In one year, the U.S. Government Accountability Office measured the economic cost of motorcycle accidents at $16 billion. Individually, a motorcycle crash can result in tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost income. A motorcycle accident lawyer in Las Vegas works to recover damages for people in this situation, but avoiding accidents is always preferable. You can do many things to increase your safety or at least reduce the risk of severe injuries or death.
Know the Risk Factors for Motorcycle Accidents
Avoiding unsafe behaviors and knowing what situations require extra vigilance help reduce the probability of a crash.
Operation of any motor vehicle becomes riskier and sometimes illegal when you are:
- Inexperienced or untrained
You surely know you should not ride after drinking or consuming other drugs. Even a slight impairment of your motor skills could undermine your attempt to avoid a crash when something surprises you on the road. Sleep deprivation and distraction also weaken your ability to notice and respond to threats.
As for your driving skills, you should take into account your experience. If you are new to riding, understand that you need practice. Take time to develop your operator skills in low-risk situations. Even if you have been riding for years, taking a refresher motorcycle safety course doesn’t hurt. When you buy a new bike, you may also need time to get used to how it handles.
Motorcycle accident studies have uncovered useful information about the locations and demographics most associated with fatal crashes. A motorcycle accident attorney is very likely to have represented wrongful death cases from accidents that illustrated these motorcycle accident statistics:
- Intersections are the scene of 35% of motorcycle fatalities.
- 61% of motorcyclist deaths happen in urban areas.
- Only 8% of fatalities occur on interstates.
- People ages 25 to 29 suffer the most deaths.
For these reasons, you should pay close attention when passing through intersections and be aware that heavy city traffic represents an enhanced risk. When planning your route, you might want to use an interstate whenever possible because the fewest deadly motorcycle accidents happen on freeways. And finally, if you are young, try to temper your youthful exuberance and confidence with caution.
Top Tips for Motorcycle Safety
1. Wear a Helmet
The safety benefits of wearing motorcycle helmets have motivated the state of Nevada to require all motorcyclists and their passengers to wear them. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that helmets cut down your chance of head injury by 69%. Be sure to wear a helmet labeled as compliant with U.S. Department of Transportation standards.
Although helmets are legally required, you can improve your safety with other motorcycle safety gear. Motorcycle jackets and pants in high-visibility colors increase your visibility to other drivers and shield your skin from road rash. To some extent, gloves and boots protect your hands and feet from scraping and crushing.
Anyone serious about motorcycle safety will wear as much protective gear as possible. Every bit of protection has the potential to reduce the severity of injuries should an accident occur.
The risk always exists that a negligent driver will put you in harm’s way. Should that occur, you can discuss your options with a car accident lawyer in Nevada. People in this profession are adept at evaluating evidence and negotiating an insurance settlement.
2. Select a Motorcycle That Matches Your Abilities
Cruisers, choppers, and street bikes are just three examples of types of motorcycles. When shopping for a motorcycle, select one that fits your physical size and strength. A vehicle you can handle well is safer to drive than one ill-fitted to your abilities or body size.
3. Drive Defensively
A motorcycle accident lawyer in Las Vegas will advise you to drive defensively, which means that you actively look for threats and strive to maintain a safe distance between yourself and other vehicles.
When you adopt defensive driving habits, you do things like:
- Check for people running red lights
- Slow down for intersections
- Plan escape routes in traffic
- Stay out of blind spots
An injury lawyer in Nevada will know of many examples of Nevada personal injury cases when people were hurt by drivers who did something unexpected. A defensive driver has a better chance of anticipating and avoiding trouble.
4. Inspect Your Motorcycle Regularly
Motorcycles are highly maneuverable. This capability could help you dodge an accident, but your bike needs to be in good working order to perform at its best.
On a regular basis, inspect:
- Brake lights
If you do get hurt in a crash, your well-maintained motorcycle could strengthen your legal position. An injury lawyer in Nevada may be better able to defend you from claims that your vehicle contributed to the accident in some way. An insurer battling your claim for damages will look for any opportunity to shift blame onto you.
5. Obey Traffic Laws
Just as wearing your helmet and keeping up with motorcycle maintenance help you look like a responsible person, obeying traffic laws will limit the chance of being assigned liability for your accident. For motorcyclists, this especially means no speeding and lane splitting. Because crash scene evidence may be complex, get the advice of a car accident lawyer in Nevada before discussing what happened with an insurance company.
6. Pay Attention to the Pavement
A road hazard can injure you just as quickly as another driver. Potholes, debris, and wet roads are much more hazardous for motorcycles than passenger vehicles.
Compassionate Legal Representation for Nevada Personal Injury
Darren J. Lach is a tough negotiator and trial attorney who understands that you need relief from the financial stress that comes after a bad accident.
To schedule a free consultation with a motorcycle accident attorney, contact Lach Injury Law today.