If you ride a motorcycle, you have probably threaded your way through bumper-to-bumper traffic many times and reached your destination just fine. However, you are probably also well aware of the dangers of riding and the chances you might be involved in a wreck.
Keep reading to learn about motorcycle accidents, how to avoid them, and what to do after being involved in one.
Risks of Motorcycle Accidents
While riding a motorcycle definitely has its perks, it also comes with its own set of dangers. You are more likely to be in an accident causing serious injury on your motorcycle because:
- Your smaller vehicle is harder for other drivers to see.
- Road hazards (debris, bumps in the road, wet gravel, etc.) and harsh weather conditions can pose a greater threat to your safety.
- Unlike the outer metal body of a car, there is much less of a barrier between you and the outside world.
- At higher speeds, your motorcycle may become wobbly as a result of instability in the front wheel.
- It is much harder to learn how to safely ride a motorcycle than it is to learn how to drive a car.
Motorcycle Safety Precautions
You can't control other drivers, but you can help avoid serious motorcycle accidents by taking charge of the things you can control. Follow these tips while on your bike:
- Always wear a helmet.
- Register for a motorcycle license and seek out professional training on how to ride.
- For more, check out our guide to motorcycle safety courses.
- Wear thick, protective clothing and eyewear.
- Make sure your bike is running well and the mechanics are in check.
- Be aggressively visible by:
- Staying out of other drivers' blind spots.
- Not assuming a driver sees you.
- Try to avoid road hazards, and if you can't, approach them with caution.
- Be true to your own skill level and don't engage in reckless driving behaviors.
Also, be sure you have the proper motorcycle insurance in case of damages to your bike or other vehicles.
First Steps Following a Motorcycle Crash
If you get into an accident while riding your motorcycle, you should immediately:
- Seek medical attention if you or anyone else is hurt.
- Get the other driver's:
- Contact and insurance information.
- Driver's license number.
- Take notes and pictures of the accident.
- If there are witnesses, get their contact information.
Once you complete these steps, you may also have the option of taking legal action with a negligence claim.
Negligence Claims for Motorcycle Accidents
If you were in a motorcycle accident caused by another driver, your incident is probably affected by the law of negligence. In other words, the person who caused you to crash on your motorcycle may have been driving recklessly or carelessly.
If you pursue a negligence claim, you should find an attorney who can effectively represent you. Then you must be able to prove the following:
- The law required the responsible party to exercise care and caution at the time of the crash, which is a given in cases for motorcycle accidents.
- The responsible party acted carelessly, as determined by comparing their actions to those of a “reasonable person."
- The responsible party's actions caused your injuries.
- You were in fact injured or suffered damages or losses.
In some cases, if the defendant can prove you are partially responsible for the accident, the amount of compensation you receive from the negligence claim might be reduced or dropped altogether. The laws surrounding motorcycle crashes differ from state to state, so be sure to familiarize yourself with your state's specifications.