Taking a ride on a motorcycle is a cherished hobby for many. Though this activity may be an enjoyable and thrilling experience, there are risks involved. It’s crucial for both motorcyclists and drivers to be safe on the road in order to avoid devastating accidents. This guide provides invaluable information about motorcycle safety tips, steps to take after a collision, and how a motorcycle accident attorney can assist you if you’ve been a victim of a crash.
Motorcycle Safety Tips for Avoiding Accidents
Both motorcyclists and drivers of other vehicles must take important precautions on the road in order to avoid accidents.
Tips for Motorcyclists
Wear a helmet—Pennsylvania motorcycle laws require anyone under 21 to wear a helmet, as well as anyone over 21 who hasn’t been riding for more than two years or hasn’t undergone PennDOT approved safety training. Though you may be allowed to ride without a helmet, the US Government Accountability Office reported that riders who wear helmets have up to a 73% lower fatality rate and 83% lower severe injury rate than those who don’t. Head protection can be the difference between life and death, so riders are strongly encouraged to wear it whenever on a motorcycle.
Use turn signals—In addition to common courtesy, using your turn signal will allow cars to be aware of your movements and prepare accordingly. Changing lanes without signaling can cause drivers to be caught off guard resulting in an accident, so be sure to properly signal in order to keep yourself and others safe.
Don’t weave between traffic—Though it may seem convenient to be able to weave through cars in order to get where you’re going quicker, it’s incredibly dangerous. Drivers may be unware of your presence and have difficulty avoiding a crash if you come up from behind them unexpectedly.
Avoid blind spots—In addition to not weaving, make sure you know where cars’ blind spots are and avoid them. If you stay in a vehicle’s blind spot, you could end up with a car running into you while they switch lanes because they were unable to see your position.
Get training—Being thoroughly educated on operating a motorcycle will make you a significantly safer rider and less likely to be in an accident. PennDOT offers free training courses for all skill levels and participating may even decrease your insurance premium. It’s not only a safe decision, but a financially sound one as well.
Avoid bad weather—Driving a car in inclement weather is difficult enough, but riding a motorcycle is even harder. Avoid the roads during rain, snow, sleet, hail, heavy winds, and any other weather conditions that significantly impact your ability to control the vehicle and pull over if necessary to wait for the weather to pass.
Tips for Drivers
Check mirrors—It can be difficult to see motorcyclists around you, especially if you’re used to simply looking for other cars. Before changing lanes, attentively check your mirrors to avoid hitting any motorcyclists coming up next to you.
Use turn signals—It’s just as important for drivers to inform riders of their movements as it is for riders to inform drivers.
Distance—Keep ample following distance between your vehicle and motorcycles. Rear-ending a car may be a small fender bender, but rear-ending a motorcyclist could be deadly as they have far less protection than a driver.
What to do After a Motorcycle Accident
According to PennDOT, there were over 3,000 crashes involving motorcycles in 2017, so it’s imperative that riders know what to do if they are in a motorcycle accident.
Evaluate injuries—Motorcycle accidents can be incredibly damaging to your body, so proceed with extreme caution after a crash. Do not move too quickly as you might aggravate any injuries you’ve sustained, especially in the head and spine. You may have been injured and be completely unaware of it due to shock or lack of symptoms.
Call 911—Getting police officers and medical professionals on the scene is crucial. Police officers will write up an accident report for you that summarizes the events of the incident and determine fault. Medical professionals will evaluate your injuries and provide the treatment you need as well as provide documentation of your injuries sustained in the accident that you can use when building your case for compensation.
Collect evidence—Take photos of the accident from all angles including of all vehicles, street signs, and your injuries. Ask any witnesses for their accounts of the incident and take down their contact information as well. In addition to bystanders’ statements, write your own recollection of the crash as soon as possible afterwards while the details are clear in your head. If possible, collect any footage of the accident from dashboard cameras, CCTV, or businesses with surveillance. You may need the assistance of a motorcycle accident personal injury lawyer in order to obtain privately owned footage.
Contact a motorcycle accident attorney—A motorcycle accident attorney will provide you with guidance and support in building a case against a negligent driver after you’ve been the victim of a collision. Seek out a law firm like Donaghue & Labrum with extensive experience and a good track record of winning car accident lawsuits.
Using a Motorcycle Accident Attorney for Compensation
If you are a victim of a motorcycle accident, there are ways to receive compensation with the help of a motorcycle accident attorney.
Lost wages—A motorcycle accident may leave you unable to work for several weeks, if not months. Be sure to keep a record of the days you miss due to your injuries of all full-time, part-time, and self-employed work and the wages you lost due to this absence.
Medical bills—According to PennDOT, 87% of motorcycle accidents in 2017 involved injuries of some kind, in contrast to 45% of passenger car accidents. Medical bills can be insurmountable after motorcycle accidents, so be sure to keep all medical documents and receipts that pertain to injuries you sustained in the crash so your motorcycle accident attorney may help you fight for compensation.
Pain and suffering—Motorcycle accidents can be traumatizing and take a huge toll on your long-term mental and physical health. Keep a record of your pain and suffering caused by the accident that your attorney can take into account when calculating the compensation you deserve.
Trusted Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a collision, you need to enlist the help of a dependable motorcycle accident attorney in order to receive the compensation you deserve. Donaghue & Labrum is an experienced firm with over 25 years of service in Delaware and Chester counties. We are dedicated to fighting for our clients and ensuring they receive the best outcome possible in their personal injury lawsuit. Contact us today to set up your free consultation!