The Importance of Protective Motorcycle Gear

I am concerned when I see how some motorcyclists in Hampton Roads dress. While helmets are the law in Virginia, it’s not unusual to see riders in jeans and even flip flops. I often see motorcyclists in T-shirts. It’s worth noting that protective motorcycle gear doesn’t just make your ride more comfortable but it protects lives.

This was made apparent in a recent article in the Desert News of Utah.

The reporter spoke to a rider called Nathan Christensen who was involved in the kind of wreck two years ago that frequently leaves bikers dead.

The 39-year-old rider was on a highway when a driver made an illegal U-turn in front of him. The motorcyclist was unable to prevent crashing into her car. The impact launched him off his motorcycle and he landed him 30 feet away.

The Importance of Protective Motorcycle Gear

A motorcycle in Norfolk

Every month or so in Hampton Roads, a rash turn or a U-turn by a driver leads a motorcyclist to be killed or seriously injured.

Christensen sustained no less than six broken ribs, a broken collarbone, a broken shoulder blade, a concussion, a punctured lung, and other injuries. The rider was even more shocked medical staff at Intermountain Medical Center said the protective motorcycle gear he was wearing saved his life. He said:

“The trauma surgeon afterward told me that had it not been for my gear, they wouldn’t have been able to save me at the scene,”

Christensen was wearing most of the gear that motorcyclists should don before going out on the road. He was clad in a full helmet, riding jacket, long pants and sturdy shoes.

Had he been wearing jeans, flip flops and shorts like I see some riders wearing in and around the beaches of Hampton Roads, he would likely be dead today.

This month the scraped-up helmet and ripped riding jacket from the Utah crash were displayed at a news conference discussing motorcycle safety.

The press conference heard 19 motorcyclists died on the roads of Utah until Aug. 2017. Of these, 12 of them were not wearing helmets. In 2016, 20 of the 41 motorcyclists involved in fatal accidents were not wearing helmets.

Every year, dozens of riders are killed in Virginia. In 2014, for instance, 77 riders were killed on the roads of the Commonwealth.

Helmet use is mandatory in Virginia. However, riders often skimp on the other gear. Even in the summer, you should wear long, protective pants. These can protect you against road rash and possibly even more serious injuries that will lead to amputation.

It’s important to wear sturdy shoes or boots, gloves, and an abrasion-resistant protective jacket. When you are on two wheels, you should always be prepared for the worst.

You can find out more about the protective gear here on our personal injury blog.

As well as thinking about your clothing, your motorcycle should be a properly equipped motorcycle. Bikes should have anti-lock brakes to prevent the bike from sliding if the rider needs to slam on their brakes and traction trills to prevent sliding in the rain.

Motorcycles should have bright LED lights and bright reflectors to keep the rider safe in the dark.

If you are heading out on two wheels, it’s vital to minimize the chances of becoming a statistic as much as you can. Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers has represented injured motorcyclists for years. Please contact us for a free consultation at (757) 455-0077.

Jim Hurley

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