Here’s a basic primer on motorcycle safety.
Why are motorcyclists more vulnerable on the road?
Here’s a sobering statistic for riders: while only one out of every five motor vehicle crashes results in injury or death; nearly four out of five motorcycle crashes does. This is because motorcycles in general offer fewer safety features than do automobiles or trucks. They are lighter, more difficult for other vehicles to see, and don’t offer external support systems (such as airbags and windshields). Notwithstanding the fact that most bikes tend to be easier to maneuver and stop than most cars, motorcycles lack stability and are generally outnumbered by autos and trucks on the road.
What can you do to improve your motorcycle safety?
- Wear a helmet! This can significantly reduce your likelihood of suffering head, neck, or spinal damage if you do crash.
- Take a safety course on how to operate a motorcycle safely.
- Never ride your bike while overly fatigued, under the influence of drugs or narcotics, or in an aggressive state of mind.
- Avoid riding your bike during peak accident hours, such as weekend nights and holidays like July 4th.
- Take your bike in for maintenance on a regular basis.
- Log some riding hours! Experienced drivers tend to have a fuller repertoire of “safety reactions” than do drivers who only go ride a few times a month.
- Read up on the motorcycle laws in your state.
- Get the right bike for you – if you’re a small person, for instance, don’t get a super powerful bulky bike, since you may have trouble commanding the motorcycle in the event of an emergency.
What are some tips for interacting with other motorcyclists, autos, trucks, and pedestrians?
- Operate your bike with courtesy.
- Install a muffler so that you don’t startle other drivers as you rev past them.
- Don’t tailgate or slip between rows of traffic during traffic jams.
- Use your signals and mirrors to change lanes.
- Don’t blast music or otherwise impede your ability to “hear the road.”
- Anticipate problems by tuning in to traffic broadcasts and watching out for road hazards, such as construction zones, potholes, intersection malfunctions, etc.
- Maintain visibility by making sure that your lights stay on at night and that you put reflectors on your bike.
Even if you practice perfect motorcycle safety, it’s impossible to get out of every dangerous road situation. If you were hit on the road and you suffered injuries or trauma, you may need legal help now. Dial (410) 625-4878 to speak with an associate of Steven Heisler’s Maryland motorcycle accident legal team. Steve Heisler has represented thousands of injury claimants. He understands what it takes to win motorcycle accident cases and get a solid settlements for his clients. For more information on his practice, review our website or email/call to make a free, zero obligation appointment.
$5,500,000.00 - Steve represented a 33-year-old single mother of one whose vehicle was struck head-on by a construction truck in 2002. The client suffered life threatening injuries and was in a coma for six weeks. She required two months of brain injury rehabilitation. The client currently has serious permanent disabilities as a result of the accident including short term memory loss, impaired speech, double vision, and right side paralysis.
She is unable to return to her occupation as a dental hygienist or any other occupation. Steve Heisler and his associate Keith Kauffman negotiated a $5.5 million structured settlement at mediation. Should the client reach her life expectancy the payout increases to $9.5 million.
$250,000 - Steve represented the family of a 15 year old Anne Arundel County boy who was killed when the vehicle he was a passenger in failed to negotiate a curve and struck a tree. The defendant driver was also killed. Another passenger survived the crash. The defendant driver had a $300,000.00 liability policy. Steve negotiated a $250,000.00 settlement for the family. The remaining $50,000.00 was tendered to the surviving passenger.
$800,000 - Steve represented the estate and family of a 45 year old man who was killed when the motorcycle he was riding struck a guardrail and he was catapulted down an embankment. The estate and family alleged that a vehicle in the lane to the immediate left of the man swerved into his lane and caused a collision. The defendant strongly denied any wrong doing. The case was settled at a settlement conference for $800,000.00.
$325,000 - Steve’s client, a 45 year old Sr. Program Manager, was struck by a work vehicle that failed to yield the right of way while turning left in front of the victim in St. Mary’s County, Maryland. Steve’s client was thrown from his Harley Davidson and suffered multiple injuries resulting in two surgeries. Suit was filed and the case settled for $325,000.00.
$200,000 - Steve’s client, an elderly lady from West Virginia, was seriously injured when the car she was traveling in was struck by a negligent driver in Garrett County, Maryland. The lady suffered a broken back and detached retina. Steve negotiated a $100,000.00 settlement with the defendant driver’s insurance company and was successful in getting his client’s West Virginia insurance company to “stack” an additional $100,000.00 for a total settlement of $200,000.00.
$100,000 - Steve represented a five year old Eastern Shore boy who was struck by a vehicle driving on the wrong side of the road while the boy was riding his bike. Steve's client suffered a traumatic brain injury and serious fractures which required him to spend an extended period of time in a rehabilitation center. The boy now has permanent brain damage. The case settled for the driver's policy limits of $100,000.00.
$95,000 - Steve represented a 36-year-old Cecil County man who was rear ended while stopped at a red light. The force of the impact was severe and his client’s vehicle was totaled. Steve’s client suffered a cerebral concussion, a C5-6 disc herniation, and a L2-3 disc protrusion. He received a 30% whole-body permanent disability rating. Steve settled the case with the insurance company for $95,000.00.