Shaking off the winter cold, Connecticut's motorcyclists emerge from their winter hibernation each spring to revel in the warmer weather.
This makes May the perfect time to highlight motorcycle safety issues with Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.
The campaign aims to raise awareness about motorcycle safety among everyone who uses our roads: motorcyclists, drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. It reminds us that motorcyclists have the same rights and privileges as other road users, and that we can all pull together to make the roads safer. Given that there were 68 motorcycle fatalities in CT in 2021, this message is more important than ever.
For this year's Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, let's look at the most common causes of motorcycle crashes and how a personal injury lawyer can help if you're involved in a wreck.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Crashes
Motorcycle wrecks happen for many reasons, but these are some of the most common:
- distracted driving
- driving while intoxicated or fatigued
- following a motorcycle too closely
- reckless driving—e.g., careless lane changes
Motorcycle wrecks tend to be worse than car accidents for three reasons:
- Motorcyclists are often thrown from their bikes during a collision, sometimes for significant distances. This can result in life-changing injuries.
- Since motorcycles don't have protections like airbags and seatbelts, there's nothing to shield riders from impact.
- If a motorcycle is hit by a larger, heavier vehicle like a car or even a truck, the injuries can be catastrophic.
Motorcycle Collision Injuries
Statistically, motorcycle wrecks are more serious than car crashes in terms of the injuries sustained and the likelihood of fatalities. Injuries can include:
- broken bones
- facial trauma and disfigurement
- internal organ damage
- limb amputations
- neck and back injuries
- nerve damage
- soft tissue injuries
- spinal cord damage
- traumatic head injuries
Motorcycle accidents can affect all road users, from motorcyclists to pedestrians. Tragically, the most severe motorcycle collisions can result in death.
Safety Tips for Motorcyclists
While there's always the chance you could suffer a collision caused by another person, you don't have to be a sitting duck. As a motorcyclist, there are steps you can take to protect your safety on the road:
- Always wear a helmet. Helmets help to reduce the risk of head injuries if there's a crash.
- Drive defensively. Never assume other drivers have spotted you.
- If you get a new bike, practice riding it in a quiet, controlled area like an empty parking lot until you're more familiar with how to ride, turn, and brake safely.
- Keep your bike in good working order. Check your tires, brakes, and signals regularly.
- Make sure you're visible, especially when you ride at night. Reflective clothing helps.
- Never ride a motorcycle while intoxicated or tired.
- Wear protective clothing to reduce the risk of burns and soft tissue damage if you're thrown from your bike.
If you've been injured in a motorcycle collision caused by someone else's actions, a personal injury attorney can advise if you might have a personal injury claim.
Safety Tips for Other Road Users
Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month highlights how crucial it is for everyone to learn how to share the road safely.
According to the National Safety Council, 52% of motorcycle fatalities occur when there's a crash involving two vehicles. Here are some tips for how drivers can help make the roads safer:
- Always check your blind spot before you make a move.
- Check your mirrors carefully before you exit parking spaces, change lanes, pass vehicles, or pull out into traffic.
- Drive according to the weather conditions. For example, if it's icy, drive cautiously and give motorcyclists more space.
- Keep at least a 3-second stopping distance between you and a motorcyclist. In bad weather, increase the stopping distance.
Pedestrians need to stay vigilant, too. Use sidewalks when available, cross the street at designated crossways, and pay attention to what's happening on the roads around you.
Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Crash
Motorcycle wrecks can be complex – sometimes even more so than car crashes. If you've been involved in one, you will need as much evidence as possible to support your claim. Here's what to do right after a crash and how an experienced motorcycle wreck attorney can help.
- Call the police to report the incident. Not only is there a legal requirement to report motorcycle crashes, but the police report can help you prove where the fault lies.
- Gather as much evidence as possible, including pictures of motorcycle damage and any injuries sustained.
- Seek medical attention. Some injuries don't appear right away, so you need a doctor's advice – even if you feel fine or think you've only sustained minor cuts and bruises.
You'll also need to contact a motorcycle crash attorney as soon as possible after the incident. A lawyer with experience handling motorcycle collision cases will know how to thoroughly investigate the accident scene, evaluate the evidence, and determine what specific tactics the insurance companies may try to use against you.
Don't settle for just any personal injury lawyer. Choose an attorney with experience handling motorcycle crashes and getting results for their clients.
Get Help From an Experienced Motorcycle Crash Attorney in Connecticut
Motorcycle collisions are stressful and often traumatic experiences. If you're injured after a motorcycle crash, you might be wondering where to turn for help.
The first thing you should do is contact a personal injury attorney like me. As an experienced motorcycle collision attorney, I'm committed to helping individuals like you secure the compensation you deserve. If you have a personal injury claim, I'll walk you through the process, and I'll ensure you're always treated fairly.
If you think you have a motorcycle wreck claim, contact me for a free case evaluation at (203) 339-5991 or by completing the contact form. Not ready to proceed yet? You can learn more about me and my approach to personal injury cases by watching this video.