Choosing the right motorcycle, practicing operating it, wearing safety gear while riding, and performing regular motorcycle inspection and maintenance are crucial motorcycle safety tips. Riding sober, practicing defensive driving, and strictly adhering to all motorcycle and traffic laws in Las Vegas can also help prevent motorcycle accidents. While motorcycles provide their riders with the enjoyment of the open road, they carry with them significant safety risks.
Motorcycles don’t offer their riders any significant form of protection in a collision like other motor vehicles. Motorcycle accidents leave riders with more severe injuries compared to most motor vehicle accidents. These injuries require costly treatment procedures and medical supplies. Fortunately, the best personal injury lawyer can help a motorcyclist injured due to another party’s negligence recover the maximum compensation to cover these expensive medical bills.
Motorcycle Safety Guidelines for Riders
Choosing a Motorcycle Based on Personal Size and Riding Abilities
The height, weight, and riding capabilities of a motorcyclist determines the kind of motorcycle he or she should ride regularly. Operating a too big or too powerful motorcycle can result in losing control in traffic. The outcome will be serious injuries or even death.
Practicing Operating the Motorcycle
Each motorcycle has different handling and responsiveness. A motorcyclist should take time to get used to the feel of a new or different motorcycle by operating it in a controlled area. The rider can take the motorcycle into traffic after getting accustomed to it. The rider should practice how to operate the bike in various conditions, including harsh weather or encountering hazards like potholes, slippery roads, and road debris.
Wearing the Right Safety Gear
Proper motorcycle gear helps in minimizing injury severity and increasing the visibility of a motorcyclist to other drivers. An analysis by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that helmets saved the lives of 1,859 motorcyclists in 2016. The analysis further revealed that the helmets could have saved about 800 more if riders who got into deadly collisions had worn helmets.
Besides protecting the rider’s body, quality gear also prevents rider fatigue. The right head-to-toe gear can keep the rider more comfortable by controlling extreme winds and temperatures. This way, the gear helps the rider stay more alert on the road.
In Las Vegas, the law requires motorcyclists and passengers to always wear helmets certified by the U.S. Department of Transportation while riding. Motorcyclists must examine the DOT-approved helmet frequently to check for cracks. The rider should inspect all other gear, such as gloves, jackets, pants, and boots, at the start and end of each season. Most materials tend to wear out over time due to constant exposure to the elements and may provide limited protection.
A motorcyclist can increase his or her visibility on the road and prevent accidents by selecting gear made of reflective materials. The motorcyclist can do this without compromising style. He or she can opt for a jacket that features reflective panels and piping. The motorcyclist can also sew reflective patches onto the gear.
Performing Regular Inspection and Maintenance of the Motorcycle
Proper inspection and maintenance of a motorcycle play an instrumental role in the prevention and avoidance of an accident. Worn or torn brakes and tires can prevent a motorcyclist from stopping early enough to avoid a collision. By performing regular maintenance and inspection, a motorcyclist can identify faulty parts and get them repaired or replaced.
The motorcyclist should inspect the hand and foot brakes, tires, cables, chains, fluid levels, and signal indicators and headlights before hitting the road. The rider should look for signs of gas or oil leaks under the motorcycle. If the rider is carrying cargo, he or she should tighten and balance the load on the motorcycle. The rider should then increase the tire pressure to account for the additional weight.
If the motorcyclist is carrying a passenger, he or she should first start the engine. Then the passenger can safely get on the motorcycle. The passenger should sit directly behind the rider. The passenger should place both feet on the footrests and keep them there throughout the ride.
Alcohol, drugs, and even some prescribed medications impair a motorcyclist’s judgment, coordination, stability, throttle control, and gear-shifting ability. These substances also weaken the alertness of the rider and slacken his or her reaction time.
An intoxicated driver may find it hard to predict the actions other vehicles or pedestrians are going to take even when he or she is fully alert. Motorcyclists should, therefore, ensure they are alcohol and drug-free when they get on their motorcycles.
Practicing Defensive Driving
Drivers involved in most motorcycle collisions often claim that they didn’t see the motorcyclist before the accident happened. Every driver has a legal duty to be attentive and take note of everything that’s taking place on the road. Some drivers, however, violate this legal duty and end up causing motorcycle collisions. Motorcyclists can prevent accidents by incorporating defensive driving practices into their rides. The following are some crucial defensive driving practices:
- Putting on bright-colored or reflective clothing while riding
- Furnishing the motorcycle with reflective tape
- Looking out for turning vehicles
- Properly using turn signals when changing or merging lanes
- Avoiding the other driver’s blind spots
- Avoiding distracted driving – making or receiving a phone call, texting, or engaging in any activity that takes the rider’s attention off the road could lead to a fatal motorcycle accident.
Observing All Motorcycle and Traffic Rules
The Nevada law requires all motorcyclists to have a Class M license before riding a motorcycle. Motorcyclists can obtain this license by either completing a certified Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) course or passing both written and skill tests administered by the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMVs).
As mentioned earlier, any motorcyclist or passenger of a motorcycle must put on a DOT-approved helmet. Approved helmets feature a sticker that displays the letters “DOT” at the back of the helmet’s outer shell. DOT approval indicates that the device will shield the head and brain of the wearer in the case of a motorcycle accident.
Motorcyclists must adhere to all Nevada traffic laws. They must avoid lane splitting, which involves riding between vehicles rather than in a full lane. Although Nevada law forbids white lane splitting, it permits motorcyclists to ride side-by-side on a shared lane with each other’s permission.
The Course of Action Following a Las Vegas Motorcycle Accident
A motorcyclist who gets into a crash in Las Vegas should take the following steps to protect his or her legal rights:
Checking for Injuries
In the event of a motorcycle crash, the motorcyclist should start by checking himself or herself as well as others involved for injuries. Following an accident, the accident victim’s body experiences a sudden rush of adrenaline.
This adrenaline rush blocks the physical pains of injuries, making the accident victim doubt whether he or she has been injured. With this in mind, the rider should carefully check for injuries before taking any other action. Motorcycle accidents often result in head injuries, muscle damage, road burns, leg injuries, and nerve damage. If anyone has been injured, calling 911 and seeking emergency medical assistance is the best decision.
Calling the Police and Staying at the Scene of the Accident
The motorcyclist should call the police even if he or she doesn’t feel injured. The officer will fill out an accident report. The police report is one of the pieces of evidence that the best personal injury lawyer uses to establish negligence and liability. The motorcyclist should remain at the scene of the accident until law enforcement officers have arrived and prepared an accident report.
The motorcyclist should exchange information with any driver involved in the crash. Essential information to exchange includes full name, contact details, and vehicle color, make, and model. Other details include driver’s license number, license plate number, and the insurance company and policy number.
The motorcyclist should record the name, address, and phone number of witnesses at the scene. He or she should take detailed photos of the injuries, damages, and other details of the crash, such as skid marks, roadway conditions, and traffic signals.
The motorcyclist should note down crucial information, including his or her views on what took place before, during, and after the accident. He or she should also request a copy of the accident report from the police. The best personal injury lawyer will review these pieces of evidence and gather more facts to file a solid injury claim.
Getting Medical Assistance
The motorcyclist should see a doctor after the crash, no matter how minor his or her injuries may be. A doctor can perform a comprehensive examination to rule out the odds of having an internal injury. The doctor will document the visit, the injuries detected, and the treatment provided. This medical report will be an essential building block of a personal injury claim.
Bringing the Best Personal Injury Lawyer on Board
Motorcyclists often encounter unfair challenges when pursuing compensation for injuries and damages suffered in a crash caused by someone else’s negligence. Insurance companies and adjusters treat motorcyclists as risk-takers. They look for ways to deny or lower their claim, regardless of who was liable.
A motorcycle accident lawyer will have the right counterarguments and facts to deal with this bias and help the injured victim obtain maximum compensation. The lawyer will walk the motorcyclist through the process of developing and filing a strong injury claim.
The best personal injury lawyer will assemble evidence for the case, complete all the necessary paperwork for the claim, aggressively negotiate with insurers, and ask for the highest settlement possible. The lawyer will also give the injured motorcyclist constant case-progress updates from the beginning to the end.