As summer approaches there continues to be an increase in the number of motorcycles on the roads. May is designated as Motorcycle Awareness Month across the country. The campaign is a yearly event designed to help drivers become more aware of motorcycles in an attempt to prevent accidents. As a car accident attorney knows, motorcycle accidents often result in serious injuries or death.
Motorcycle accidents occur all too often. When they do, the motorcycle rider often gets seriously injured. Some incidents result in fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA, reports that motorcycle traffic accident deaths are 27% more frequent than deaths in other vehicles.
Unfortunately, severe injuries often occur to motorcycle riders when they are involved in accidents. With little protection, riders can be hurt even in relatively minor crashes. Common injuries include head and neck trauma, broken bones, back injuries, and internal injuries. If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident, an experienced attorney will help protect your rights.
Drivers Need to Be Aware of Motorcycles
Drivers are often the cause of serious crashes with motorcycles. Motorcycle Awareness Month provides information to educate motorists about how to be safer in the presence of motorcycles. All drivers must drive defensively and operate their vehicles in a safe manner. The use of cell phones and other devices has caused great concern over distracted driving, which can contribute to severe accidents.
Safety Tips for Motorcyclists
Motorcycle riders can help to stay safe by taking some precautions as they ride. Riders should try to remain visible by wearing clothing that can be easily seen, especially at night. Take extra care when riding during inclement weather or wait until the conditions improve to get on your bike. Ensure that your motorcycle is functioning properly and the lights are correctly working.
Obey the traffic laws and don’t weave in and out of your lane. Do not drive on the shoulder of the road since other drivers may not be aware of your presence. Be aware of the laws that apply to motorcyclists. For example, motorcycles may ride together in a lane but you cannot split a lane with a car. The top speed of operation in Alabama is 70 mph in rural areas and 65 mph in urban locations. Wear protective clothing including a helmet.
Do Motorcycle Riders Need to Wear Helmets in Mobile, Alabama?
Alabama law requires all motorcycle riders and passengers to wear adequate helmets. Helmets must be approved by the Department of Transportation, DOT. DOT approved helmets bear a sticker that indicates they meet or exceed safety requirements. Always purchase a helmet from a reputable shop. If a helmet was worn during a crash, the structural integrity of the helmet is compromised and it needs to be replaced even if the helmet looks only slightly scratched.
Motorcycle helmets are available in several different styles. The most protective is the full-face type, which may have a protective shield for the eyes, although this is not necessary. This type of helmet effectively reduces wind noise, so you will be better able to hear traffic. Three-quarter and half helmets are the least protective because they do not offer full head protection. Wearing a helmet can save your life in an accident.
Alabama Motorcycle Safety Program
The Alabama Motorcycle Safety Program is nationally recognized by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. It provides rider training to riders to ensure safety while on the roads. Various courses are taught by certified instructors including a beginner course. The courses include both classroom time and riding exercises. New and experienced riders alike are encouraged to attend an appropriate course. The courses cover many important issues that will help drivers maintain control of their bikes during all types of circumstances.
All motorcycle operators in Alabama are required to complete a motorcycle safety course or pass a written test before being provided with a Class M endorsement on their driver’s licenses. Law enforcement officers can write tickets to those who are driving a motorcycle without a proper license.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
A motorcycle accident is very often caused by the other driver. Drivers may not be paying close enough attention to the road and may not see a motorcycle. There are some common causes of motorcycle accidents in Mobile, Alabama. These include:
- Distracted or Impaired Driving
- Improper Lane Changes
- Dangerous Turns
- Head-on Collisions
- Poor Road or Weather Conditions
About half of all fatal motorcycle accidents occur in intersections and many are the fault of the other driver. Drivers who are at fault for an accident with injuries are generally liable for damages.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident in Mobile, Alabama, it is important to protect your rights. Remain as calm as possible and if you are in the middle of the road, move to safety. Always call the police and file a report. Do not leave the scene. If you have been hurt, seek medical treatment immediately. It is advisable to be examined by a doctor, even if you don’t immediately think you are injured. Many times it may take some time for your injuries to become apparent. Do not worry about your motorcycle or personal effects until your immediate medical needs have been met.
The police will review the accident site, investigate the crash and take witness statements. You should obtain information from the other driver. Do not make a statement to the insurance company before speaking with a qualified Mobile, Alabama accident attorney.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Mobile, Alabama
If you or a family member were seriously hurt in a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. Many severe injuries can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical costs. Those who are disabled due to an accident may need ongoing lifetime care. An experienced accident attorney will review the details of your situation and determine the best way to proceed.
Compensation may include money for medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, and future treatment. Other damages could include such things as money for pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. Contact the experienced motorcycle accident legal team in Mobile, Alabama at Charles McCorquodale Law for a complementary consultation to discuss your case.