With the warmer weather approaching, more motorcyclists will be getting out to enjoy the fresh air and open roads. While riding can be fun, it can also be dangerous. With May being Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, it makes sense to go over some safety precautions one must follow before getting on their bike. Motorcyclists always need to drive carefully to avoid motorcycle accidents.
Motorcycle riders suffer more major injuries in accidents than others. It could mean a long road of recovery and mounting medical bills. Hiring a lawyer can help sort through a victim’s legal options.
There are risks that motorcycle riders encounter that car riders do not. For instance, there is a higher risk toward motorcyclists when they come across debris or other road hazards. Riders are also more prone to severe injuries when involved in accidents. Unlike car drivers, there is no metal frame surrounding them for protection and no air bag will deploy if they hit something. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to be killed in accidents than other motorists.
Pennsylvania is one of the top ten states for motorcycle accidents. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reported that in 2018, out of all accidents that occurred in the state, motorcycle crashes represented a little more than two percent, however, motorcycle crashes represented more than 14 percent of all fatal crashes.
Before a person decides to ride on their motorcycle, there are several precautions they should take. Primarily, it is illegal in Pennsylvania to ride a motorcycle without the proper license. To obtain a proper license, one must pass a written test before taking a road test.
In addition, it is wise to check the weather before going out to determine if it is safe to ride. If there is rain in the forecast, it could make for slippery and dangerous roadways. A person may choose to postpone their trip until the weather improves.
It is also important for all drivers to wear a helmet with a face shield to protect them from flying debris or if they get into an accident. A helmet will protect a person’s head from getting a concussion.
Once it has been determined that the conditions are safe to drive and the rider is protected, the next step is to inspect the motorcycle itself to ensure that it is safe. To do that, a rider should check the following:
Additionally, no one should ever ride a motorcycle if they have had too much to drink or are under the influence of a narcotic.
Once out on the road, riders need to practice all safety precautions. The basics include sitting properly on the bike in the center of the seat with both hands firmly on the handlebars, unless signaling. Also, riders should obey all traffic laws and posted speed limits and be cognizant of other drivers and riders on the road. There are other safety measures that riders should follow, which include the following:
The laws pertaining to motorcycle riders differ state-by-state, and another safety precaution is to know the law in the state a person is riding in. What might be legal in one state, may not be legal in another. For instance, in Pennsylvania it is illegal for motorcycles to lane split. This is when a motorcycle will ride in between two lanes of traffic. Other rules include:
Additionally, motorcycles must have insurance, but it is up to them if they wish to carry no-fault insurance or fault-based insurance. Under the former, no one is held liable for an accident and all claims go directly to the insurance. Under the latter, someone could be held liable and forced to pay for damages. For help with a claim after an accident, an injured motorcyclist should speak to a lawyer.
While riding your motorcycle can be fun, there is a significant danger associated with it. A Pittsburgh personal injury lawyer at AlpernSchubert P.C. can help you after a motorcycle accident. Call us at 412-765-1888 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Pittsburgh, we serve clients throughout western Pennsylvania, including Allegheny County, Lawrence County, and Washington County.