For motorcyclists, auto drivers might pose the biggest hazard

On Behalf of | Sep 12, 2018 | Firm News

Soon, temperatures will cool down, and if you are a keen motorcyclist in the areas surrounding Spearfish, South Dakota, and Sundance in Wyoming, you will likely take to the roads as much as possible before it becomes too cold. However, you can never be careful enough when you are out riding. Awareness of your surroundings and an understanding of the risks are crucial.

Although there are far fewer motorcycles than automobiles on the roads, a significant percentage of crashes nationwide involves bikes. Statistics also indicate that bikers are more likely to suffer catastrophic or even fatal injuries because motorcycles provide no protection.

Why are bikers more vulnerable?

Many people say that bikers take more risks on the roads than automobile drivers do. The fact that the percentage of bike crash fatalities far exceeds the percentage of motorcycles present on the roads might underscore that opinion. Several factors make bikers more vulnerable. The first one is the fact that motorcyclists do not have seat belts, airbags, protective frames and other advanced safety features to protect operators in the event of a crash.

Despite the protection of a safety helmet, gloves, boots and leather riding suits, injuries can be catastrophic. Your helmet, for example, might prevent an open wound to your head, but it cannot stop your brain from smashing into the walls of your skull. Furthermore, motorcycles are much smaller than other vehicles on the road, and drivers do not always see bikers.

Motorcycle accident causes:

Bikers and motorists must comply with the same rules. Crashes do not just happen — it typically takes negligent drivers or bikers to cause them. The following are just some of the common mistakes made by bikers:

  • Impairment and speeding: Sadly, road safety authorities say alcohol and excessive speed cause a significant percentage of accidents involving single motorcycles.
  • Lane splitting: The maneuverability and agility of bikes make riding them so much fun. However, riding between two lanes of traffic is incredibly dangerous.
  • Left-hand turns: Reportedly, almost half of all car vs. motorcycle accidents involve vehicles turning left. This could happen if you go straight through an intersection when a driver turns without noticing you. It could also occur if a car turns left while you are in the process of overtaking or passing it.

These are but some of the most common mistakes bikers make, but it certainly does not mean vehicle operators are mostly innocent as there is no shortage of drunk drivers. Also, many crashes occur because motorists fail to yield to motorcycles because they either did not see them or they misjudged the speed and distance of an oncoming motorcycle.

Your legal options

If you have to deal with the financial and emotional consequences of a motorcycle accident, you might find comfort in knowing that help is available. An experienced South Dakota personal injury attorney can navigate a lawsuit against a negligent driver. This might allow you to recover and return to work. However, bike accident injuries could be life-changing, and having someone to fight for maximum damage recovery on your behalf will indeed be an invaluable asset.

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