For many, riding a motorcycle is one of the most exhilarating experiences possible, as well as an efficient and cost-effective form of transportation. However, motorcycles lack almost all of the safety features — such as seatbelts, airbags, and crumple zones — that are standard issue for passenger vehicles, putting their riders at significantly greater risk of injury and death in accidents. A recent study found that motorcycle accident fatalities occur at 28 times the rate of passenger vehicle fatalities based on miles traveled, which dramatically illustrates just how deadly motorcycling can be.
While it is impossible to eliminate the risk of motorcycle accidents, prudent motorcyclists should keep the following tips from our Waldorf motorcycle accident lawyers in mind to minimize it:
Wear Appropriate Gear
In the absence of vehicle-based safety measures, motorcyclists should choose appropriate safety gear. The most critical piece of safety gear in any motorcyclist’s arsenal is the helmet. Motorcycle helmets reduce the risk of head injury in crashes by 69%, while they reduce the risk of death by 42%. Helmets are so effective at reducing the risk of head injuries, in fact, that many states — including Maryland — mandate their use by law. Motorcyclists should also utilize goggles, gloves, and boots to minimize the risks of injuries to the extremities.
Avoid Blind Spots
Blind spots pose a serious threat to all drivers, but they are particularly dangerous for motorcyclists. Because motorcycles are smaller than passenger vehicles, it is easier for them to disappear in another vehicle’s blind spot — especially vehicles with large blind spots, like trucks — and to remain in them for longer. Furthermore, most drivers who check their blind spots are looking for other passenger vehicles rather than motorcycles, so they may not notice the presence of a small motorcycle with just a quick glance.
Avoid “Lane Splitting”
“Lane splitting” is the practice of riding a motorcycle in the space between vehicles in adjacent lanes. It is especially common at red lights and traffic jams, as a motorcycle’s small size makes it easier to maneuver through spaces that passenger vehicles could not. Prudent motorcyclists should avoid lane splitting as it can lead to accidents, such as collisions with opening doors.
Obey All Traffic Laws
When you’re riding a motorcycle, it can be tempting to bend the rules of the road a bit, such as rolling through a stop sign or going a few miles an hour over the speed limit. In reality, the rules of the road apply to all vehicles, including motorcycles. Those rules were put into place to minimize the risks of accidents, so it is in your best interest to obey them.
Contact the Waldorf Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Thomas E. Pyles
Motorcycle accidents can take a significant toll on your physical, emotional, and financial health, not to mention that of your family. If you have suffered an injury in a motorcycle accident that you believe was caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be able to recover from your injuries through a personal injury action. For more information, contact the Law Offices of Thomas E. Pyles by using our online form or calling us at 301-705-5006. We have office locations in Laurel and Leonardtown for your convenience.