Top 12 Tips for Riders During Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

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Top 12 Tips for Riders During Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Top 12 Tips for Riders During Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

May 16, 2022

As of 2019, California has the largest number of registered motorcycles in the United States, with over 808,000. The state with the second highest number of registered motorcycles was Florida, with over 200,000 fewer confirmed bikes than the Golden State. As May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, Dordulian Law Group has put together some important tips for both motorcyclists and car/truck drivers.

Top 12 Tips for Riders During Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Additionally, we’ll look at some motorcycle accident statistics for 2022, review what to do if you’re injured in a crash, and discuss what types of damages may be recoverable in a motorcycle collision civil lawsuit.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics for 2022

According to the latest statistics provided in September 2021 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 5,014 motorcyclists were killed in crashes in 2019. Those fatal motorcycle accidents accounted for 14% of all traffic deaths that year.

Some additional motorcycle accident statistics provided by the NHTSA include:

  • 29% of motorcycle riders killed in 2019 accidents were drunk.
  • 71% of motorcyclists reported using Department of Transportation (DOT)-compliant helmets in 2019.
  • An estimated 84,000 motorcyclists were injured in 2019 (a 2% increase from 82,000 motorcyclists injured in 2018).
  • Per vehicle miles traveled in 2019, motorcyclist fatalities occurred nearly 29 times more frequently than passenger car occupant fatalities in traffic crashes.
  • 30% of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes in 2019 were riding without valid motorcycle licenses.
  • In 2019, motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes had higher percentages of alcohol impairment than drivers of any other motor vehicle type (29% for motorcycles, 20% for passenger cars, 19% for light trucks, and 2% for large trucks).
  • 42% of motorcycle riders who died in single-vehicle crashes in 2019 were alcohol-impaired.
  • Motorcycle riders killed in traffic crashes at night were almost three times more frequently alcohol-impaired than those killed during the day in 2019.
  • In states without universal helmet laws, 57% of motorcyclists killed in 2019 were not wearing helmets, as compared to 9% in states with universal helmet laws.

The NHTSA notes that the above information on fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes was based on data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). Additionally, the non-fatal motor vehicle traffic crash statistics were based on data from the National Automotive Sampling System (NASS), the General Estimates System (GES), and the Crash Report Sampling System (CRSS).

Some additional motorcycle helmet safety statistics for 2016 provided by the NHTSA include:

  • An estimated 1,859 motorcyclists’ lives were saved by helmets.
  • An estimated 802 additional motorcyclists’ lives could have been saved if riders had worn helmets.
  • Helmets are estimated to reduce operator deaths by at least 37%.

Top 12 Tips for Riders During Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Top 12 Tips for Riders During Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
Given the popularity of motorcycling here in California, Dordulian Law Group (DLG) has put together some important safety tips for riders.

  1. Get Familiar With Your Bike: Motorcycles are unique, and every rider should be sure to take an appropriate amount of time to get properly acquainted – particularly whenever upgrading to a new bike.
  2. Wear a Helmet: While this is one safety tip that’s hopefully implied, some motorcycle riders choose not to wear helmets. But helmets can be the difference between life and death in the event of a motorcycle accident. As the NHTSA confirms, in states without universal helmet laws, 57% of motorcyclists killed in 2019 were not wearing helmets (compared to only 9% in states mandating universal helmet laws).
  3. Maintain Your Motorcycle: Ensuring that your bike receives regularly scheduled maintenance is a great way to keep it performing at optimum level, but it can also help prevent an unfortunate accident leading to serious or even catastrophic injuries.
  4. Check Your Bike Before Every Ride: Before every ride, it is recommended that motorcyclists check tire pressure, turn signals, foot and hand brakes, and fluid levels.
  5. Ride Defensively: Motorcyclists are at an obvious disadvantage when it comes to potential collisions with cars, trucks, and tractor trailers sharing the roadways. Accordingly, it’s recommended that motorcyclists drive defensively and vigilantly at all times. Be aware of blinds spots for both cars and trucks, and ride with your lights on during the day and night.
  6. Obey the Rules of the Road: Following posted speed limits, lane markings, and all traffic signals is not only common sense, but it can also help ensure that you get to your destination safely.
  7. Keep Weather Conditions in Mind: Weather can change in an instant, and inclement conditions can make your motorcycle trip inherently dangerous. Accordingly, always check the weather forecast for the day before heading out on your bike.
  8. NEVER Drink and Drive: As mentioned above, motorcyclists are unfortunately much more likely to die in drunk or drug-induced crashes. Driving a motorcycle under the influence of any type of substance is strongly discouraged (not to mention illegal).
  9. Take a Safety Course: The California Highway Patrol offers a R.I.D.E. Right motorcyclist safety course which includes a “hands on experience that will teach the necessary skills so you can be a Responsible, Informed, Disciplined, and Equipped rider.” Other benefits include a DMV skills test waiver and possible insurance breaks.
  10. Wear Appropriate Motorcycle Gear: DOT-approved helmets, goggles, leather jackets, leather pants or chaps, over the ankle boots, and non-slip gloves are all essential types of gear that can help protect you from not only the elements, but also road rash, debris, and serious injury in the event of an accident.
  11. Be Visible: Motorcyclists should never assume they are visible to cars and trucks sharing the roadways. Wearing bright colors or reflective clothing and driving with your headlights on can help ensure that you’re always seen by other drivers.
  12. Carry a First-Aid Kit: In the event of an accident that leads to an injury, a standard first-aid kit can be useful. Keeping a kit inside your bike is strongly recommended.
  13. Top 6 Tips for Car/Truck Drivers During Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

    1. Check Your Blind Spots: As a car or truck driver, a motorcycle can easily slip into your blind spot. Accordingly, be sure to always check your mirrors when changing lanes or turning (and always use your signals).
    2. Don’t Tailgate: This is a common-sense tip regardless of whether you’re following a car, truck, bicycle, or motorcycle. But as it’s Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, remember to never tailgate a bike.
    3. Slow Down Around Motorcycles: Motorcycles are unique machines. As such, bikes don’t turn, handle, or accelerate the same as other vehicles. Driving cautiously (e.g. slowly) around motorcycles is always recommended.
    4. Always Signal When Turning: If a motorcycle should slip into your blind spot, signaling is one way to help avoid an accident – particularly when making a left hand turn.
    5. Don’t Drink and Drive: Drinking and driving is illegal and strongly discouraged. But when sharing the roads with motorcycles, drunk drivers can cause serious accidents leading to catastrophic injuries for motorcyclists. NEVER drink and drive.
    6. Dim Your Headlights: While you may not realize as much as a car or truck driver, motorcyclists can actually become temporarily blinded by your vehicle’s high beams. Accordingly, it’s recommended that you dim your headlights whenever traveling in the presence of motorcycles.

    What Can I Do if I’ve Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?

    If you’ve been injured in a California motorcycle accident, you may be facing a long road to recovery which includes substantial medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Motorcycle accident injuries are often severe, requiring long-term care and rehabilitation.

    In fact, a 2019 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration confirmed that motorcyclists involved in traffic collisions are 26-28 times more likely to die (and nine times more likely to be injured) than automobile passengers.

    Some of the common injuries that can result from motorcycle accidents include:

    • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
    • Concussion (MTBI)
    • Spinal cord injuries
    • Road rash injuries
    • Broken or fractured bones
    • Lower extremity injuries
    • Internal organ damage
    • Lacerations, scrapes, and bruises

    After a motorcycle accident due to another’s negligence, an injured rider may wish to file a civil lawsuit ensuring that all applicable damages are obtained and a complete recovery is made – both physically and financially. Financial hardship and pain and suffering should not be the responsibility of you, the motorcyclist, but of the at-fault car or truck driver.

    By filing a personal injury claim, the motorcycle accident attorneys at DLG will fight to help you recover the compensation you need to avoid financial hardship over lost wages or a reduced earning capacity. We’ll also work tirelessly to ensure that you get the best medical care available for your injuries.

    What Damages Can be Recovered in a Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawsuit?

    After a motorcycle accident that leads to an injury, the types of economic and non-economic damages that may be recovered will vary depending on the unique circumstances of the crash (e.g. the severity of your injuries, the extent of liability, the at-fault driver’s history/record, etc.).

    Examples of motorcycle accident injury damages are broken down below according to type.

    Common Motorcycle Accident Injury Economic Damages:

    • Lost Wages
    • Lost Earning Capacity
    • Medical expenses
    • Emergency department treatment
    • Physical Therapy
    • Rehabilitation

    Common Motorcycle Accident Injury Non-Economic Damages:

    • Pain and suffering
    • Emotional trauma
    • Reduced quality of life
    • Scarring or other serious injury
    • Compensation for loss of a limb or disfigurement

    Ready to file a claim and pursue justice through a financial damages award? Our expert attorneys are available online or by phone now.

    Punitive damages for motorcycle accidents are in a separate class. While punitive damages are typically only recovered in cases where an individual demonstrates wanton recklessness or disregard for human life, DLG’s Los Angeles, California, motorcycle accident attorneys pursue such damages in all applicable cases.

    In California, it’s important for injured motorcycle accident victims to know that punitive damages are not capped, and can therefore lead to substantial cash settlements in certain cases.

    Free Los Angeles, California, Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Consultation

    For a free consultation with a Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer from DLG, contact us today at 818-322-4056.

    DLG’s No Win/No Fee Guarantee means you’ll never pay a penny until one of our experienced and proven motorcycle accident lawyers recovers a maximum financial damages award for your claim.

    DLG was founded by Sam Dordulian, a former Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County who has been fighting on behalf of injured victims for over 25 years, helping them secure justice through maximum financial compensation. To date, DLG’s personal injury lawyers have recovered more than $100,000,000 for injured victims like you while maintaining a 98% success record.

    Injured in a California motorcycle accident? Don’t settle for anything less than the DLG Advantage. Contact us 24/7 for more information.

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