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  • Writer's pictureZachary Port

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month—Protecting Riders This Spring

May is Motorcycle Awareness Month, a crucial time for both motorcyclists and car drivers to focus on safety and prevention of accidents. Motorcycles, while offering a sense of freedom and excitement on the open road, present unique dangers and challenges that are important to address.


Why Motorcycles are Less Visible on the Road

One of the primary reasons motorcycles are involved in accidents is their smaller size compared to cars and trucks, which makes them less visible. Motorcycles lack the bulk and profile of larger vehicles, making it easy for them to disappear in a vehicle's blind spots or be obscured by objects or road conditions. Drivers often fail to notice motorcycles due to “inattentional blindness,” where the brain does not expect to see motorcycles and thus sometimes overlooks them, particularly in heavy traffic or at busy intersections.


The Unique Nature of Motorcycle Injuries

When a motorcycle is involved in a crash, the consequences can be significantly more severe than those involving only automobiles. Unlike cars, motorcycles offer no structural protection to riders, leaving them incredibly vulnerable in the event of a collision. Riders can be thrown off the motorcycle, leading to more severe injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, broken bones, and road rash. These injuries are not only more severe but also more complex and costly to treat, which brings us to how these accidents impact personal injury claims.


Impact on Personal Injury Cases

Motorcycle accidents typically result in higher damages in personal injury cases due to the severity of the injuries. The physical, financial, and emotional costs are often greater, increasing the compensation that motorcyclists need for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Moreover, there is a prevailing bias that motorcyclists are inherently reckless, which can unfairly influence a case against the injured rider. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help navigate these challenges by proving the motorcyclist’s responsible riding habits and highlighting the negligence of other drivers.


Safety Tips for Motorcyclists

With the arrival of spring and more favorable weather conditions, more motorcyclists will be hitting the roads. Here are some crucial safety tips for riders:

  1. Wear Protective Gear: Always wear a helmet with face protection, gloves, long pants, a jacket, and durable footwear. The right gear can significantly reduce the severity of injuries in a crash.

  2. Be Visible: Use reflective tape and bright colors on clothing and your bike. Make sure your headlights work and are on at all times.

  3. Ride Defensively: Assume that other drivers might not see you. Keep a safe distance from other vehicles, avoid blind spots, and be especially cautious at intersections where most motorcycle accidents occur.

  4. Follow Traffic Rules: Obey speed limits, signal your turns or lane changes, and avoid aggressive maneuvers.

  5. Stay Alert: Never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Be aware of road conditions and weather changes.

  6. Take a Motorcycle Safety Course: Even experienced riders can benefit from courses in advanced riding skills and accident avoidance techniques.

Conclusion

Motorcycle Awareness Month is an excellent opportunity for all drivers to remind themselves of the importance of sharing the road safely. Motorcyclists face unique risks, but with proper precautions and awareness from both riders and car drivers, many accidents can be prevented. Whether you're a seasoned rider or considering your first motorcycle, prioritize safety not just in May, but throughout the entire year. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, contacting a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer like Jim Betz or Zack Port can help protect your rights and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Stay safe and enjoy the ride!


man driving motorcycle on road

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