May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.
As the snow melts and spring arrives in earnest, we will begin to see more riders on the road. Too many motorists think motorcycle safety messages are aimed at riders. In reality, it is vehicle drivers that are responsible for the vast majority of collisions involving motorcycle riders.
Each year, more than 5,000 riders are killed on the nation’s highways and byways, accounting for about 1 in 5 road deaths, despite there being far fewer motorcycles on the road than passenger vehicles. Per mile driven, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates riders are at least 20 times more likely to be killed than automobile occupants.
Our motorcycle accident lawyers in Winter and Hayward urge drivers to exercise patience and caution when around motorcycles. Allowing a rider to pass before proceeding is typically the safest option when it comes to avoiding the risks of causing a serious or fatal traffic collision.
Wisconsin is a great state for riding and as a result we have a surprisingly high number of serious and fatal motorcycle collisions. Last year, 85 riders died in Wisconsin motorcycle collisions, according to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association.
Motorcycle Injury Liability Lawsuits
Riders are well aware of the risks and most ride safely and conscientiously. About 75 percent of motorcycle collisions involve another vehicle; only about 1 in 4 only involve the motorcycle. The vehicle’s driver is at fault in the vast majority of collisions involving a vehicle.
The leading cause of a driver-involved motorcycle collision is a driver who fails to yield and turns left into the path of an oncoming rider. A surprising number of incidents each year involve rear-end collisions, typically at an intersection. Even these low speed collisions often result in serious injuries for riders.
Still, riders are too often unfairly blamed for a collision. And, even in cases where liability is clear, causation is only one factor.Our motorycle injury attorneys in Hayward will work to determine the full extent of your injuries and to identify all responsible parties and associated insurance policies.
Motorcycle Safety Tips for Drivers
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers drivers a number of safety tips. Committing to safety around riders can help avoid collisions and reduce the chances you will be found criminally or civilly responsible.
- Don’t rely on signals: Brake lights and taillights are poor indicators of a rider’s intentions. Riders often downshift or roll out of the throttle to reduce speed. Turn signals are not self-cancelling and may not accurately reflect a rider’s intentions.
- Don’t tailgate: Allow plenty of following distance to increase reaction time.
- Look twice: A driver’s view of a motorcycle can be easily obstructed by vegetation, parked cars or other obstacles.
- Judge carefully: A motorcycle’s size makes distance and speed difficult to determine. The safest bet is to allow a rider to pass before proceeding.
We believe anyone dealing with a serious motorcycle accident deserves immediate access to experienced legal help. Protecting your rights in the immediate aftermath of a collision can be a critical step to protecting the financial wellbeing of you and your family.
Lein Law Offices offers free and confidential appointments. Call 715-403-5045.