Motorcycle riders have the same rights and responsibilities as any motorist on the road. By sharing the road responsibly and obeying traffic laws, both riders and drivers can do their part in avoiding preventable motorcycle accidents – which often result in catastrophic injuries and life-altering consequences for victims.
At Koenigsberg & Associates Law Offices, our Brooklyn personal injury lawyers have helped victims protect their rights to compensation following accidents that were not their fault, including motorcycle accidents. To help you and your loved ones stay safe, whether on a bike or in a car, we have provided the following tips:
- Ride defensively – Motorcycle riders are well aware of the increased risks they face when sharing public roads with cars, trucks, and commercial vehicles. As such, the emphasis should always be defensive riding when on a bike. This means surveying one’s surroundings at all times and anticipating other driver’s moves, especially in heavy traffic, on highways, and near intersections, where a majority of motorcycle collisions occur.
- See and be seen – Part of defensive riding rests a lot upon seeing and being seen. To be seen, riders should always avoid blind spots, wear bright or reflective gear, and ensure they make eye contact with motorists before entering traffic, turning, or passing vehicles. Vigilance is also important, so make sure you are able to see your surroundings at all times by avoiding distractions and exercising extra care.
- Drive sober – Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that motorcycle collisions commonly involve a rider who was impaired by alcohol or drugs. Just as you would expect any motorists to drive sober, you should never get on a bike while intoxicated. Plan for a ride or make plans to stay somewhere once you start indulging.
- Wear a helmet – Whether you’re riding in a state with mandatory helmet laws or not, you should always wear DOT approved protective head gear. Wearing a helmet is statistically proven to save lives, and prevent serious and life-altering injuries, including traumatic brain injuries.
- Avoid distractions – Distracted driving is leading a recent surge in highway deaths, according to the U.S. Department of transportation. Unfortunately, motorcycle riders, who are often lost in blind spots or overseen, are among the most vulnerable people on our roads when it comes to driver distraction. By avoiding cell phone use, texting, and other forms of dangerous distractions or multi-tasking behind the wheel, you can help reduce risks for riders and everyone nearby.
- Be vigilant – Most motorcycle wrecks result from drivers who claimed they never saw a rider. Make sure you always drive vigilantly and with the idea that a rider may be nearby at any time. In addition to scanning surroundings, always check your mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes, making turns, and entering intersections. It could save a rider’s life.
- Travel at a safe distance – Motorcycle riders may need to stop or maneuver suddenly when other drivers oversee them and make maneuvers that put them in harm’s way. As such, provide enough distance between you and a rider when following them to allow for the unexpected, and to ensure you have time to avoid a rear end collision.
- Obey traffic laws – This may sound simple, but even the most minor traffic infractions can have big consequences for riders. By using your turn signals, driving at a safe speed, driving sober, and yielding to traffic at intersections, you help reduce risks of preventable wrecks that commonly hurt motorcyclists.
Ultimately, it is the responsibility of both riders and drivers to do they part in avoiding motorcycle accidents. Even when motorcyclists do all they can to be safe, however, they can still fall victim to avoidable wrecks caused by negligent motorists. When they do, they have the right to seek compensation for their damages by pursuing personal injury claims.
If you wish to discuss a motorcycle accident anywhere in the NYC area or beyond, call our firm for a fREE consultation. Koenigsberg & Associates Law Offices is available around the clock to help!