According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), over the first decade or so of the 21st century, while the overall number of traffic fatalities has fallen, motorcycle accident fatalities have risen.
This is troubling to me as a motorcycle traffic accident lawyer, and as a biker myself. Since we are largely unprotected on our motorcycles, it’s especially important for us to understand the risks we’re taking and how to reduce those risks.
But no matter what precautions you take, riding a bike can be dangerous. As a New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyer, I’ve gained unique insight over my years of experience into the specific factors that cause these types of accidents.
Motorcycle Riding is Risky
These factors make riding your motorcycle riskier, especially when compared to driving a car.
Low visibility to drivers – Your motorcycle is small, and can be hidden by other vehicles or objects.
Road hazards – Debris and small objects, road defects, or wet pavement can all cause a motorcycle to crash.
There’s no barrier between rider and road – Your skill, your leathers and your helmet are the only things between you and serious road rash.
Lower stability – Bikes are inherently less stable than cars, and at high speeds can develop a destabilizing front wheel wobble.
Skill level and difficulty – Safely and successfully riding a bike is more difficult than driving a car. Besides all the typical road rules, you have to deal with the risk factors we’ve just laid out.
These risk factors combine with common scenarios to produce the most dangerous accidents motorcycle traffic accident lawyers must contend with.
- A car driver doesn’t see the motorcycle – Because you have a low profile, it’s easy for motorcycles to slip into a car’s blind spot when they’re changing lanes or at intersections. Any experienced motorcycle traffic accident lawyer’s advice would be to reduce this risk by wearing brightly colored clothing.
- You’re hit by a turning car in an intersection – One of the most common scenarios a motorcycle traffic accident lawyer sees is when a biker is proceeding straight through an intersection, and a car or truck coming the other direction turns left in front of them, or directly into them. Reduce the risk of this type of accident by making sure you are always aware of your environment as you approach an intersection, and are ready to take evasive action.
- Inadequate space between your bike and a car – These types of accidents are common on the highway when a driver gets too close to the biker and overcompensates for a curve, pothole or other road obstruction.
If you’re involved in an accident in any of these types of situations, you may have standing to make a claim, especially if you’ve taken steps to mitigate the risk factors we’ve outlined.
Remember, the most important tool you have for reducing your risk of accident, is the willingness to learn about and implement common sense safety practices.
But if you are unfortunate enough to be in an accident, you need to work with an experienced motorcycle traffic accident lawyer to fight for your rights, and to recover finances for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, etc..
Contact New Jersey motorcycle traffic accident lawyer Lee Gaber at 1-888-292-5352 (888-cycle-law) to discuss your case. New Jersey and Pennsylvania consultations are free.