As the weather warms up in the northeast, more motorcyclists are getting out their bikes and beginning to ride once again. With temperatures rising, expect to see more motorcycles on the road. Motorcycle and road safety are particularly important during this time. All motorists need to stay focused on the road and drive safely to avoid a motorcycle accident.
Parker Waichman LLP has decades of experience representing motor vehicle accident victims. The firm continues to offer free legal consultations to individuals with questions about filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit.
In 2015, motorcycle accidents killed 154 people across New York. The year prior, motorcycle fatalities totaled 142. In both 2012 and 2013, 164 people died due to motorcycle crashes. In New York, motorcycles make up about 15 percent of motor vehicle fatalities each year.
The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles gathers data on motor vehicle accidents and reports “crash contributing factors”. Factors contributing to a crash can be categorized as a human factor, vehicular factor or environmental factor.
In 2014, 80 percent of motorcycle contributing crash factors were human factors. Motorcycle accidents were influenced by the following:
- Driver Inattention Distraction (15.4%)
- Driver Inexperience (7.6%)
- Failure to yield right-of-way (17.9%)
- Following too closely (10.3%)
- Improper passing or lane usage (7.6%)
- Reaction to other uninvolved vehicle (7.4%)
- Turning improperly (6.2%)
- Unsafe speed (17.6%)
Tips to Prevent Motorcycle Accidents
Bikers and non-bikers alike can help reduce the risk of a motorcycle accident. When motorcycle crashes occur, it is the motorcyclist that is often seriously or fatally injured because there is nothing between their bodies and the road.
Motorcycles often collide with other vehicles because other motorists do not see them on the road. As such, motorcyclists should do everything they can to ensure that other drivers notice them. “Bikers should do everything possible to make themselves visible to motorists while riding,” said AAA spokesman Josh Carrasco. “Motorists need to keep their attention on the task of driving and be alert for increased motorcycle traffic.”
To prevent injuries, bikers are advised to wear the appropriate safety gear, including helmets, eye protection, closed-toe footwear and protective clothing. Bright clothing and reflective strips can make you visible to other drivers.
AAA says all motorcyclists should be trained properly on how to ride. Avoid risky driving behaviors, such as weaving between lanes. Follow the rules of the road, including the speed limit and using your turn signal.
According to AAA, if you are driving on the road near a biker, be sure to leave them plenty of space. This is especially important during poor weather conditions, heavy traffic, and uneven terrain. Be sure to actively look for motorcyclists; the bikes may be loud, but you may not necessarily hear them in traffic. AAA also says motorists should be particularly careful when making left-hand turns, since this is when most motorcycle accidents occur.
All motorists should avoid distracted driving, drunk driving, drowsy driving and aggressive driving.
Filing a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
A motorcycle accident can cause catastrophic injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI), ranging from mild concussion to cognitive problems
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Back injuries such as a herniated disc
- Blunt force trauma to the chest
- Broken bones
- Facial injuries
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Soft tissue injuries
Seek medical attention immediately if you were involved in a motorcycle accident. Remember that not all injuries appear right away, and it is better to be cautious about your health after an accident.
When suing over a motorcycle accident, documentation can be crucial. Take photos of the accident, your injury, property damage and the scene if possible. If you cannot, ask if someone can do it for you. Other things that can help strengthen your case include eye witness statements and video footage, such as from a security camera.
You have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit, so contact an attorney as soon as you can for a legal consultation. Compensation from a lawsuit can cover medical expenses, such as hospital stays, surgery, medications and physical rehabilitation. You can also seek damages for lost wages, and physical, mental and emotional pain and suffering.
Need Legal Help?
New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, and Florida
Our New York City personal injury lawyers are here to help you when you need it the most.