We all understand that there is a risk inherent to traveling on motor vehicles. That risk level increases if the vehicle in question, like a motorcycle, does not offer any physical protection from impact. Even those who take great care to drive safely, maintain their motorcycle properly, and wear appropriate safety gear face a serious risk of injury or even death due to their choice in vehicle.
People enjoy motorcycles for all kinds of reasons. Perhaps you have an antique bike that you maintain with loving precision. Maybe you enjoy the rusk you get with the wind whipping around you as you drive. Some people even choose them to reduce their overall gas consumption. Whatever your motivation, you should take care to be as safe as possible. Your overall risk for injury is much higher than that of people in enclosed vehicles.
Even minor crashes can have major consequences
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that more than 80 percent of reported motorcycle crashes result in injury or death for the biker involved. It is frighteningly common for motorcycle riders to get thrown from the vehicle in the crash. These riders end up striking objects, including buildings, vehicles, trees or signs. They can also sustain severe injuries including extensive road rash, when they hit the ground.
Many crashes, especially one-vehicle motorcycle crashes, result from drivers with inadequate experience managing a motorcycle or improperly gauging the safety of the road or the abilities of the vehicle. The NHTSA also estimates that more than 40 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes involve alcohol. Driving any vehicle after drinking isn’t wise, but getting on a motorcycle when impaired, drunk or buzzed can prove fatal.
Of course, quite a few motorcycle crashes are actually caused by the people on the road in larger passenger vehicles. These people may be distracted or may simply not check properly for the presence of a motorcycle on the road. Turning, merging or changing lanes without carefully ensuring no motorcycles are nearby can have tragic results.
Bikers hurt by other drivers have the right to compensation
One of the best decisions you can make as a motorcyclist is to invest in proper safety equipment and maintain your bike carefully. You should also ensure that your motorcycle insurance policy covers you for bodily injury, as well as for any damage to your motorcycle that results from the crash. Sadly, you can’t control the actions of other people on the road, which could leave you vulnerable to severe injury.
When someone in a larger vehicle hits you or fails to notice you because of negligence or distraction, you can pursue compensation from that driver to offset your medical expenses, lost wages and the damages to your motorcycle.