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The Impact of Fatigue on Motorcycle Riders

Posted on: July 9th, 2024

Motorcycle riders know that riding is more physically demanding than driving a car. It’s part of the attraction, but it can also contribute to potential dangers on the road. If you get fatigued while riding, you might be at an increased risk for motorcycle accidents.

It’s critical to understand the impact of fatigue on your riding ability and how to avoid accidents while on the road. However, it’s also important to know that your fatigue is not an excuse for a careless or reckless driver who put you at risk. Even if you were fatigued at the time of your motorcycle accident, you can likely still get compensation for any injuries or property damage caused by the negligence of another driver.

What Fatigue Does to Motorcycle Riders

impact of fatigue on motorcycle ridersMotorcycle riding demands physical strength and mental acuity to keep safe on the road. Just maneuvering the motorcycle makes significant demands on your muscles. Tight and long turns are particularly demanding, and exhaustion builds up over time.

When you are fatigued, your performance will decline as you experience:

You need to be alert to avoid hazards on your motorcycle. From an unexpected maneuver by a driver to objects on the road, you need to be aware of potential dangers. Your ability to recognize hazards is affected by your vision, which can be impaired by long hours on the road. People forget that they have muscles in their eyes and these muscles get tired out by constant exertion, too, making it harder for you to see hazards.

Once you identify a hazard, you need to be able to react to it, and fatigue slows your reaction time. Fatigue also affects your decision-making, which may cause you to take too long deciding how to respond to a hazard or cause you to make a poor decision about how to respond.

No matter what decision you make about a road hazard, fatigue will make it harder for you to execute any maneuver in response. Your tired muscles may not have the strength to perform the maneuver, or you may not have the fine motor control necessary to perform it as well as you might when you’re fresh.

Even if you respond properly to a hazard, your fatigue may cause you to get irritated or angry at a stupid or inattentive driver, which can escalate to road rage.

All of these factors can increase your risk of accidents when you’re fatigued.

Recognizing the Signs of Fatigue

So how do you know when you’re starting to experience rider fatigue? It can be hard to tell when your performance is affected, but some key warning signs to watch for include:

Some of these warning signs are clear indications that your riding ability is impaired. By the time you notice these signs, you’re already at an elevated risk. It’s best to head off fatigue by taking appropriate steps before and during your ride.

Preventing Motorcycle Fatigue

motorcycle accident lawyerTaking steps to head off fatigue can make your riding day much safer. Follow these tips to avoid motorcycle fatigue.

Have the Right Equipment

Some bikes are better suited to long-distance rides than others. If you’re planning a long ride, make sure your motorcycle is properly equipped for it. This might mean choosing a cruising bike, or it might mean adjusting the equipment on your bike. For example, some people might choose to ride without a windscreen most of the time, but on long rides it can be more tiring to be constantly fighting the wind. If you have a back rest, adjust it to provide proper support. Adjust your handlebars to a comfortable position.

Also make sure you have the right personal equipment. Wear comfortable protective clothing. Good gloves can make it easier to hold the handlebars so you can avoid fatigue.

Prepare the Night Before

Avoiding fatigue starts the night before your ride with a good night’s sleep. Not everyone needs the same amount of sleep – make sure you know what’s the right amount of sleep to make you alert and energized for your ride.

Get Good Nutrition

Eat healthy, high-protein meals before and during your ride. Avoid alcohol during your ride. Make sure to stay hydrated. Have snacks and drinks handy on the ride in case you need them.

Make Sufficient Stops

Uninterrupted riding can make you more fatigued. Make enough stops to avoid fatigue on your ride. Aim for at least one stop every two hours. This means more than just pulling off to the side of the road. Get off your bike and walk around. See sights and engage in activities. Engage different muscles and different parts of your brain.

Get Help After Your Motorcycle Accident

If you were involved in a motorcycle accident caused by a negligent driver, you deserve compensation for your injuries and property loss. Being a little fatigued does not excuse other drivers from their bad decisions. Nor is it an excuse for your insurance company to deny your claim after a motorcycle accident.

If you are concerned that you might have difficulty getting compensation after a motorcycle accident, get the help of an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. At Pushchak Law, Brian Pushchak makes motorcycle accidents a key focus of his practice. He has extensive experience helping people in the Denver area deal with the complications of motorcycle accidents, and he’s prepared to help you.

At Pushchak Law, we also utilize our unique Informed Decisions™ Approach. We put our expertise at your disposal. We listen to your goals for your case and advise you how best to achieve them. We will offer you all the information you need to make the important decisions, but the decision is always yours. We care about you, and we’re always here to help. We’ll give you our personal contact information, and you can get ahold of us whenever you have questions about your case or need to make an important decision.

Please contact us today for a free consultation about your motorcycle accident case. Pushchak Law serves clients in Denver and the surrounding areas of Colorado.

Brian Pushchak | Personal Injury Law Firm Denver, CO
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