motorcycle death

Motorcycle Crashes: How to Avoid, What to do After

Motorcycle accidents can leave riders with catastrophic injuries, and as the hobby continues to be popular throughout the United States and especially in California, better education to both riders and car drivers alike can only help to heighten everyone's awareness and hopefully prevent future crashes. After all, there are an estimated 8.6 million motorcycles on the roads, and if you drive a car or truck on California roads, you are guaranteed to be driving alongside motorcyclists eventually. Despite the inherent risk, California is a wonderful place to ride, and the state is home to some of America's most picturesque roads. For both motorcycle riders and car drivers alike, better education can prevent crashes.

California is home to some of the best motorcycle rides in America

California is home to some of the best motorcycle rides in America

Pay Attention at Intersections

Nearly half of all motorcycle-vehicle collisions happen at an intersection. Thus, when approaching an intersection on your motorcycle or in your car, you should be aware and alert that this is where many crashes happen. Vehicles make bad turns - too wide, too soon or out of turn, illegal u-turns, you name it, they happen at intersections. Sometimes the buildings at intersections in commercial areas are distracting, and there can be a lot happening at any given moment, leading to distraction. Every driver passes through intersections regularly, so it's a good habit to develop to pay particular attention to your surroundings at intersections. Remember, even if you're doing everything by the book, that doesn't mean the drivers around you are. For your own protection and safety, paying close attention to traffic in intersections can help you avoid a crash.

Intersections in California can be particularly distracting, as lane-splitting is now legal in the state, meaning when you're stopped, you may have a motorcycle approach you and pass you in-between lanes. Motorists should by now be aware that this technique is legal, but many drivers become frustrated and angry, sometimes creating a dangerous situation for both themselves and the motorcyclist. 

Helmets Save Lives

California requires motorcyclists to wear helmets, and the requirement saves lives. Based on extensive studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), helmets are more than 67 percent more effective at preventing brain injuries than those not wearing a helmet, and helmets are approximately 37 percent more effective at preventing death. California has required riders to wear helmets for some time now, and the effect has undoubtedly been many lives saved. Some motorcycle riders from out of state are unfamiliar with the requirement; failure to wear an appropriate helmet can result in a ticket, regardless of whether you were aware of the requirement or not. The State of California has a free motorcycle safety and laws handbook, which is available for download, and is also available at all California DMV locations. The contents of this handbook are valuable for all riders, both those who live in California and those who do not. 

Don't risk the "coolness" factor of riding without a helmet. A helmet can save your life!

Don't risk the "coolness" factor of riding without a helmet. A helmet can save your life!

Motorcycles Are More Dangerous Than Cars

More people die in car accidents every year than in motorcycle accidents, but that's because there are more cares on the road than motorcycles. In fact, motorcycles are an estimated 27 times deadlier than cars in the United States, based on federal government comparisons of death per mil traveled. Part of the reasons for so many deaths related to motorcycle accidents is that motorcycles do not provide protection to the rider, so when there is a collision between a car and a motorcycle, the rider's body takes the impact, whereas a car's doors and frame take the impact in a car accident.

Also, a motorcycle rider can easily fall off his or her bike after impact with another vehicle, so even a seemingly minor collision can put a rider onto the roadway; depending on how fast he or she was moving at the time of collision, a motorcyclist can die as a result of a minor impact, after losing control of the bike and falling into the roadway at a high rate of speed. 

What to Do After a Motorcycle Crash

First, regardless of what happened, who caused the crash, and many other important questions, you must take care of your health. Seek proper medical treatment, even if you're worried about your ability to pay for the resulting medical bills. Many people involved in car crashes decline to go to the hospital or see their doctor based on financial pressure; while understandable, this decision can have devastating consequences in the long run. If you weren't at fault for the crash, a good injury lawyer will likely be able to recover the costs of your medical care, so you won't be stuck with high bills in the end. Reasonable medical attention should be sought when your injuries require an expert's opinion. Sometimes this is obvious, such as with fractures and lacerations. Other times, such as whiplash and neck and back pain, people decide not to go to a doctor, but they may be setting themselves up for many months or even years of pain that could otherwise be treated by a competent doctor.

Document Everything

If you were injured, you will eventually be making a claim to the other party's insurance company. Any money you are paid will likely come from their insurance, but first you will need to prove everything, including that you were actually injured, the cost of your medical treatment, and any other expenses for which you are seeking compensation. Don't expect the insurance company to take your word for it, or to show much sympathy. Their job is to pay as little money as possible to resolve your claim. Expect the insurance adjuster to reduce your medical bills, meaning they will offer to pay a portion of the bill, but not the bill in its entirety. Again, a good injury lawyer will make sure this doesn't happen, but it is to be expected if you try to settle your claim alone. Of course, because motorcycle accidents can result in serious injury, the medical treatment required can sometimes be very expensive. Before undergoing very expensive procedures, you may want to discuss your claim with a personal injury lawyer, as the phone call may give you some insight into how the procedure will affect your case, and whether the bill is likely to be paid by the at-fault driver's insurance company or not.

Consult With a Personal Injury Lawyer

You may decide not to hire a lawyer in the end, but the information you will learn by talking with an injury attorney can be invaluable. The Lions Injury Lawyers, P.C. represent motorcycle riders throughout California for all types of injury claims, including lane-splitting crashes, debris on the roadway crashes, motorcycle versus auto crashes, and most other motorcycle-related claims. At the very least, a telephone call with a knowledgable attorney will give you a better understanding of how your claim will be processed, the timeline of claim processing, and even the approximate value of your case. The Lions Injury Lawyers strive to help their clients return to full health, and return to financial stability. If it wasn't your fault, you should not have to pay for medical bills, and you should be paid for the pain and suffering you've endured. Call the Lions Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation with a personal injury lawyers.

California is home to many motorcycle enthusiasts, and for good reason. California roads can be the perfect terrain to ride your motorcycle.

California is home to many motorcycle enthusiasts, and for good reason. California roads can be the perfect terrain to ride your motorcycle.

Motorcycle Safety Tips for California Car Drivers

California motorcycle riders have the benefit of riding their bikes nearly year round, and so driving around motorcycles is not a seasonal occurrence here. The State of California requires motorcycle riders to pass a safety test prior to taking to the road, but aside from perhaps a question on the written exam at the California DMV for new drivers, car drivers are not required to know much about driving around motorcycles. Tragically, motorcycle-related injuries and deaths are common on our roadways. Here are a few things to keep in mind that will help car drivers and motorcycle riders stay safe and avoid crashes.

Motorcyclist deaths occurred 27 times more frequently than fatalities in other vehicles, based on 2014 fatal crash data. To keep motorcyclists safe, we urge everyone to share the road and be alert, and we’re reminding motorcyclists to make themselves visible, to use DOT-compliant motorcycle helmets, and to always ride sober.
— National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Keep Your Distance

Give motorcyclists a full lane width, even if you think you can fit into the same lane. They are entitled the same space and accommodation as a car. Of course motorcycles and their riders take up less space and maintain a lower profile on the road. Treat them like a normal size vehicle, and give plenty of space. Especially when you're behind a motorcycle, leave at least four to five seconds of stopping distance at any speed, just in case. You never know when you will encounter poor road conditions, a slow moving vehicle that turns in front of the motorcyclist, or another unpredicted condition that will force the motorcyclist to slow. You don't want to rear end anyone, much less a motorcyclist. Motorcycles lack the "crashworthiness" of automobiles and trucks, meaning crashes involving motorcycles are more likely to result in injury, serious injury, and even death. Keep your distance and both you and the motorcycle rider will stay safe.

Look Twice

Because motorcyclists take up less space on the road than cars and trucks, many injury-causing accidents are the result of car drivers either not checking their blind spot, or doing so as a matter of habit and not really looking to see if someone is in their blind spot. Especially during the summer months when there are more motorcycles on the roads in California, you should be checking your blind spot and using heightened caution with the specific awareness of whether there are motorcycle riders in the area. This is especially important when making a left hand turn, as approximately 40 percent of all motorcycle crashes involve a car that turned left in front of the motorcyclist. These are accidents that can be avoided. Tragically, due to the exposed nature of a motorcycle rider to direct contact with a vehicle, many motorcycle accidents result in serious injury and death. Look twice before turning or changing lanes.

Info credit: http://www.scpr.org/news/2014/12/24/48867/gas-prices-economy-blamed-for-spike-in-motorcycle/

Info credit: http://www.scpr.org/news/2014/12/24/48867/gas-prices-economy-blamed-for-spike-in-motorcycle/

Be Considerate

Every California driver has seen inconsiderate and often rude motorcycle riders drive past them at often unsafe speeds, sometimes weaving in and out of traffic. These riders are the exception to the norm. Most California motorcyclists are respectful, law abiding riders. Even if they weren't - the law requires you to give them ample space and consideration on the road. As the signs say, "Share the Road" with motorcyclists! If you are bitter about being cut off by a motorcyclist, or think they're reckless and dangerous, consider your own safety as well. Don't attempt to rectify the situation by trying to regulate motorcyclist behavior; crashes involving motorcyclists often occur due to the automobile driver trying to correct what they perceive to be bad driving by motorcyclists. Crashes don't only hurt motorcyclists, but also often result in the driver of the car and his or her passengers being injured as well. 

Motorcycle Crashes

If you were involved in a motorcycle crash as a car driver, you should proceed to remove yourself from the roadway and make sure your vehicle is in a safe spot. Then, you are in a position to try to assist the motorcyclist, if possible. Depending on the nature of the collision, you may not be able to help the motorcyclist, and should immediately call 911 if the situation appears to necessitate the help of medical professionals. Don't worry about who was at fault, your car insurance, or anything other than the safety and well-being of yourself and the other parties involved in the crash. When you are safe and the proper authority has been called, you should exchange information with the other parties and contact your auto insurance provider. Most California insurance policies require drivers involved in a car accident resulting in around or more than $500 property damage to report the collision; they are also required to report the car crash when someone is injured, even if the injury is not severe or catastrophic.

Motorcycle Crash Attorneys

Depending on the nature of your crash, if you were injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be well served by contacting a California injury attorney. Even when the facts seem straightforward, there are many unforeseen loopholes that enable insurance carriers to deny coverage. This can mean that your medical bills and pain and suffering, as well as lost time from work and other expenses will not be covered by the at fault party's insurance, or your insurance. The Lions Injury Lawyers represent injured people throughout the state of California, including many motorcyclists. The injury attorneys at The Lions are experienced in handling the details of car crashes resulting in injury, especially motorcycle accidents that result in injury and death. If you or a loved one was injured on a motorcycle and the crash was not your fault, call The Lions Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation with an injury lawyer.