Did you know May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month? It’s a great opportunity to shed some light on the challenges bikers face on the open road. Plus, how we all can make an extra effort to keep everyone safe this summer.
“People just don’t see us,” says Attorney Michael Galvin of VanDerGinst Law, P.C. As an avid rider himself, Galvin’s biggest frustration comes from the fact that many motorists don’t respect motorcycles. They also don’t respect their right to use the road the way any other traveler does. “What might be an insignificant fender bender when cars and trucks are involved could lead to life-threatening injuries for a motorcyclist.”
Death on a Motorcycle is 28 Times More Likely Than Other Vehicles
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), death on a motorcycle is 28 times more likely than in another vehicle based on 2016 crash data. “Just because I’m on a motorcycle doesn’t mean you have the right to not see me,” says Galvin.
Galvin and other motorcyclists hope to end the prejudice that exists against motorcycles. However, the responsibility doesn’t fall solely on motor vehicles. Bikers themselves need to take certain measures to ensure they are riding smart.
Wearing a helmet, for example, should be a no-brainer. However, only 65% of riders actually follow this advice according to NHTSA’s 2017 data. Not wearing a helmet can lead to serious head injuries and reduce your settlement. In addition to a helmet, the use of protective gear can help prevent road rash in a crash. This could include jackets, gloves, and boots. Additionally, reflective gear can help make you more visible to other drivers.
Alcohol and Motorcycles Don’t Mix
Last but certainly not least, remember that alcohol and motorcycles don’t mix. The NHTSA reports that one-fourth of bikers involved in fatal crashes in 2016 were under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol use can certainly hurt your chances of recovering damages in an accident, even if you are a passenger. If you get on the back of a motorcycle knowing the driver is intoxicated, it could minimize the viability of your claim because you’ve assumed the risk. What’s more, if you were responsible for enabling the driver to get drunk, you could be guilty of complicity.
Whether you are a motorist or a biker, you can prevent a tragedy by following these common-sense tips. And if you are a victim of a motorcycle accident, remember that VanDerGinst Law will work on your behalf to secure your rightful settlement.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact VanDerGinst Law today. Our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys help guide you through the complexities of your case. The consultation is free and there is never a fee unless we win. Call VanDerGinst Law at 800-797-5391. We’ll make it easier for you.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – Motorcycle Helmet Use in 2017—Overall Resultshttps://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/motorcycle-safety
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