Let’s face it, many, if not most people, do not like motorcycles and, in particular, motorcycle riders. Some of the reasons we have heard is because riders break the law, cut in an out of traffic, ride between traffic, do “wheelies”, and speed off when a traffic light turns green. But most who ride motorcycles are responsible, law-abiding riders and many are business and professional people who ride for pleasure, relaxation, and a sense of freedom. Riding in heavy traffic and on busy roads is potentially very dangerous because riders have no protection if any type of vehicle crashes into them. So, we must ask what motorcycle riders must do to be responsible riders. The answers are simpler than one may think.
Is Motorcycle Riding Dangerous
Motorcyclists are more vulnerable to injury than a driver of a larger vehicle if involved in a crash. Research shows that over two-thirds of car/motorcycle collisions are the result of the other driver turning in front of a motorcyclist. Motorcyclists and cars/trucks need to mix in traffic without causing harm to each other. Motorcycles present a narrow silhouette and are usually much shorter in length than an automobile. The small profile of the motorcycle may make it appear farther away and traveling slower than it actually is. Remember that motorcycles are often hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot or missed in a quick look due to their smaller size. Because it is difficult to judge the motorcycle’s distance and speed, vehicle drivers need to take a second look, and then a third. Its small size also makes it more difficult to spot in traffic than another car. Some motorcyclists take advantage of their small size and maneuverability.
Not all motorcycles are the same. There is a broad range of motorcycles on the market, ranging from off-road to street motorcycles.
How to Make Motorcyclists Safe For Themselves and Motorists
The answers are quite simple:
- Obey all of our traffic safety laws, which apply to all vehicles and motorcycles alike.
- Perform regular motorcycle maintenance.
- Take motorcycle driver safety education classes.
- Wear proper safety clothing: boots that cover the ankles, leather or similarly protective pants and jackets, gloves, and a DOT-approved motorcycle helmet. Not all helmets are alike. The general rule is, if the person drops or damages his/her helmet, replace it before riding again. Don’t wear flip-flops, short pants, and short-sleeve shirts.
- Remember that motorcycles have a low profile and are hard for motorists to see. Assume that the motorists do not see you.
- Be mindful of the weather. Wet roads are slippery, especially when it first begins to rain because the rain has not yet removed the oil and slippery road residue.
- Have your rain gear available.
- Use turn signals or, alternatively, use hand signals when making left and right turns.
- Don’t tailgate.
- Know your motorcycle skill level and experience. Do not ride beyond your ability to ride safely. Not every rider has the same training, experience, and skills.
- Ride in the center of a travel lane, not off to one side or the other.
- Have a State driver’s license motorcycle endorsement.
- Know your motorcycle and its capabilities.
You May Need A Lawyer To Recover Your Damages
Under Louisiana law, a crash victim has one year from the date of injury to file a lawsuit or, if possible, settle the case. When this one-year period expires, the crash victim loses the right to sue the wrongdoer for both economic and non-economic damages.
Most people have no experience with the legal system and dealing with insurance companies. It is important to know that there are two Points of View (POV). The crash victim wants Justice, meaning full compensation. The insurance company wants to pay as little as possible for the injured person’s damages. The community in general POV about motorcycles and their riders is that they are “dangerous, killing machines.” So, if you need an attorney, you want one who cares about you, who spends time getting to know you, who keeps you informed about your case, who spends the necessary time to explain the law, and who knows what evidence is needed to prove all of your damages.
At the Law Offices of Richard R. Kennedy, you will have Richard Kennedy and Richard Kennedy III to represent you. Is this important? You bet? Why? First, together we have nearly forty years of riding motorcycles in many parts of the United States, from flat lands to mountains. Because you will know who is representing you; you know that we will keep you timely informed about your case and all the information you need for us to do our very best to get justice for you. When you call us, we answer your calls and we promptly answer your emails. The bottom line is simple: we and our clients get to know each other on a personal — not just a professional — level. That is critical in building trust. So, if you need a lawyer who is well versed in personal injury and has ridden motorcycles for over 30 years, call us.