As a motorcyclist, you likely know and love the excitement of driving out on the open road. And here in Maryland, we have a lot of beautiful places to ride during spring, summer, and fall. However, some drivers unfortunately fail to respect the rights of motorcycle drivers, and some may even resent their presence on the road. At best, this can be frustrating for motorcyclists. At worst, this can lead to accidents, resulting in injuries, disability, or even fatalities.
It’s important to understand your rights as a motorcyclist on the road, and the unique dangers you may face. And, motorcycle enthusiasts often find difficulty getting fair treatment in the event of an accident. Understanding these challenges and working with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help you when you’re injured by a reckless motorist.
Motorcycle riders and danger on the roads
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to be killed in highway crashes than those in other vehicles. Why is this?
First, there’s the most obvious reason. Motorcyclists are extremely vulnerable on the roads simply due to the design of their bikes—they have no structure or cage around their bikes, so riders can easily be thrown from their motorcycle and have no protection if they are hit by another vehicle.
Also, motorcycles are small and less visible than other vehicles, and some drivers tend to (wrongly) disregard their presence on the road in favor of larger vehicles like their own. When another motorist is careless, they can easily ignore a motorcycle in their blind spot, misjudge the speed or distance of an approaching bike, or even fail to see a motorcyclist at all, due to distracted driving.
It ends up being all too common for motorists to be at fault in accidents when they do things like make left-hand turns too closely in front of approaching motorcycles, pull into traffic in front of a motorcycle, or change lanes without looking when riding on multi-lane highways. This kind of negligent driving can cause serious accidents even when there’s no actual contact between the car and the bike. A motorcyclist who has to stop on a dime or veer quickly out of the way of an oncoming car can suffer injury by going over the handlebars, laying down their bike, or even flipping over while trying to maneuver around a careless motorist.
Motorcycle accident injuries can be severe
Any accident can cause mild to moderate injuries, including painful road rash. But motorcycle accidents have the potential to cause especially severe injuries to the driver, specifically those involving the head and spine.
Traumatic brain injury and spinal injury frequently occur in motorcycle accidents, even when a rider is wearing all the proper safety equipment. Even what seem to be minor injuries at the time can later manifest into more serious injuries over time, and may be minimized by insurance companies and defense attorneys. Having an experienced attorney on your side after a motorcycle accident is crucial, no matter how mild your injuries may initially appear.
Motorcyclists should be treated equally on the road. If you’re injured in a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault, talk to the attorneys at the Maryland law firm of Plaxen & Adler, P.A. We hold the negligent party responsible and work to get you compensation for your injuries, medical bills, and lost wages. To learn more, or to schedule a free consultation, please call 410-988-4449 or fill out our contact form.