People who ride motorcycles usually know what they’re getting into, danger-wise, but if you ride a motorcycle it helps to be conscious of specific threats to your safety. Some are completely under your control, some you can avoid, and some unpredictable threats are the result of the negligence of those with whom you share the road. If you find yourself the victim of a motorcycle accident, it’s this last category of threat that may entitle you to compensation from the negligent person who put you in harm’s way.
Road conditions and weather
When it’s 70 degrees and sunny, there are a lot of motorcyclists out for a reason. Rain, snow, fog and ice all put riders in danger and make it more likely that a motorcyclist will lose balance and fall.
Hazardous road conditions can also present a threat, even in the nicest of weather. Potholes, fresh gravel, and unmarked construction zones can all trip you up, and in some cases, a lack of warning about a hazard such as a road block or construction zone constitutes negligence. You can mitigate these threats by paying close attention to your surroundings and keenly watching for anything out of the ordinary. And if road conditions are that bad or if you feel rattled, pause to evaluate the situation and think about resting somewhere.
Driving under the influence
Alcohol is to blame for a large chunk of motorcycle accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that the percentage of intoxicated motorcyclists killed in crashes “is greater than the percentage of intoxicated drivers on our roads.”
“Alcohol affects those skills essential to riding a motorcycle — balance and coordination … It plays a particularly big role in motorcycle fatalities,” according to the NHTSA.
Other drivers can also hurt motorcycle riders as a result of driving drunk. Because of this, it is necessary to closely observe the movements of other drivers if you’re on a bike. If someone is driving erratically, consider slowing down or using some other tactic to avoid them.
Just as some motorcycle riders are hyper-aware of the dangers all around, some automobile drivers are equally clueless about the vulnerability of motorcyclists. Negligent drivers play a role in the thousands of motorcycle crashes that happen in the U.S. every year. Many drivers, especially those at the wheel of larger vehicles like trucks, have large “blind spots” — areas to the rear or side of their vehicle that they can’t see. If a driver doesn’t remember to check his or her blind spots before turning or switching lanes, he or she could bring disaster upon a nearby motorcyclist. If this happens, the driver may be at fault.
Other instances of driver negligence include talking on the cell phone, texting, applying makeup, speeding, and driving erratically or recklessly. If you are hurt because someone was driving irresponsibly, you may be owed damages.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, the first thing to do is always to get help for your injuries. Your health always comes first. If you believe the accident was caused by negligent or reckless behavior by another driver, exercise your rights and contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Alpert Schreyer, LLC. We will listen to you, review your case, and get you the compensation you deserve.