Motorcyclists take more risks when they get on the road, and in fact, they are nearly 30 times more likely to die in an accident than drivers of cars and trucks. Motorcyclists have less protection because they do not ride inside an enclosed space that can provide a barrier when an accident occurs. We have found that many drivers simply don’t notice motorcyclists on the road, which often leads to accidents. Without greater educational outreach to car and truck drivers to make them more aware of motorcycles, reducing the number of motorcycle accidents remains a great challenge.
Common Situations That Lead To Motorcycle Accidents
There are many causes of motorcycle accidents, but some of the most common situations that lead to these wrecks include:
- Dooring – Dooring accidents occur when a motorcycle travels down a road, and the driver of a parked car opens the driver’s door into the path of that motorcycle. Depending on the speed at which the motorcycle is traveling, the impact of the motorcycle hitting the door can cause severe injuries. Car and truck drivers can prevent dooring accidents by making sure there is no oncoming traffic before they open their driver’s side doors.
- Splitting Lanes – Motorcyclists often split lanes, which means that they maneuver their motorcycles between two lanes so that they can get through stalled traffic. While most states don’t expressly forbid this type of maneuver, it can create a dangerous situation, because drivers of vehicles who are not paying attention can sideswipe the motorcycle.
- Vehicles Making Unsafe Left Turns – Motorcycles tend to move faster than vehicles, and that can become a problem when cars and trucks are making left turns. That’s because as motorcycles are traveling straight on a road, they are more likely to hit cars and trucks that are attempting to make a left turn. That’s usually because the drivers of cars and trucks don’t see motorcycles until it’s too late to avoid a wreck.
Things Motorcyclists Can Do To Survive An Accident
No piece of protective equipment can guarantee that a motorcyclist will survive an accident. But wearing certain types of protective gear can increase the odds of survival by lowering the impact of a crash.
Effective protective gear for motorcyclists includes:
- Helmet – Helmets are a vital aspect of protecting a motorcyclist’s head during an accident. Safety experts recommend that motorcyclists invest in helmets that are certified by the U.S. Department of Transportation, which has established strict standards. Helmets cushion the heads of motorcyclists and help reduce trauma that can be fatal during an accident.
- Jacket – A motorcycle jacket is typically made of strong leather and is effective at protecting a motorcyclist’s body after it is thrown off a bike. Riders who are ejected from their motorcycles often suffer severe burns and lacerations that can be quite serious. A good jacket can help prevent or minimize these injuries, and many jackets now include reflectors that significantly increases a rider’s visibility.
- Gloves – Motorcycle gloves help riders maintain a strong grip, and protect their hands when an accident occurs. They are also effective in cold weather so motorcyclists don’t lose feeling in their hands.
Protecting Your Rights To Ride Safely
Motorcyclists need and deserve the highest protection possible when they are traveling on the nation’s roads and highways. For too many car and truck drivers, motorcyclists are a nuisance, a necessary evil that they must deal with because the law says so. At our law firm, we fight aggressively for the rights of motorcyclists, and we dedicate all our resources to helping our clients obtain fair compensation. Please contact Kinnaird & Kinnaird, P.C. for a free consultation.