What should you know before you strap on your helmet this season?
You should always be prepared for the worst. No, we don’t mean worst case scenarios like accidents (although we’re covering that in just a minute)…rather, we mean worst case situations like foul weather, extreme heat, or illness/discomfort/injury. If you are out on your bike and you hit a bad storm that requires you to take shelter under a bridge or in an area with no resources, having an easy-to-grab snack and a bottle of water on hand is a smart choice. If you are halfway through a full-day’s drive and get hit with a sudden headache or backache, having an over-the-counter pain reliever could be a lifesaver. Keeping a small emergency kit in a backpack or in one of your saddlebags is a game-changer when it comes to preparedness on the road. Stock it with a couple of bottles of water, a few easy, shelf-stable snacks, and a basic first-aid kit outfitted with pain relievers, bandages, sterile wipes, etc.
Always be ready for an accident. Every time you hit the road on your bike, you have a choice. Should you fully gear up with your helmet, sturdy shoes, and sunglasses…or not? It’s just a five-minute run down the road to the store, so it can’t be that dangerous to just jump on and go, right? WRONG. Whether you’re going a mile or a hundred miles, an accident can happen at any moment, and for motorcyclists, they are often fatal due to the lack of protection offered by a bike. Your helmet is never optional, and while shoes/sunglasses might vary from person to person, they are actually important elements of safety when on your bike. Having the right gear could save your life.
- Make emergency calls first. Even if you are uninjured, you need to call 9-1-1 to send out police to file an official report, and emergency services to provide any needed care for all victims on the scene.
- Document EVERYTHING. A police report is the most important piece of documentation, but don’t leave it at that. If possible, take your own photos of any injuries, damages to your bike and equipment, other vehicle(s) involved, and the surrounding area. These can be helpful for your insurance company and for your legal team.
- Protect your privacy. Your information needs to stay between you, your own legal representatives, and the police officers involved at the scene. Never put any information in a public forum like Facebook, Instagram, chat rooms, or even in emails to friends and family. Also, remember that insurance companies should never contact you for information. If you get a call, automatically refer them to your attorney(s) and never give away any information.