Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers Discuss Motorcycle Safety MonthMay 5, 2017
May is Motorcycle Safety Month in Maryland. Motorcyclists are extremely vulnerable on the road, as they do not have the safety features of a vehicle to shield them in the event of a wreck. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) estimates that a person riding a motorcycle is 30 times more likely to be killed in a motorcycle accident than someone in a car. However, there are steps that motorcyclists can take to minimize their risk.
Motorcycle safety begins before getting on a bike. Choosing the right motorcycle is crucial, especially for those who are new to biking. Newer models now come equipped with fast, powerful engines that may be difficult for those with less experience to control. The size and weight of the bike must fit the driver properly, or he or she could lose control. Safety features such as antilock brakes (ABS) are important for even the most skilled drivers, as they prevent loss of steering control during sudden stops. According to the IIHS, motorcycles with ABS were 37 percent less likely to have a fatal crash than models without it.
Safe Driving a Must for Motorcyclists
Brushing up on motorcycle safety is a good idea at any stage in your ridership. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) and similar organizations host courses on riding technique for multiple skill levels. The majority of accidents involving motorcycles are caused by automobile drivers, so learning to drive defensively can help keep motorcyclists safe. In addition to safety measures that could save lives, taking a course at MSF offers other benefits, including insurance discounts and credits toward motorcycle purchases from some manufacturers.
The last step before getting on a bike should always be to perform a quick inspection to make sure everything is running smoothly. Motorcyclists should check out their brakes, chain, belt, or shaft to ensure everything is in working order and inspect tires for loss of tread or pressure. If one of these parts gets worn or starts to fail, it can cause a deadly accident.
Protective Gear Saves Lives
Wearing the right gear while on the road can help prevent serious injury in the event of a motorcycle accident. Clothing should provide full coverage and be reinforced, and it is a good idea to wear bright colors or reflectors to increase visibility to drivers. Leather jacket, full pants, gloves, goggles or a helmet visor, and footwear that covers the ankle should be worn at all times to protect against road rash; jackets with breathable mesh can provide helpful ventilation in the warmer months. The right attire can also protect against bugs, wind chill, or debris.
Most importantly, protective gear should include a helmet. Riders without a helmet are 40 percent more likely to sustain a fatal head injury and three times more likely to suffer severe brain trauma; states that have repealed their helmet safety laws have seen a sharp increase in these types of injuries. Newer helmets are lighter and more comfortable, in addition to providing stronger protection. Bikers should replace their helmet every five years to account for wear and tear and keep up with safety advances.
Motorcyclists must be very careful to avoid road hazards. Potholes, road bumps, and railroad tracks are much more of a risk to motorcycles than to larger vehicles. Motorcycles make less contact with the road than cars, so items like sand, wet leaves, or pebbles that make their way onto the road can cause drivers to lose control. Motorcyclists are also more vulnerable to the weather and should avoid riding in inclement conditions whenever possible.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Injured Motorcyclists
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, call the Baltimore motorcycle accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. Our knowledgeable, experienced lawyers will aggressively fight for your rights to get you the compensation to which you are entitled. Call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online for a free consultation.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent those injured in motorcycle accidents in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.