The lawyers at Adams Legal Group, PLLC are experienced at handling legal claims involving motorcycle accidents, throughout West Virginia. Unfortunately, these claims often have involved very serious injuries or death, as is common when a biker is involved in a wreck. We know how to address the liability issues, including accident reconstructions, where necessary and are very adept in working through the medical and injury or death aspects of these cases as well. If you or a loved one have been injured while riding a motorcycle, because of the negligence or wrongdoing of another driver, please contact us today to discuss your injury or death claim, today – (304) 381-2166
Motorcycle Accident Lawyer’s Tips To Safe Riding
I’m not claiming that as an experienced West Virginia motorcycle accident lawyer that I have all the answers to keep you safe if you choose to ride a motorcycle as a hobby or out of necessity. But what I will tell you is that I guarantee that I can keep you “safer” if you are aware of and constantly remind yourself of certain facts and practice a few basic safety tips religiously. Even if you do everything I write about here to make yourself safer, I can’t guarantee that you won’t be killed or seriously injured while riding a motorcycle. I can tell you, however, that your odds of getting killed or injured when on your motorcycle will go down substantially if you realize that passenger automobile and trucks can’t see you when you are riding your motorbike and that if you drink and ride it’s very likely you won’t make it home in one piece.
You’ve heard the biker slogan “Loud Pipes Save Lives.” The next time people complain to you about the noisy pipes on your Harley Davidson motorcycle, tell them that those loud pipes are about the only safety defense a motorcyclist has when cruising America’s highways. The number one cause of motorcycle accidents is that the drivers of passenger vehicles fail to recognize that you are there in the first place. Not in their blind spot mind you, just even there period! You think you are operating safely but other vehicles are unaware of your presence on the highway. Even if you have your headlight on, given the glare and changing sun light conditions, it’s like your invisible. “What was that? What did we hit?” are often questions that the driver of a passenger vehicle will ask, not having ever had a chance to avoid the collision because they never saw the motorcycle until after the accident had occurred.
This lack of visibility should be the motorcyclist’s number one safety concern when attempting to drive on the highway. It should be presumed that passenger vehicles and truck drivers won’t even see you. It’s not their fault, it’s just a fact that motorcycles are really small and skinny compared to other vehicles that we are used to seeing on the road like cars and trucks. It’s just a fact that you can’t be seen and that’s what causes passenger vehicles to do seemingly stupid things like cutting into your lane and making left-hand turns into you. It only seems like they are out to kill you but I assure you they’re not. They just can’t see you. Accept that fact and plan for it.
Motorcycle – Safe Passing
So given your invisibility, if you are passing on a multi-lane highway assume that the other vehicle will change lanes and cut you off. Sound your horn if you have to before you pass. Flash your lights. Make them aware of your presence. Better yet… don’t pass unless it’s absolutely necessary. If you are passing a large truck like a tractor trailer, be aware that they need more distance to stop so don’t be in a big hurry to get back into the slow lane until you have cover enough distance in front of the truck to allow them to stop safely if necessary. If you are approaching an intersection on a highway, always assume that oncoming traffic will make an illegal left hand turn into your oncoming lane. Slow down 5 or ten miles per hour even if you are approaching an intersection where you have a green light, so that if the oncoming driver does make that stupid left, you will have a chance to avoid them by braking or swerving.
Do Not Drink And Ride
Now given the fact that you are nearly invisible and have little control of your destiny when operating a motorcycle, there is another cause of motorcycle crashes, deaths and injuries that you do have control over. You are much more likely to have a safe day on your motorcycle if you do not drink alcohol while riding. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (www.nhtsa.gov), motorcycle riders that are killed in accidents are 2.5 times more likely to been drinking alcohol than drivers of passenger vehicles. Drinking reduces you inhibitions and that includes reducing the necessary fear one should have when driving a motorcycle. If you drink you may be tempted to go faster than the speed limit, or not care so much about the potential mistakes of oncoming traffic. In addition, riding a motorcycle requires much greater physical motor skills than does operating a passenger vehicle, balance being the big one, and drinking diminishes your motor skills.
Another problem that drinking causes is that it exacerbates a bad mood. Alcohol is a depressant and if you go into a bar in a bad mood, i.e., to drown your sorrows, I guarantee that you’ll leave in an even worse mood. You can be depressed by losing a job, the death of a loved one, or breaking up with your girlfriend, and many, many, many people will turn to alcohol at these times to attempt to lessen their pain. Not caring if you live or die is a bad idea anytime, but that attitude can be fatal if you combine a negative attitude, excessive alcohol consumption, late night hours and getting on a motorcycle to drive home.
If you have not been drinking and stay 100% sober, you will have all your motor skills and mental concentration intact and will increase your chances of avoiding the driver who can’t see you when they cut you off by veering into your passing lane or making that ninety degree left-hand turn into your oncoming lane of traffic. When riding a motorcycle, always drive defensively and always play the percentages.
Contact An Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been killed or injured in West Virginia, as a result of a motorcycle accident, it is vitally important that you contact an experienced attorney who is well versed in the handling of claims against negligent drivers in motorcycle accident cases. Please call Adams Legal Group PLLC for a free consultation – (304) 381-2166. If you have a case, we can come to see you if you are incapacitated and can not leave the hospital or your home. We take personal injury cases on a contingent fee, which means no fee for you, unless we recover money for you!