read and waterproof, and it should have the following information: name, phone number, emergency contact information, insurance information, and any allergies or medical conditions. You also should list any over-the-counter and prescription medications you take.
If you are in a motorcycle accident, call 9-1-1 immediately to get medical treatment for anyone injured in the crash. Waiting even five minutes could mean the difference between life and death for someone with a spinal cord or traumatic brain injury.
Protect Your Legal Rights
No healthcare professional wants to be in an accident, but unfortunately, it still happens. There are several things you should do after a crash to protect your legal rights.
First, file a police report, even if it’s a minor accident. It will help protect you against any false accusations from the other parties involved. Next, preserve evidence. Use a camera (store a disposable camera on your motorcycle, or carry a camera phone) to take photos of the accident scene. Be sure to capture damage to your bike, the other vehicle(s), your injuries, and any other details that may be important. If you suspect a dangerous road condition or hazard caused the accident, take pictures of that as well.
Next, get the other driver’s name, address, birth date, phone number, driver’s license number, insurance provider, vehicle information number (VIN), license plate number, and contact information for any witnesses.
Finally, contact your insurance provider to tell them you were in an accident. Never give a recorded statement to the other party’s insurance company or even your own until you have spoken with an attorney. And, don’t sign anything until you’ve spoken with an attorney.
The Big Three: Prevention, Preparation, Protection
Riding a motorcycle can be a great hobby for healthcare workers, but you should focus on prevention, preparation, and protection. Keeping motorcycle safety in mind every time you ride is the best way to prevent accidents. Always ride defensively. Hope that you won’t be involved in a crash, but be prepared. Make sure you have insurance and carry a ‘Just in Case’ card, so that medical personnel can treat your injuries quickly and effectively. Lastly, protect yourself legally by having adequate motorcycle insurance, filing a police report, gathering information, and collecting evidence.
Attorney Edgar Snyder has over 45 years of experience helping injury victims. His Pennsylvania-based law firm, Edgar Snyder & Associates, has represented hundreds of bikers and is active in the biker community. The Edgar Snyder & Associates’ Harley-Davidson makes appearances at bike nights and rallies throughout the riding season. For more information, visit EdgarSnyder.com.