Over the years I have represented many, many motorcycle riders who have, through no fault of their own, been involved in accidents with car and truck drivers that, for one reason or another, did not see my client until it was too late. This emphasizes the fact that motorcyclists must proceed with caution, they must realize that defensive riding is one of the keys to their survival.
Motorcycle injuries can be devastating. I’ve had clients who have suffered broken bones, brain injury and permanent paralysis in motorcycle crashes. None of these people were at fault yet their lives, and the lives of those that love them, have been unalterably changed for the worse.
In the past, I’ve blogged extensively about motorcycle accidents, injuries and safety. Click here to read past posts and view related videos.
At the end of this article, I’ve posted a couple of graphic motorcycle accident videos as well as the link to a photo album containing graphic photos of motorcycle accidents. I post these to heighten awareness of the perils the bikers face on the streets.
Here are a brief list of safety precautions that motorcyclists should take:
- Know the Law: Be familiar with local laws
- Be Prepared: Obtain the proper insurance; be aware of adverse road conditions
- Gear Up: Wear protective gear, helmet, eye protection, sturdy jacket, long pants, boots, gloves
- Stand Out: Wear brightly colored clothing – make sure that other drivers are aware of you
- Distance Yourself: Leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front or behind you. Give yourself enough reaction time to adapt to the immediate situation
- Ride Defensively: 3/4 of all motorcycle accidents involve cars. Know that although you see them, they may not see you
- Ride Sober
- Practice, practice, practice
The following excerpt is taken a comprehensive article on Findlaw.com:
Motorcycle riders are in a unique position on the road. They enjoy the freedoms that come with their chosen form of transportation, but they are also left exposed to dangers not met by automobile drivers and other motorists. The lack of any substantial protective barriers between a motorcycle and the road, as well as the difficulty that other motorists may have in anticipating and seeing a motorcycle, leave riders prone to serious injury in the event of an accident. Motorcycle riders, therefore, must be aware of their legal rights and remedies if they are involved in a traffic accident. The insurance laws in your state may be very different with respect to motorcycles versus automobiles; consequently, it is very important to consult with an attorney regarding the applicable laws in your state.
The Risks of the Road for Motorcycle Riders
The risks that motorcycle riders face, and the need to protect their rights of recovery after an accident, become readily apparent through a review of the following statistics:
- In two-thirds of motorcycle accidents involving another vehicle, the driver of the other vehicle violated the motorcycle rider’s right of way and caused the accident.
- Motorcyclists are about 26 times more likely to die in a crash than someone riding in a passenger car, and are 5 times as likely to be injured.
- Per mile traveled in 1998, motorcyclists were about 16 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die, and about 3 times as likely to be injured, in a motor vehicle crash.
Some of the unique problems faced by motorcycle riders on the road include:
- Visual Recognition: Motorcycles make smaller visual targets, which are more likely to be obscured by other vehicles, or by road and weather conditions. This is an issue especially at intersections, where approximately 70 percent of motorcycle-versus-vehicle collisions occur.
- Road Hazards: Hazards that are minor irritations for an automobile can be a major hazard for a motorcycle rider. These include potholes, oil slicks, puddles, debris, or other objects on the roadway, ruts, uneven pavement, and railroad tracks.
- Speed "Wobble" Accidents: Especially at higher speeds, the front end of a motorcycle may become unstable and begin to shake or "wobble." This problem may be due to a misalignment of the front and rear tires of the motorcycle. If an accident is caused by such a high-speed wobble, the manufacturer of the motorcycle might be held financially responsible for any resulting injuries, under a product liability theory.
- Riding Skills; Familiarity: A motorcycle requires much more skill and physical coordination to operate than a car. Many motorcycle accidents are caused in whole or in part by a rider’s lack of basic riding skills, or failure to appreciate the inherent operating characteristics and limitations of the motorcycle.
View the above photo album and the following graphic videos with caution and think twice when getting on a motorcycle: Prepare well, bike safely and make it a pleasurable experience!
If you, or someone you know, has been injured, please call me immediately at (323) 852-1100 or send an e-mail to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"