Spring and summer bring long-awaited warmer temperatures in North Carolina, and many motorcyclists will be taking advantage of the pleasant weather and spending more time on the road. While motorcycles provide a great sense of freedom, cyclists should be aware of the dangers that come with sharing the road with larger vehicles.
Without the safety features provided to the drivers and passengers of cars and trucks, motorcyclists are much more likely to be injured in crashes. In fact, even though only three percent of registered vehicles in the United States are motorcycles, motorcyclists account for 14 percent of all car accident fatalities, and motorcyclist fatalities occur 27 times more frequently than fatalities of drivers or passengers in other vehicles. In order to avoid being seriously injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, bikers should be sure to take the proper safety precautions.
Safety Tips for Motorcyclists
- Wear an approved helmet – Under North Carolina law, all operators and passengers on motorcycles and mopeds must wear a motorcycle safety helmet of a type that complies with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218. Not wearing a helmet is incredibly risky. Bikers are likely to experience head and neck injuries in a collision, and wearing a helmet reduces the risk of death by 37%.
- Wear reflective clothing – Most motorcycle accidents occur because drivers do not see motorcycles near their vehicles. Motorcyclists can help themselves be noticed by drivers by wearing highly-visible clothing.
- Follow the rules of the road – Motorcyclists must follow the same laws as other drivers, making sure to obey street signs and traffic signals. They cannot pass between two vehicles traveling in the same direction, and they may not pass a vehicle on the right unless there are at least eight feet of unobstructed room.
- Watch for road hazards – Riders should take extra care to avoid or account for potholes, road construction, puddles, road debris, railroad tracks, or any other conditions that may cause them to lose control of their motorcycle.
- Take extra care when riding with a passenger – The additional weight of another person on a motorcycle can affect handling, acceleration, and braking. Cyclists with passengers should be sure to take extra caution, especially when driving downhill, navigating corners, and passing other vehicles.
- Do not drink alcohol or use drugs before operating a motorcycle – Studies have shown that nearly 50 percent of cyclists killed in motorcycle accidents had alcohol in their system. Even if you are not above the legal blood alcohol limit of .08 percent, drinking any amount of alcohol can impair your ability to operate a motorcycle safely, so it is best to avoid drinking altogether before using your motorcycle.
Contact a Skilled Carolinas Injury Attorney Today
Some of the most frequent injuries that clients of a North Carolina motorcycle accident attorney suffer include brain injuries, broken bones, spinal trauma, and paralysis. Our accident attorneys understand that the injuries motorcycle accident victims sustain often leave them with permanent disabilities that not only create physical limitations but also result in significant financial losses.
If you or a loved one were injured in a motorcycle accident this year, contact one of our Carolinas motorcycle accident attorneys to find out what legal options you may have against the driver who caused the crash. It is critical not to delay because North Carolina injury laws have strict rules regarding how long you have to file your personal injury claim. If the statute of limitations expires, you will be unable to collect financial damages for any medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, or any other losses you or your family may be entitled to.
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