May is Motorcycle Safety Month
Thomas Pyles | Category: Motorcycle Accidents | April 28, 2023
May is Motorcycle Safety Month. Whether you enjoy riding your motorcycle either for recreation or as a means to get to and from work, you should use this opportunity to think about what you can do to stay safe while on the road. And if you are involved in an accident, do not hesitate to contact a motorcycle accident attorney for help.
Tips to Stay Safe on Your Motorcycle
Obviously, motorcycle riders should wear helmets and other appropriate safety gear such as gloves and motorcycle-specific protective jackets, pants, and boots. Many riders are also choosing to wear neon green or “hi-viz” clothing in order to make themselves more visible to other motorists. However, there are some other important steps you can take to protect yourself that are, unfortunately, often overlooked.
Mechanical failures are a common cause of motorcycle accidents, issues that can cause you to lose control of your bike and result in serious injury. You should regularly inspect your bike for worn components or broken parts and make any necessary repairs before going on out the road. Some of the components you should pay particular attention to include the following:
- Worn tires (also make sure they are properly inflated)
- Worn brake pads or leaking brake fluid
- Malfunctioning or burned-out headlight, tail light, or turn signals
Riding defensively is arguably one of the best ways to keep yourself safe. Some defensive riding tips include the following:
- Ride toward the centerline to increase visibility
- Watch out for tailgaters, as they are often unaware that you have a much shorter stopping distance than they do – pull over and let them pass if necessary
- Pay full time and attention to traffic conditions and other motorists at all times – keep external distractions to a minimum
- Obey the speed limit
- Make safe lane changes
Be Mindful of the Weather
Weather conditions are a much more significant factor for motorcycles than passenger vehicles. Rain, ice, snow, and high winds can make your bike difficult to handle and quickly result in an accident. Check the weather before heading out on your bike to ensure riding conditions will be safe for the entire time you will be on the road. If you ride your bike to work, this also means making sure that weather conditions will be safe for your ride home.
Do Not Overload Your Bike
Riders who enjoy bike touring should remember that their motorcycles will handle differently when loaded down with gear. The extra weight on your bike from camping gear, extra clothing, or other supplies can make your bike difficult to maneuver and require a greater stopping distance.
Why Being Safe Matters
Motorcycle riders face unique challenges when it comes to pursuing a personal injury claim beyond the fact that they typically suffer more serious injuries than in car accidents.
- Anti-motorcycle bias. Many people believe that insurance companies, judges, and juries are biased against motorcycle riders, believing that they are reckless and irresponsible. As a result, they believe that whatever injuries they have suffered are their own fault and award compensation accordingly. Being whatever you can to be safe while on the bike, such as obeying traffic laws and wearing the proper safety equipment, can go a long way toward overcoming this bias.
- Contributory negligence. Maryland is one of only five states that follows the pure contributory negligence rule. Under the pure contributory negligence rule, your own negligence, no matter how minor, can prevent you from receiving any compensation if it contributed to the accident in any way.
Regardless, do not lose hope if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident. A skilled motorcycle accident attorney can help you successfully overcome both of these challenges.
Consider Contacting a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, you need to understand your rights. The at-fault party can be held liable for your medical expenses and other losses. The mistake that many people make is in assuming that their health insurance will be sufficient, only to later discover that they have thousands of dollars in uncovered losses. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help you get compensation for the following losses in addition to your medical expenses:
- Out-of-pocket medical expenses such as your deductible and copays
- Lost income due to being unable to work
- Repair or replacement costs for damage to your bike
- Your pain and suffering caused by your injuries
Your attorney can help you with all aspects of your case from filing the insurance claim to going to trial if you are unable to settle your claim.
Contact Motorcycle Accident Attorney Thomas E. Pyles Today
We have been helping injured motorcycle riders across the state of Maryland for over 30 years. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and how we can help, contact us today by calling 301-705-5006.