An article about motorcycle safety might seem out of place in mid-December, but with the 5-day weather forecast projecting highs in the 50s the rest of the week and beyond, many people are taking their bikes out to enjoy to temperate weather as long as they can.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are approximately 35 times more likely to be victims of deadly accidents than passenger vehicles. With that in mind, our lawyers would like to take one last chance to provide some helpful information on the most common causes of motorcycle accidents, in the hope that it will help our readers have a safe and enjoyable holiday season.
Brake Lights That Are Difficult to See-This is especially dangerous for motorcycles because riders often decrease their speed by downshifting, or simply letting off the throttle, and this doesn’t activate their brake light. When riding behind a motorcycle, it is important to be ready to slow down, even in the absence of a visual warning.
Turn Signals-A lot of motorcycles do not have automatically canceling turn signals. Consequently, a significant number of new riders, and even some more seasoned ones, forget to turn them off, confusing drivers. When driving a car, it is important to be attentive and do your best to determine whether or not a motorcycles turn signal is purposeful. Remember too that when you are driving a car, your turn signals are one of the best ways for motorcyclists to tell what you are doing, minimizing the chances of an accident.
Speeding-Almost 40% of all motorcycle accidents involve speeding, and this is not necessarily surprising. Many motorcyclists are drawn to motorbikes because of the thrill and freedom, but statistics suggest that exceeding the speed limit can nearly doubles your risk of a fatal accident.
Maneuverability, Stopping Distance, and Weather-Sometimes drivers overestimate the ability of motorcycles to react the things on the road. It is true that motorcyclists are more maneuverable than cars, and have a shorter stopping distance in good whether, but when conditions are windy, rainy, icy, etc., they are at a serious disadvantage. Never assume that the maneuverability of a motorcycle makes it okay to leave them less space on the road.
Driving while under the influence of alcohol of drugs-According to the NHTSA, some 30% of all motorcycle accident fatalities involved riders with a blood alcohol level above the legal limit. Operating a motorcycle requires much more involvement than a normal vehicle, and balance is also crucially important, making the use of alcohol and other mind-altering drugs even more hazardous than it would be normally. Never, ever drive or ride drunk.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle, our lawyers are always available to discuss your legal options.