Motorcyclists are some of the most vulnerable people on the road. 112 people died in motorcycle accidents in Indiana during 2019 alone. People riding motorcycles do not have the protective structure surrounding them that people in most cars have. This means that it takes less for motorcycle accidents to be more severe. Very few motorcycle accidents can be considered minor. However, there are steps motorcyclists can take to protect themselves while on the road. If they do get into an accident, they may be able to seek compensation.
Tips for Riding Safely
Many people who ride motorcycles do so because it is a fun pastime, and the views can be beautiful. However, anyone who gets behind the handlebars should consider the following safety tips to avoid getting into an accident:
- Watch your speed: Anyone driving a motorcycle at too high a speed gives themselves less time to react in an emergency. Other cars, debris in the road, and various hazards can appear very suddenly. Following the posted speed limits can help prevent an accident.
- Look behind: When coming to a stop at intersections or because something is in the road, motorcyclists should look behind them once their motorcycle has slowed down. Unfortunately, many motorcycle accidents are caused by distracted drivers rear-ending a motorcycle. Checking to see what’s coming from behind may give motorcyclists enough time to get out of the way.
- Single file: Motorcyclists should try to avoid riding between moving traffic and cars that are parked. If a door opens on a parked car and there is moving traffic on the other side, a motorcycle will have nowhere to go to avoid a collision. Also, riding this way does not give motorcyclists enough time to react to pedestrians entering the street from the sidewalk.
- Ride sober: Motorcyclists should never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Motorcycle maintenance: The risk of an accident can be decreased by keeping up with motorcycle maintenance at regular intervals. This includes brakes, the engine, headlights, tires, etc.
- Wear a helmet: Anyone on a moving motorcycle should wear a helmet. Helmets help protect riders from severe head and brain injuries in the event of an accident.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Collisions between motorcycles and other vehicles happen even when motorcyclists take as many safety measures as possible. Oftentimes, the responsibility lies with the driver of the car. Some common reasons motorcycle accidents occur are:
- Cars turning left: Cars making left turns cause many motorcycle accidents. A driver who is speeding, distracted, or driving in an area with low visibility might hit a motorcycle in an intersection. Drivers turning left are required to yield to oncoming traffic, and accidents can happen when they fail to do so.
- Cars in the passing lane: If a driver attempts to pass another car without seeing an oncoming motorcycle, a head-on collision can take place. This type of accident is especially dangerous because cars can weigh more than 4 times as much as motorcycles. The difference in force can result in serious injury or death for motorcycle riders.
- Hazards in the road: Gravel in the road, railway tracks, uneven roads, and winter weather can cause motorcycles to crash more easily than vehicles. A motorcycle is smaller and less grounded than a car and will react more intensely to road hazards. Road hazards may also cause car drivers to swerve to try to avoid them, hitting motorcycle riders in the opposite lane.
- Negligent drivers: Drivers who are not paying attention to the road are the cause of many accidents. They may fail to notice a motorcycle until it’s too late for them to react.
Compensation in Personal Injury Cases
If an injured motorcyclist has a claim, they will not have to pay anything upfront until their case is won, and likely receive compensation for what they went through. Some examples of potential compensation include:
- Medical bills: Anyone who endures a motorcycle accident is likely to have significant medical bills. This includes ambulance rides, hospital stays, medication, and more. A large part of a personal injury settlement will be to compensate the injured party for these bills.
- Property loss: An accident will damage or destroy a motorcycle. If the other party is responsible for the accident, the motorcyclist may receive compensation for their lost property.
- Lost wages: Recovering from a motorcycle accident takes time. Severe injuries often make people unable to work, which means they lose out on paychecks. An injured motorcyclist could claim their lost wages in a personal injury case.
- Emotional distress: The emotional toll an accident and recovery may take on a person can be significant. Many people are awarded compensation for emotional distress, pain and suffering, anxiety, and depression that they experience due to an accident.
We’ll Fight on Your Behalf
At Tabor Law Firm, we understand the serious nature of your personal injury claim. That’s why we will put 100 years of combined experience behind our fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Our qualified and well-respected lawyers will act as your advocates and guides as you navigate the legal process. Contact us for a free consultation at (317) 236-9000 or online.