How Can Motorcyclists Reduce the Risk of Serious Injury In an Accident?

The number of motorcyclists on US roads has increased dramatically, particularly in the over 40’s. Although they account for less than one percent of the miles driven, motorcycle accidents are responsible for 13 percent of deaths on US roads in 2016. This is a worldwide trend. For instance, in the UK, motorcycles account for less than two percent of the total traffic but are involved in 20 percent of the road traffic accidents. The data for Australia shows the same sort of configuration, with just one percent of the traffic being motorcycles, but 15 percent of the deaths being motorcycle riders. You might think these figures would deter riders from getting on their motorcycles, but riding them is becoming more popular than ever. What needs to be considered is how motorcyclists can reduce the risk of serious injury in an accident.

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The Causes Of Motorcycle Accidents


There are two main causes of motorcycle accidents. Firstly, other road users are often just not aware of motorcyclists and do not spot them until it is too late to avoid hitting them. Secondly, potholes may be uncomfortable for car occupants and they may even damage the car, but they are unlikely to harm those inside the vehicle. This is not the case with a motorcycle rider, as they do not have the protective bubble a car can provide. If they fail to spot a pothole and avoid it, they can be thrown from their bike and suffer serious injury.

Of course, there are the reckless motorcycle riders who cause accidents as well, but they are only a small percentage of the riders on the US roads. One problem they have is that often it is assumed that it must have been the motorcycle rider that caused the accident. That is when they need the help of a good motorcycle accident attorney, as a good attorney will not let the motorcyclist take the blame for an accident that was caused by someone, or something else.

Reducing The Risks Of Serious Injury


It is almost impossible for motorcycle riders to prevent accidents from happening, but they can reduce the risks of suffering serious injuries:
·         Before they take their motorcycle on the roads, they should make sure that everything is working properly. Lights and brakes can be lifesavers, but not if they are defective.
·         They should wear a good quality, well-fitting helmet. Helmets are said to reduce the risk of head injury by more than 60 percent, and although they might not be the most fashionable of items, that is a big reduction in the probability of suffering something like brain damage. They should never buy a second-hand helmet, as they cannot be certain of its history. If a helmet has been dropped, for instance, its integrity can be compromised.
·         Leather is one of the toughest materials clothes are made from and will help protect riders from injuries such as road rash if they come off their bike and slide down the road. The only problem is that it can be very hot to wear, and cooler materials with similar properties are being developed. The rider should always wear some sort of protective clothing, as road rash might not sound like a serious injury, but if they have no flesh left on their arm or leg bones, it is a very serious matter. One of the worst scenarios for any motorcycle rider is being in an accident and having their motorcycle land on top of them. Motorcycles are very heavy, but they also have hot engines, and wearing the right clothing can help to prevent nasty burns.
·         Good sturdy boots that cover the ankles will help prevent broken bones or other injuries to the feet. The same can be said of gloves to help prevent damage to hands.

Claiming Compensation


Motorcyclists are nine times more likely to suffer serious injuries in an accident on the roads, and as many of them happen at intersections when other road users do not see them, it is possible they will be entitled to compensation. Making a claim is a legal process that is complex and time-consuming and should always be handled by professional accident attorneys.
There is a whole range of things that an accident victim can claim for, but no two accident situations or victim circumstances are the same. Every claim made is unique, but the list of items that can be claimed for includes:
·         Medical Costs – the serious injuries often suffered in motorcycle accidents can result in large medical bills, particularly if long-term treatment and care are required.
·         Pain and Suffering – The rider might only be in pain for a short while if the injuries suffered are ones that heal quite quickly. However, they could have a lifetime of pain and suffering if they sustain more serious injuries.
·         Loss of Earnings – They can claim for loss of earnings if they have needed to take time off work to recover from their injuries. There are also situations where a victim cannot return to the job they previously did. They might need to retrain or be educated in a new line of work, and their earnings capacity could be reduced. This all needs taking into consideration when a compensation claim is made.
·         Changes to Lifestyle – There can be more changes to a person’s lifestyle than a change of job. It could be that they are no longer able to participate in hobbies they previously had or cannot drive anymore. There are so many things that an accident can change that a victim can be living in a way that is unrecognizable compared to their life before they were injured.

Ensuring that everything the motorcycle rider is entitled to is claimed for is the job of a motorcycle accident attorney, who will always work their hardest to achieve the maximum pay out the rider deserves. Hopefully, the numbers of motorcycle accidents will start to reduce because as more of them reach the US roads, the more aware other roads users will become of them.

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