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How to Prevent and Avoid a Motorcycle Accident

It's important to realize that riding a motorcycle is innately risky when you compare it to its 4-wheel counterpart. This can also explain why a lot of people enjoy the adrenaline that they get from riding at high speeds, with the wind hitting their body at great intensity. When it comes to safety, a motorcycle is a tricky machine to maneuver that requires an adequate amount of research and precautions to be resolved properly. To help you wrap your head around the safety procedures and tips you should heed to, we've created a brief guide with the most important tips.

Take Advice from Experts

If you're a new motorcyclist, you should definitely try to learn from those who have more experience in riding motorcycles. It's hard to actually expect to deal with any new problems that pop up while you're riding motorcycles, from crash-prevention maneuvers to dealing with insurance claims. Those who happen to be involved in an unfortunate motorcycle crash should prepare to pursue claims legally. You can click here to understand how personal injury lawyers handle insurance claims when it comes to personal injury in motorcycle crashes. While avoiding an accident should be your priority, you should always be prepared to handle the legal aftermath if push comes to shove.

Avoid Unnecessary Speeding

We know how tempting it is to just let loose and go at the highest speed your bike can handle at times, but that's just a recipe for disaster. Even the most safely equipped 4-wheel vehicles can't properly handle a crash at such high speeds, which means imminent and assured consequences when it comes to motorcycles. Speeding on a motorcycle is going to seriously impair your ability to react quickly and judge properly; you won't be able to clearly see turns, debris, and many other problematic obstacles. When you boil it down to simple terms, a second can sometimes be all you need to avoid an assured life-ending accident on a motorcycle.

Look Behind You

A lot of people are used to being wary of bigger vehicles than motorcycles because of the actual damage that can befall them if they don't notice it. But when it comes to motorcycles, it's easy for people to be distracted from seeing the 2-wheeler as it's relatively smaller than most other vehicles on the road, which is why the majority of crashes of motorcycles with other vehicles come from being rear-sided. If you're going to come to a stop for any reason, ensure that the way behind you is clear, in addition to flashing or signaling more than once so any driver behind you is ready to stop if they need to. Drive defensively at intersections since half of all collisions are usually there.

Avoid Riding Between Cars

Yes, riding between active vehicles is quite tempting because it can save you time in high-traffic areas, but it's not really practical if you think about it from a safety standpoint. If you're in a total traffic jam, literally any driver can innocently open their car door; suddenly you're in mid-air without your bike, suffering serious damage. Any car that suddenly pulls in front of you for any reason will leave you no room to maneuver; praying that the brakes save your life in this situation may not be enough. Riding in traffic between lanes is also illegal in many states, cities, and countries.

Drinking and Driving

It's not really a surprise that the majority of vehicle crashes are direct results from driving under the influence of a drug, which is alcohol in most cases. According to NHTSA, more than 40% of motorcyclists who died in crashes were alcohol-impaired. The risk is exponentially higher if the driver of a motorcycle is impaired by a drug, as simple crashes that can be easily avoided when you're sober can endanger your life while impaired. Keeping the bike upright and balanced takes a lot of work by itself when you're sober; doing it while you're drunk or drug-impaired is going to be a nightmare in many scenarios.

Take Weather into Consideration

Motorcyclists have the additional burden of taking the weather they're going to be riding into account before they head out. While the performance of a vehicle and a driver in terrible weather is negatively impacted, motorcyclists should take more precautions than usual. You want to make sure that your vehicle is ready to drive in the rain, wind, or any challenging scenario that can be thrown at you, in addition to researching the best methods to drive in such problematic environments if you have to.

The mechanical and electrical evolution that led to the creation of a motorcycle makes a lot of sense in terms of practicality. After all, they are faster, easier to navigate, smaller, less polluting than bigger vehicles, and have many other benefits. But without the right safety precautions and proper driving techniques, motorcycle accidents can become nightmare material.

5 min read
Self

Lessons Learned and the Power of Turning 50

Except for 16, I have celebrated all of my milestone birthdays in New York City.

I turned 16 in Arnold, Missouri. Arnold is a small town (though not small anymore) 20 miles south of St. Louis. St. Louis is known for the Gateway Arch, a beautiful arch of shiny stainless steel, built by the National Parks Service in 1935 to commemorate Thomas Jefferson's vision of a transcontinental U.S. St. Louis is also known for its custard, a frozen dessert that is so thick, they hand it to you upside down with a spoon inside. Something else about St. Louis you should know is that there is a courthouse just steps from the base of the Gateway Arch where one of the most important cases in history was tried: Dred Scott v. Sanford.

I'm turning 50 during what I define as a miraculous time to be alive.

Mr. Scott was born into enslavement around 1799 and, in 1830, was sold to a military surgeon who traveled back and forth between his military posts in Illinois and Wisconsin, where slavery was prohibited under the Missouri Compromise of 1820. In 1842 the doctor and Mr. Scott both married, and they, all four, returned to St. Louis. Still enslaved, Dred Scott filed a lawsuit against the doctor's wife for his and his wife Harriet's freedom. We don't know exactly why he chose this moment in time to file a lawsuit, however, he did. At the time of filing his, now, famous lawsuit, he was 50 years old. Ultimately, The Scott family did not gain their freedom, but their profound courage in filling this case helped ignite the Civil War and what we would come to know (or think we know) as freedom from enslavement for all human beings. Powerful then and even more powerful now.

My next milestone was turning 21, and I did it in the Big Apple. Having only moved to "the city that never sleeps" a few months prior, I knew nobody except my new friends, the bus-boys from the restaurant I was working at, Patzo's on the Upper West Side. And, yes, pazzo is actually the correct spelling of the Italian word, which translates to "crazy." Trust me we all had several laughs about the misspelling and the definition going hand in hand. I worked a full shift, closing out at around 11 PM, when, my kitchen team came out from the line with a cake singing, "Cumpleaños Feliz." It was fantastic. And the kindness of these almost-strangers was a powerful reminder of connection then as it still is today almost 29 years later.

I design the life I desire and the Universe creates it for me every day. I show up, keep the story moving, and work hard because I am relentlessly devoted to making the world a better place and this is how I choose to leave my legacy.

When I turned 30, I had just finished a European tour with Lucinda Childs dance company. The company had been on tour for months together and were inseparable. We traveled through Paris, Vienna, Lisbon, and Rome. We ate together, we rode on a bus together, we had drinks after shows together, and we even took turns giving company class to get warmed up before a show. It was deeply meaningful and dreamy. We ended the tour back in New York City at BAM, The Brooklyn Academy of Music. It was an incredible way to end the tour, by being on our home court, not to mention I was having an important birthday at the culmination of this already incredible experience.

So, when I invited everyone to join me at Chelsea Pier's Sky Rink to ice skate in late August, I was schooled really quickly that "tour" does not mean you are friends in real life, it means you are tour friends. When the tour ends, so does the relationship. I skated a few laps and then went home. This was a beautiful lesson learned about who your real friends are; it was powerful then as it is today.

Turning 40 was a completely different experience. I was in a serious relationship with my now-husband, Joe. I had just come off of a successful one-woman dance show that I produced, choreographed, and danced in, I had just choreographed a feature film, John Turturro's Romance and Cigarettes, with A-list actors, including Kate Winslet and James Gandolfini, who became a dear friend and had even been on the red carpet with Susan Sarandon at the Venice Film Festival for the movie a year earlier.

And I encourage all women to identify their power and choose to be fully in your power at any age.

This was a very special birthday, and I had, in those 10 years between 30 and 40, come to cultivate very real friendships with some wonderful colleagues. We all celebrated at a local Italian restaurant, Etcetera Etcetera (who is delivering for those of you in NYC — we order weekly to support them during COVID), a staple in the theater district. Joe and I were (and are) regulars and, of course, wanted to celebrate my 40th with our restaurant family and friends. We were upstairs in the private room, and it was really lovely. Many of those in attendance are no longer with us, including Joe's Dad, Bob Ricci, and my dear friend Jim Gandolfini having transitioned to the other side. Currently, that restaurant is holding on by a thread of loving neighbors and regulars like us. Life is precious. Powerful then and today even more so.

I write this article because I'm turning 50, still in New York City. However, I'm turning 50 during what I define as a miraculous time to be alive. And I could not be more filled with hope, love, possibility, and power. This year has included an impeachment hearing, a global pandemic, and global protests that are finally giving a larger platform to the Black Lives Matter movement. Being able to fully embody who I am as a woman, a 50-year-old woman who is living fully in purpose, takes the cake, the rink, and the party.

I'm making movies about conversations around race. I've been happily married for 11 years to the love of my life, Joe Ricci. I'm amplifying and elevating the voices of those who have not previously had a platform for speaking out. I choose who to spend time with and how long! I design the life I desire and the Universe creates it for me every day. I show up, keep the story moving, and work hard because I am relentlessly devoted to making the world a better place and this is how I choose to leave my legacy. Being 50 is one of the most amazing things I ever thought I could experience. And I encourage all women to identify their power and choose to be fully in your power at any age. I'm 50 and powerful. Dred Scott was 50 and powerful. This powerful lesson is for today and tomorrow. We have the power. No matter what age you are, I invite you to use your powerful voice to join me in making the world a better place.