Because motorcycles do not offer the same safety protections as cars and trucks, motorcycle collisions can be especially dangerous. A collision between two vehicles that causes only minor injuries can cause devastating permanent injuries or death when a motorcycle is involved. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in the year 2013 a motorcyclist was 26 times more likely to die in a crash than an occupant of a vehicle, analyzed on a mile-per-mile basis. Injuries and deaths from motorcycle collisions greatly impact the lives of victims as well as their families and make it more important to obtain as much compensation as possible.
NHTSA recommends the following safety practices for motorcyclists and drivers sharing the road with them:
- Never ride impaired or distracted.
- Obey traffic laws, wear DOT-compliant helmets and other protective gear.
- Make yourself visible by wearing bright colors and using reflective tape.
- Avoid riding in poor weather conditions.
- Use turn signals for every turn or lane change, even if you think no one will see them.
- Combine hand signals and turn signals to draw more attention to your motorcycle.
- Position your motorcycle in the lane where it will be most visible to other drivers.
- Never drive distracted. Doing so can result in tragic consequences for motorcyclists.
- Allow a motorcyclist a full lane width. Although it may seem that there is enough room in the traffic lane for a motor vehicle and a motorcycle, the motorcycle needs the room to maneuver safely. Do not share the lane.
- Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic. This allows motorcyclists to anticipate traffic flow and find a safe lane position.
- Because of its smaller size, a motorcyclist can be hidden in a vehicle's blind spot. Always check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic and at intersections.
- Turn signals on motorcycles are not the same as those on motor vehicles – motorcycle signals are usually not self-canceling and riders sometimes forget to turn them off. Allow enough time to determine the motorcyclist's intention before you proceed.
- Remember that road conditions that are minor annoyances to motorists can pose major hazards to motorcyclists. Motorcycle riders may change speed or adjust position within a lane suddenly in reaction to road and traffic conditions such as potholes, gravel, wet or slippery surfaces, pavement seams, railroad crossings, and grooved pavement.1
- Allow more following distance, three or four seconds, when following a motorcycle so the motorcycle rider has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emergency. In dry conditions, motorcycles can stop more quickly than cars.1
Unfortunately, even when motorcyclists operate their bikes using all safety practices, other drivers who are not driving safely continue to cause motorcyclists to suffer serious injuries and deaths. We have over 60 years combined experience representing families of motorcyclists who have been killed as well as motorcyclists who have suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBI), amputations, and other serious injuries.
If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle wreck, make sure the lawyer you select to represent you is familiar with the long-term care required or is experienced in handling wrongful death claims for loved ones who were killed in a motorcycle accident. All lawyers are not equal, and all vary in experience, knowledge and skill. Please call us at 704-376-1911 or 1-800-977-3077, or contact us online for a free case consultation.
MOTOR VEHICLE CASES WE HANDLE
Auto & Truck Collision Resources
- Decode Your NC Crash Report (DMV-349)
North Carolina Consumer Information
- North Carolina Department of Insurance, “A Consumer’s Guide to Automobile Insurance”
- North Carolina Department of Insurance, "A Consumer's Guide to Motorcycle Insurance"
- North Carolina Department of Insurance, "A Consumer's Guide to Public Adjusters"
- North Carolina Department of Insurance, "North Carolina Teen Drivers"