Think About Motorcycles and Look Twice

Motorcycle Rider

The lovely spring weather encourages those who have motorcycles to hit the road. You may be thinking that, as a motorist in a passenger vehicle, the matter does not much concern you, but you’d be wrong. Just one brief moment of inattention or not checking before you change lanes could be fatal to the person operating a motorcycle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in an issue statement, had this to say: “When motorcycles and other vehicles collide, it is usually the other (non-motorcycle) driver who violates the motorcyclist’s right of way. There is a continuing need to help other motorists ‘think’ motorcycles and to educate motorcyclists to be aware of this problem.” May is Motorcycle Safety Month—and Maryland’s Motor Vehicle Administration (MDMVA) reminds you that you can help save a life by keeping motorcycles uppermost in your mind and checking twice before you change position in traffic. The Numbers Don’t Lie Motorcycle deaths are on the rise. In 2015, 4,976 persons died in crashes, up 8.3 percent from 2014. The age of the average cyclist in a wreck has increased as well: it’s gone from 39 in 2006 to 42 in 2015. Injuries from motorcycle crashes were roughly[…..]

Love Your Cycle? Do So, But Take Care!

Maryland Motorcycle Injury Attorney

Let’s face it—some of us like the excitement and the hint of risk that riding a motorcycle involves. Chances are, the more you enjoy the feeling of wind against your body, the sensation of being one with the machine, the more you long to go riding. Unfortunately, motorcycle deaths have risen significantly. In 2015, there were 10 percent more deaths than in 2014. Around 450 more people died in motorcycle accidents in 2015 than in 2014—in other words, 5,010 motorcycle deaths occurred in 2015 versus 4,586 deaths in 2014. The year 2015 marks only the third time since we started keeping records that more than 5,000 motorcyclists died. It’s the first time since 2008, when 5,312 died. As a percentage of total traffic deaths, motorcycle fatalities have remained around 14 percent since 2008, while the actual number of traffic deaths that include all vehicles has gone down several thousand. Through the Nineties, motorcycle deaths were in the single digits, percentage-wise: in 1997, while total traffic fatalities were 42,013, motorcycle deaths amounted to 2,116, only 5 percent of the total. But in 2014, total traffic fatalities had dropped almost a fourth, to 32,675. Motorcycle deaths, on the other hand, had more[…..]

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Concerns Everyone

Motorcycle Rider

With spring in full bloom after a harsh winter, many motorcyclists have returned to the roads. What better time than spring for National Motorcycle Safety Month, which happens in May, 2015. Both riders and drivers must do their part to avoid accidents and keep each other safe while on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nationwide, motorcycles accounted for only 3 percent of the vehicles on the road in 2011. Yet, motorcyclists added up to 14 percent of driving fatalities. When you calculate accident rates per vehicle mile traveled, the NHTSA estimates that riders are 30 times more likely to die, and five times more likely to be injured, than those in automobiles. Focus on: Maryland In the state of Maryland alone, every year an average of 70 motorcyclists are killed in crashes, with an additional 1,400 motorcycle riders and passengers injured. A motorcyclist in Maryland is six times more likely to be injured than an automobile driver in an accident. The Baltimore and Washington metro areas have the most motorcycle crashes, injuries and fatalities. Over 42 percent of all motorcycle crashes in Maryland happen in Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Harford Counties, as well as[…..]

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month Reminds Drivers to “Share the Road”

During the warmer months of the year, the number of motorcyclists on the road in Maryland increases. In order to encourage motorists to share the road, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has designated May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. According to the NHTSA, motorcycle fatalities have only increased over the past 14 years, with alcohol continuing to play a key factor in many fatal accidents. The following safety tips have been offered by the NHTSA for both motorists and motorcyclists to share the road and prevent motorcycle accidents. Motorcycles have the same rights and privileges as other motorists. Follow all traffic laws at all times. Check blind spots for motorcycles when making turns or changing lanes. Motorcyclists are advised to pay attention to other vehicle’s blind spots. Always use turn signals or hand signals to communicate intentions to others on the road, particularly when merging or changing lanes. Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The universal helmet law in Maryland requires all motorcyclists to wear a helmet. If a negligent motorist has injured you or someone you love, do not hesitate to call the motorcycle accident attorneys at The Law Offices of Steven H. Heisler[…..]

Government Report Reveals High Costs of Motorcycle Accidents

As reported by Fox News Latino, a new government report issued by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) shows that the direct costs of motorcycle accident-related injuries and deaths totaled $16 billion in 2010. However, the full cost is likely higher because long term medical expenses are more difficult to calculate. The GAO report states that motorcyclists are involved in fatal crashes at higher rates than drivers of other motor vehicles and alarmingly are 30 times more likely to die in a traffic accident than passenger car occupants. The GAO report states that there were 82,000 injuries and 4,502 fatalities that occurred during 2010. The average cost of a fatal motorcycle collision was estimated at $1.2 million, while the cost of injuries ranged from $2,500 to $1.4 million depending on the severity. The government report, published in a November report for congressional committees, also says laws requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets, or universal helmet laws, are the only strategy proven effective in reducing injuries and fatalities. Several research studies have estimated that helmets reduce the risk of death by as much as 39 percent, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that helmets saved the lives of 1,550 riders[…..]

CDC Study Shows Motorcycle Helmet Laws May Prevent Fatal Accidents

A new research study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that less motorcycle accident-related fatalities occur in states that require helmets. Researchers from the CDC examined a government tally of fatal traffic accidents, focusing on 2008 to 2010, and counted 14,283 deaths of motorcyclists during this time period. This included 6,057 motorcyclists with no helmets. Approximately 12 percent of these fatalities occurred in the 20 states that required everyone on a motorcycle to wear a helmet. Overall, about five times as many “no helmet” motorcyclist deaths occurred in states with less restrictive laws. The researchers also made 2010 cost calculations based on medical expenses and lost work productivity from motorcycle deaths and injuries, determining that societal costs are lower in states that require helmets. In states that require helmets, more is saved per registered bike than in states with fewer or no restrictions, specifically $725 versus $200 as estimated by researchers. The Director for the CDC notes that in 2010, more than $3 billion in economic costs were saved due to helmet use, and another $1.7 billion could have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn helmets. A motorcycle accident can leave a rider[…..]

What to Consider when Buying Motorcycle Insurance in Maryland

If you will be riding a motorcycle in Maryland, the law requires that you purchase a minimum amount of insurance coverage that will protect you in the event of a motorcycle accident. State law requires 30-60-15 coverage minimums for bodily injury and property damage, uninsured motorist coverage for the same amounts, and $2,500 personal injury protection (PIP). In addition to carrying the minimum amount of insurance, Maryland motorcyclists are required to wear a DOT certified helmet and eye protection, if the helmet does not have a visor. Although the state requires a minimum level of motorcycle insurance coverage, that does not mean that it will be enough. It is important to choose and purchase motorcycle insurance that is right for you. To make the process easier, Motorcycle-USA.com provides the following guidelines: Research several insurance providers and shop around for quotes. Start with your auto insurance provider if you are happy with your coverage. You may even get a discount. Speak to an insurance agent, do not only research online. Calling an insurance agent may give you better rates than those offered online. Insurance rates are influenced by your age, type of motorcycle, driving record, how you store your bike, how[…..]

Anne Arundel County Police Officers Injured in Motorcycle Crash

Two Anne Arundel County police officers suffered minor injuries in a Maryland motorcycle accident when they collided into each other while on a traffic escort detail, according to The Baltimore Sun. The officers struck each other near the intersection of Route 295 and Interstate 195 in Linthicum and were transported to Maryland Shock Trauma Center. Both were released the same day, one with a hip injury, the other a leg injury. An investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing. Maryland motorcycle accidents can cause catastrophic injuries to riders, particularly if the accident involves a larger motor-vehicle. It is imperative that motorcyclists follow the appropriate safety guidelines while on the road, especially when riding in groups. Not knowing how to effectively ride and communicate to each other as a group can cause inadvertent motorcycle crashes, whether one rider collides with another, or one cannot effectively communicate a road hazard. Following these safety tips can ensure that two or more motorcyclists can ride and communicate together safely: If riding with a group of more than five motorcycles, break the group up into smaller ones; Ride in a staggered line with the first bike on the left side of the lane,[…..]

Fatal Motorcycle Crash on Route 40 Kills Dundalk Man

A 59-year-old man was killed and a 51-year-old woman injured in a motorcycle accident when the 1996 Honda Gold King motorcycle they were riding hit a guardrail on Route 40 in Cecil County, according to The Dundalk Patch. Both the driver and his female passenger were ejected from the motorcycle on impact. No other vehicle was involved in the accident, however witnesses say that it had just begun raining and the driver may have hit some water. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene, while his female passenger was taken to Christiana Hospital in Delaware. According the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 106,000 motorcycle crashes nationwide in 2009. Of these, 84,000 were injury crashes, 4,595 were fatal crashes, and 17,000 involved property damage. Ten percent of the 106,000 crashes involved colliding with a fixed object, such as a guardrail, and 1,147 fixed object motorcycle accidents were fatal. Motorcycle accidents can be caused by bad weather, a negligent driver, or hazardous road conditions. If a motorcycle accident is caused by reckless or negligent driving on the part of another motorist, that motorist could be held liable for any injuries caused. In the case of a hazardous roadway,[…..]

Safety Tips for Maryland Motorcyclists

As the weather becomes warmer, more people will be enjoying the freedom of riding their motorcycle. In order to safely share the road with other motorists who often don’t pay attention to motorcycles, motorcycle riders need to practice Maryland motorcycle safety by driving defensively and wearing the proper gear. What a motorcyclist wears is almost just as important as how they drive since motorcyclists are not protected by their vehicle as other motorists are. A Maryland motorcycle crash can have devastating results because of that fact. The best thing a motorcyclist can do is make sure their body is protected by the proper clothing: A full-face helmet, which provides eye and face protection; gloves, sturdy jacket with full-length sleeves, thick pants, and boots that preferably cover the ankles. In addition to wearing the proper gear, the best way to stay safe on your motorcycle is driving defensively. Many motorists don’t know how to share the road with motorcycles; oftentimes, many motorists don’t even know that a motorcycle is next to them. This is why a motorcyclist must be especially aware of other vehicles, what they are doing and where they are going. Always remember that even a two-door Mini Cooper[…..]