Top Risks Associated With Motorcycles in El Dorado Hills
I’m Ed Smith, an El Dorado Hills motorcycle accident attorney. Motorcycle accidents add unique features not found in other motor vehicle crashes. While motorcycles are a lot of enjoyment, economical and get you where you’re going, they can also be dangerous since they offer much less protection than a motor vehicle. Let’s take a look at the risk factors bikers face, reasons crashes happen, and what the biker can do to stay safe.
Risks Associated With Motorcycles
Motorcycles weigh less and are not as easily balanced as motor vehicles. While their light weight may add to the overall maneuverability of the vehicle, it also can mean that the biker has a higher likelihood of injury. Also, a biker lacks the protective wall that car and truck occupants have. Some of the most detrimental risks are:
- Visibility: Since motorcycles are smaller, they are often not visualized by other motorists. This is particularly true when there are several lanes of traffic or at intersections. Some experts believe that drivers look for other cars and trucks and do not mentally search for motorcycles.
- Lack of stability: Motorcycles are less stable, and that makes it difficult to recover after such movements as applying the brakes.
- Roadway conditions: Debris and other roadway issues such as potholes or a slick pavement can make it harder to control a motorcycle, often leading to a crash.
- Lack of safety devices: Motorcycles lack safety devices that other motorists take for granted. These include seat belts and airbags.
- Skill requirements: It is not as easy to handle a motorcycle, particularly some of the more prominent and faster models, as it is to drive a car. The need for training puts many bikers at a disadvantage, especially when they first start riding.
- Speed: Some of the larger models, such as supersport bikes, are able to reach a high speed. This makes it more difficult to control the bike.
Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
Injuries are often more severe in motorcycle crashes. While injuries are common across all age groups, older riders experience more severe and often life-changing harm, requiring hospitalization. Some common injuries are:
- Fatal injuries: Motorcycle accidents account for 14 percent of all fatal crashes.
- Brain injury: Traumatic brain injury occurs commonly, especially when bikers fail to wear a helmet. It can lead to a fatality or a serious head injury, requiring extended periods of rehabilitation.
- Arm damage: Since bikers lack seat belts and no metal cage to protect them, they are often thrown from their bike. To protect themselves, they may draw their arms up over their head and face. However, the impact with the arm and shoulder can cause serious nerve damage and fractures.
- Lower extremity injury: Lower extremities are exposed to damage in a motorcycle accident. This consists of fracture to the legs, feet, and knees.
- Road rash: This injury occurs when a biker is forced to slide on the pavement. Without protective clothing, this leaves the biker exposed to painful scrapes that can injure the skin layers, leading to peripheral nerve damage and can also lead to infections.
Safety Tips for Motorcyclists
In a collision, motorcycles can cause serious injuries. However, there are ways a motorcycle rider can improve their odds. The following safety tips include:
- Wearing an approved helmet: Although motorcyclists are required to wear helmets, some riders use those that do not meet federal safety standards. This can make a difference in receiving a traumatic brain injury or walking away safely after a collision. Helmets that meet safety standards all have a sticker inside that says “DOT,” an ANSI or Snell label and manufacturer labeling.
- Keep an eye on the weather: Motorcycles are more dangerous in rainy weather than motor vehicles. If snow, ice or heavy rain is predicted, it’s better to stay home or find another way of transportation to get to your destination.
- Keep a safe distance from other vehicles: Although anti-lock brakes have improved braking, many older motorcycles don’t have them. Going on an asphalt slide is no fun, so keeping a respectable distance between your bike and the vehicle in front can help.
- Avoid distractions: Distracted driving is dangerous in a motor vehicle but can be deadly on a motorcycle. Talking on a cell phone or riding with one-handed steering isn’t worth the risk of a motorcycle accident.
- Wear protective gear: Armored motorcycle gear or clothing equipped with airbags can make a difference in a collision. Footwear is essential too and should consist of sturdy shoes with rugged soles.
- Improve your skills: Taking a motorcycle safety course is a good idea, particularly for new riders. These courses also teach maneuvers for emergency situations. While a rider hopes they will never need this, it’s a good thing to know.
- Look for oncoming traffic twice: You know the old saying that mothers tell their children to look left-right-left before crossing a street. This is also good advice for a motorcycle rider to avoid a collision.
El Dorado Hills Motorcycle Accident Attorney
I’m Ed Smith, an El Dorado Hills motorcycle accident attorney. Motorcycle accidents with a negligent driver are frequent and cause severe injuries and expensive medical bills. If you or a loved one have been hurt by a negligent driver or entity, you can recover compensation. Give me a call for free and friendly advice at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.
I belong to the Million Dollar Forum as a member from California. This group is open only to top trial attorneys with verdicts or settlements in excess of $1 million for clients.
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