LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Timothy R. Miley | Apr 29, 2013

Proper Motorcycle Maintenance to Avoid Accidents from Malfunctions

The importance of proper motorcycle maintenance can pay dividends in the rider’s safety and even chances of life. The failure of maintaining a motorcycle can result in equipment or parts malfunctioning, increasing the chance of a crash.

Types of Malfunctions That Could Result in a Motorcycle Accident

When one doesn’t keep up with motorcycle maintenance, equipment or parts can malfunction, and it can lead to a variety of problems, such as difficulty starting up the motorcycle. Some maintenance issues can actually become contributing factors or outright causes of a crash.

Examples of malfunctioning parts and equipment that follow from inappropriately maintaining a motorcycle include:

· tires;

· loose or missing cotter pins, nuts or bolts;

· headlights;

· turn signals;

· brakes;

· brake lights; and

· fuel line.

By regularly inspecting the bike, maintenance issues will be discovered before there is a chance of something going wrong. At the same time, it is just as important to immediately correct any known problems.

Motorcycle Maintenance: Parts and Equipment

Tire blowouts and low tire pressure are common reasons for a motorcyclist to lose control. Therefore, tire pressure should be regularly checked, and should be done before taking to the road. Once the tire has been in motion, the warmer temperature changes the pressure and density.

Tires and rims should also be inspected for any flaws. Examples include bulges, punctures or cracking in the tires, along with dents or cracks in the rims.

The tire tread is also important. If there isn’t enough tread — or the tread has separated — it loses the ability to grip the road. This is especially hazardous in wet conditions.

Missing or loose parts — such as bolts, cotter pins or nuts — can cause a bike to wobble, which can make steering difficult and increase the chance of an accident. It is easier to inspect a motorcycle for these types of safety problems by keeping it clean and thoroughly examining the bike.

When the headlights or brake lights are out, it can be difficult for both the motorcyclist to see, and others who share the road to see the motorcyclist. Therefore, lights should be inspected and replaced if burnt out. Broken headlights could result in a head-on collision. Broken taillights can prevent others from knowing if the bike is slowing or stopping, which can cause a rear end crash.

Turn signals are another part of motorcycle maintenance that is often overlooked. When turn signals aren’t working, other drivers won’t know the motorcyclist’s intentions when turning. This increases the risk of an accident.

Brakes should be regularly inspected. This includes the pads, fluid and brake cables. Faulty brakes can prevent the motorcyclist from stopping, causing a collision or skidding the bike across pavement.

The fuel line is another part of the motorcycle that should be regularly maintained. Since the fuel line is made of rubber, it can easily crack or wear over time. Dry rot, cold temperatures and direct sunlight can cause damage to the fuel line. If the hose isn’t in good condition, fuel can drip into the engine. This poses a serious risk of fire. A fire injury is often one of the most serious and many victims benefit from hiring a Clarksburg, W.Va., motorcycle accident attorney.

Because the intricacies of motorcycle law can be confusing, a Clarksburg, WV motorcycle accident attorney is often of use for the victim. If someone is injured in a motorcycle crash and it’s discovered that a malfunctioning part was the reason, it will need to be determined what caused that malfunction. If it was the result of failing to maintain the bike, the owner could be held liable for negligence in motorcycle maintenance.

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