Motorcycles Hit the Road as the Weather Gets Warmer

June 14, 2016

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Summer Time Means More Motorcycles on the Road

Monday, June 20, 2016, is National “Ride to Work Day.” With more Motorcyclists on the road it’s important for both drivers and bikers to take safety precautions to avoid accidents.

Some Serious Facts

In 2014, there were 186 fatal motorcycle accidents in Pennsylvania alone. Of those 186 motorcycle fatalities, 53.2% were not wearing helmets.

The Pennsylvania motorcycle helmet law is not as strict today as it was in 2003. If the driver is over 21, or has 2 years driving experience and has completed a motorcycle safety course approved by PennDOT, they are not required to wear a helmet. Also, if the driver of the motorcycle is not required to wear a helmet, then neither is the passenger.

Without a helmet, motorcyclists are 40% more likely to die of a head injury and 15% more likely to suffer a nonfatal injury.

Bikers are 35% more likely to be involved in a fatal collision than a car driver.

Research and state-level data has and continues to consistently identify motorists as being at-fault in over half of all multi-vehicle motorcycle-involved collisions. 50% of those automobile drivers were forund to driving distracted at the time of the crash.

Tips for Motorists

  • Allow a motorcyclist a full lane width. Though it may seem as if there is enough room in a single lane for a motor vehicle and a motorcycle, looks can be deceiving. Share the road, but not the lane: a motorcyclist needs room to maneuver safely.
  • Check your blind spots. Motorcyclists can be easily hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot. Always look twice for motorcycles by checking your mirrors and blind spots before switching to another lane of traffic.
  • Always use your turn signal before changing lanes or merging with traffic. This allows motorcyclists to anticipate your movement and find a safe lane position.
  • Allow more distance when following a motorcycle (approximately 3-4 seconds); this gives the motorcycle rider more time to maneuver or stop in an emergency. The small size of motorcycles can cause drivers to misjudge their speed and distance.

For more information and tips visit: TSM (Traffic Safety Marketing) and click on Talking Points/Fact Sheet

Tips for Motorcyclists

  • Be visible: Make sure your headlight works and is on day and night. Use reflective strips or decals on your clothing and on your motorcycle. Be aware of the blind spots cars and trucks.
  • Dress for safety: Wear a quality helmet and eye protection. Wear bright clothing and a light-colored helmet. Wear leather or other thick, protective clothing. Choose long sleeves and pants, over-the-ankle boots, and gloves. Remember – the only thing between you and the road is your protective gear.
  • Ride Defensively: Give yourself and other motorists space and time to respond to each others’ actions.  Watch for turning vehicles, signal your next move in advance, and avoid weaving between lanes.  Don’t ride when you are tired or under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.

For information and tips visit Motorcycle Safety Foundation: General Guidelines For Riding A Motorcycle Safely

Unfortunately, Accidents Do Happen

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, contact us at owenthal & Abrams, Injury Attorneys for a free consultation. We have a legal team with over 40 years of experience that can help you with the difficulties that lie ahead.


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