Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle speeding down an open road.

What Motorcyclists Can Do to Stay Safe

While cars and trucks are legally obligated to share the road, motorcyclists are always more vulnerable than drivers in cars or trucks. In fact, motorcycles make up only 3% of all registered vehicles in the US, but they account for 14% of all traffic fatalities. See National Safety Council for more information. And, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2019, 5,014 motorcyclists were killed.

Of course, motorcyclists should always take appropriate measures to stay safe, such as:

  • Wearing a helmet, jacket, boots, and other protective gear
  • Taking a certified motorcycle training and safety class
  • Never riding while overly sleepy or intoxicated
  • Never speeding
  • Slowing down in inclement weather
  • Never weaving through traffic

Additionally, because motorcycles are small, it’s a good idea for riders to assume that other drivers can’t see them at all. And, like all drivers, motorcyclists should resist overestimating their driving skills. Instead, they should practice maneuvering their bikes in a safe setting or training class.

Keeping motorcycles in good condition is also critical to biker safety. Tire tread depths, for example, should be carefully monitored, as any spills or slicks on the road will have a far greater impact on bikers than other motorists.

Other Drivers

Most motorcyclists are responsible and have no desire to put themselves or anyone else in danger. In fact, many would argue that motorcyclists are the safest drivers on the road since they are more aware of their vulnerability than drivers protected on all sides by steel.

So, assuming a motorcyclist takes the proper measures to stay safe, what is the biggest danger he or she faces? Well, that would be everyone else on the road.

Driving a car or truck provides most people with a false sense of security. Shielded from the elements and the feel of the road, it’s easy to relax, become distracted, and make a foolish mistake in the blink of an eye. A motorist busily texting in broad daylight might not even realize a biker is in the next lane. Or, someone in a rush may end up tailgating a motorcyclist—a dangerous move for any vehicle, but potentially lethal to a biker.

Even when a car or truck driver is doing nothing wrong, they may just not notice a bike in time. One of the most common accidents between cars and motorcycles is when a motorist is making a left turn and fails to notice a motorcycle heading straight into the intersection.

Motorcycles are not only harder to see than larger vehicles, but they move differently than cars do, and car and truck drivers aren’t always aware of how a biker needs to maneuver.

Legal Help for Injured Motorcyclists

If you’re a motorcyclist, and you’ve been in an accident, you have likely suffered far more serious injuries than if you had experienced the same accident in a car. This might translate into a bigger settlement if you decide to pursue legal action.

That said, if it can be shown that you were not wearing a helmet, or you were intoxicated, or you were negligent in some other way, your award may be lower. This is why you should seek an experienced personal injury attorney to help you present the strongest possible argument in your favor.

Have you suffered injuries from a motorcycle accident? I’ve been helping accident victims like you for over 25 years. Call 301-589-4597 or email me at ds@dsteinlaw.com for a free initial consultation today.