How Proper Equipment can Reduce Injuries
The other day I was driving down a fairly heavily trafficked street. I noticed a motorcycle behind me; he wasn’t driving recklessly (aside from not wearing a helmet), and was keeping a safe distance back. As I approached an intersection, cars were backed up more than usual, and I hit my brakes firmly. It wasn’t a sudden stop, but faster than usual.
I heard a loud scraping sound and what sounded like something shattering. A glance in my mirror showed the biker on the ground behind me. Traffic stopped, I quickly pulled over, and helped the rider move his motorcycle off the main road and onto a side street. He was shaken up, one arm had bad road rash, but otherwise no serious injuries.
It turns out that he hadn’t expected traffic to stop like it did, and wasn’t paying close enough attention. Braking hard caused him to lay the bike down. Fortunately, no other vehicles were involved, and his motorcycle suffered what appeared to be merely cosmetic damage.
The incident could have been a lot worse. His heavy, Harley-style motorcycle had crash bars that protected his legs, and other motorists stopped in time preventing further collisions. Let’s see what the Car Crash Captain says about riding with the right safety equipment installed.
What are Crash Bars Anyway?
Crash bars attach to the sides of the motorcycle, beneath the fuel tank, and in front of the feet (see the images on this page for those visual folks). They can come with the bike, or can be added on afterward.
These simple metal devices are sturdy and solid, and serve an important purpose to protect the rider.
Why Are Crash Bars Important?
Crash bars protect against three issues that arise during a wreck.
Protect the Rider – When a bike goes down, the rider goes down with it. Often the motorcycle will land on top of the rider and crush a leg between the heavy piece of equipment and the road. Crash bars keep the bike up off the roadway just a bit, so the leg doesn’t get smashed.
Protect the Motorcycle – Crashing on a motorcycle is going to cause damage. Proper crash bars can mean the difference between cosmetic damage, and something much more serious and costly.
Protect Others – When a biker wrecks, the pieces of bike can hit other vehicles. Crash bars provide structural integrity to the motorcycle, and reduce impact on the road. This means less debris flying off into traffic and posing hazards to others.
Other Safety Gear to Consider
Keep in mind that while crash bars are a great way to reduce the impact, they’re not designed to take the place of other proper safety equipment.
Clothing – Wearing a motorcycle jacket (one that is abrasion resistant), the individual in the story at the beginning of this blog would not have had a severely scraped arm.
Helmet – A full helmet that is DOT approved should be worn at all times. One that covers the entire face is especially protective.
Colors – Brighter clothing is easier to see.
There are plenty of other safety tips and gear, we have talked about them in our post about staying safe while riding.
Come to Herbert Law Group after a Motorcycle Wreck in Texas
No matter how much safety gear you have, there will always be other motorists out there that aren’t being safe.
If you have had the unfortunate circumstance of being in a motorcycle wreck due to someone else’s negligence, we should talk about how to make sure the insurance company is paying you what you deserve.