Motorcycle Accidents

July 23rd, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle Safety Month – Why It Is Important for All Motorists

There are nearly 850,000 licensed motorcyclists in Pennsylvania, and warm weather brings more of them out on our roads. This increases the possibility of dangerous crashes that affect everyone sharing the road.

In 2014 there were 3,284 motorcycle accidents in our state, and 186 of these accidents were fatal. As a result, Pennsylvania has designated May as “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.”

If you have lost a loved one or have been seriously injured in an accident involving a motorcycle, you may be entitled to compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial damages you suffered.  The experienced and compassionate Pennsylvania motorcycle crash attorney Clifford A. Rieders at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann can help by making sure you get the settlement you deserve.

Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann knows the courts and the system and what you need to do to increase your chances of winning a good settlement.  Our seasoned Pennsylvania motorcycle accident attorneys have helped hundreds of people file successful personal injury lawsuits. With decades of experience and an excellent reputation in the legal community, we are well positioned to handle even the most difficult cases. Our lawyers have successfully represented clients in vehicle accident cases of all kinds.

We offer a free consultation, so call or contact us online today.

How to Increase Road Safety

The following are suggestions for both motorcyclists and other drivers to help avoid accidents and increase safety on the road for all motorists:

1) Share the Road

All motorists should understand the basic motorcycle riding practices to know how to anticipate and respond to them.

To avoid accidents, motorists should:

  • Stay alert and never drive distracted or impaired.
  • Be aware of motorcycles hidden in a car’s blind spot.
  • Signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic.
  • Keep a safe distance behind motorcycles.
  • Check mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes.
  • Be aware that motorcycles are harder to see and react to.
  • Share the road responsibly.

2) Get Licensed and Trained

Pennsylvania requires a motorcycle license endorsement to supplement an automobile driver’s license. You need to pass written and on-cycle skills tests.

PennDOT provides free clinics to Pennsylvania residents who have a motorcycle learner’s permit or motorcycle license. Three clinics – the Beginning Rider Clinic (BRC), the Intermediate Riding Clinic (IRC), and the 3-Wheel Riding Clinic (3WRC) — offer a pathway to earning a motorcycle license. In addition, there is an Advanced Rider Clinic to increase decision-making abilities, riding strategies, risk management and rider behavior and choices.

3) Practice Operating

Get accustomed to the feel of a new or unfamiliar motorcycle by riding in a controlled area before taking it into traffic. Know how to handle your motorcycle in inclement weather or with hazards such as slick roads, potholes, and road debris.

4) Check Your Motorcycle

Before every ride, check the tire pressure and tread depth, hand and foot brakes, headlights and signal indicators, and fluid levels and under the motorcycle for signs of oil or gas leaks. Cargo should be secure and balanced, and the suspension and tire pressure adjusted to accommodate the extra weight.

Passengers should not mount until the engine has started. They should sit as far forward as possible, hold on firmly, lean with you, and should keep both feet on the foot rests at all times, even when the motorcycle is stopped.

5) Wear Protection

Always wear a helmet meeting the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218. ANSI or Snell labels are voluntary indicators of helmet quality. Helmets with plastic face shields provide protection from wind, rain, insects, dust, and stones thrown up from cars. Wear goggles if you do not have a helmet.

Cover and protect arms and legs by wearing leather or heavy denim, and wear gloves and boots or shoes high enough to cover ankles.  Wear brightly colored clothing with reflective material to make you more visible to other drivers.

6) Ride Responsibly

Do not take risks. Ride defensively, as the majority of multi-vehicle motorcycle crashes are caused when drivers did not see the motorcyclist. Obey traffic lights, signs, speed limits, and lane markings; ride with the flow of traffic and leave room between your bike and other vehicles. Check behind you and use hand and turn signals before changing lanes.  Intersections are particularly dangerous, so be especially cautious when approaching intersections and making turns. Increase your visibility by using reflective materials on your motorcycle and clothing and by using headlights.

7) Never Ride Distracted or Impaired

Do not drink or take drugs before driving or drive while tired or impaired.  Alcohol and drugs, including some prescribed medications, impair alertness, reduce your reaction time and negatively affect your judgment, coordination, balance, throttle control, and ability to shift gears.

8) Use Common Sense

  • Keep a safe distance from other motorists to allow time to react to dangerous situations.
  • Ride in the part of a lane where you are most visible.
  • Avoid weaving between lanes.
  • Be courteous and responsible — respect other drivers, do not speed; know the local traffic laws and rules of the road.

INJURED IN AN ACCIDENT? GET A FREE CONSULTATION

If you were involved in a crash due to the negligent behavior of another driver, you may be entitled to compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial damages you suffered.  Claims for motorcycle accidents are complicated, and it pays to have the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer who understands the legal aspects of motorcycle accidents to fight for your rights.

The experienced Pennsylvania personal injury attorney Cliff Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence. We offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, and aggressively fight for their right to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome and have been successful in securing substantial recoveries for legitimate claims.

Cliff Rieders is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association.  Rieders has won numerous awards and recognition from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and he received the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority recognition award.  Cliff Rieders was a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority and served on same for 15 years and was a Law Clerk in the federal court system for one of the most well-known and longest serving federal judges in the country, the Honorable Malcolm Muir.  Cliff has received the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, as well as the Milton D. Rosenberg Award from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers.  Cliff Rieders wrote “the book” on financial responsibility law in Pennsylvania.  Rieders has been instrumentally involved in the creation and development of that law since its inception.  Rieders is on committees and organizations that write the law in many fields of practice and was involved in the writing of the Mcare Act, which governs medical liability actions in Pennsylvania.  Cliff Rieders wrote the book on medical malpractice that lawyers use in the state and teaches the subject of medical malpractice at seminars attended by the leading lawyers in the state. Cliff Rieders is admitted in state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.

If you or your loved one has suffered harm from someone else’s negligence or incompetence in a car crash, your next step should be to consult Cliff Rieders at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann by calling or using our online contact form. Based in Williamsport, we serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania, offering a free consultation on all personal injury matters. More than that, we offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Riding a motorcycle can be fun and exhilarating, but it also can be dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 2014 data shows that motorcyclists are about 27 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a motor vehicle traffic crash and 6 times more likely to be injured. Since the warm weather brings many more motorcycles on the road, Pennsylvania, along with other states, has designated May as “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.”

There are over 800,000 licensed motorcyclists in Pennsylvania. In 2014 there were 3,284 motorcycle accidents in our state, and 186 of those accidents were fatal.

If you have lost a loved one or have been seriously injured in an accident involving a motorcycle, you are entitled to be compensated for the physical, emotional, and financial damages you suffered. If you were hit while riding a motorcycle, or if you were forced to veer off the road to avoid a car and you were injured, or even if you are a driver forced into an accident because a motorcyclist was not following the laws, the experienced and compassionate Pennsylvania personal injury attorneys at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann can help by making sure you get the settlement you deserve.

Here are some practices that will help avoid accidents and increase safety on the road for everyone:

  • Get Properly Licensed and TrainedDriving a car and riding a motorcycle require different skills and knowledge, so be sure to have your motorcycle license endorsement to supplement your automobile driver’s license and get motorcycle-specific training. For the motorcycle rider-training course nearest you, call the Motorcycle Safety Foundation at (800) 446-9227.
  • Know Your Cycle and What to Do to Increase SafetySince motorcycles vary in handling and responsiveness, get accustomed to the feel of a new or unfamiliar motorcycle by riding it in a controlled area before entering traffic. Know how to handle your motorcycle in a variety of conditions such as bad weather or if encountering hazards such as slick roads, potholes, and road debris. Before riding, check tire pressure and tread depth, hand and foot brakes, headlights and signal indicators, fluid levels, and look for signs of oil or gas leaks. When carrying cargo or passengers, be sure to adjust the tires, suspension, and placement of the load accordingly.Passengers should mount the motorcycle only after the engine has started; should sit as far forward as possible and directly behind you; and should keep both feet on the foot rests at all times. They should keep legs and feet away from the muffler; hold on firmly; keep movement to a minimum; and lean at the same time and in the same direction as the driver.
  • Wear Proper Protection
    Always wear a motorcycle helmet that meets the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218. Helmets should have plastic face shields that offer protection from wind, rain, insects, dust, and stones. If you do not have a face shield, use goggles.Cover and protect arms and legs by wearing leather or heavy denim, and wear gloves and boots or shoes high enough to cover ankles. Wear brightly colored clothing with reflective material to make you more visible to other drivers.
  • Ride Responsibly
    Do not take risks. Obey traffic lights, signs, speed limits, and lane markings; ride with the flow of traffic and leave room between your bike and other vehicles. Check behind you and use hand and turn signals. Intersections are particularly dangerous, so be especially cautious when approaching intersections and making turns. Increase your visibility by using reflective materials on your motorcycle and clothing and by using headlights.
  • Never Ride Distracted or Impaired
    Do not drink or take drugs before driving. Alcohol and drugs, including some prescribed medications, impair alertness, reduce your reaction time and negatively affect your judgment, coordination, balance, throttle control, and ability to shift gears.

Drivers of other Vehicles Must Be Aware and Responsible

If you are driving another vehicle, there are things you need to know to avoid accidents with motorcycles. Be aware that motorcycles are harder to see and react to, so look out for them on the road. Make sure you do the following:

  • Share the road responsibly with motorcycles, bicycles, farm vehicles and pedestrians.
  • Stay alert and never drive distracted or impaired.
  • Be cautious and aware of motorcycles hidden in a car’s blind spot.
  • Use your signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic.
  • Keep a safe distance behind motorcycles.

What to Do if Injured

If you are a motorcyclist and get into an accident, take the following steps:

  1. Get Medical Help Immediately. Often the extent of injuries does not show up right away, but medical professionals know what to look for and how to prevent damage from getting worse.
  2. Get Legal Assistance. If you were involved in a crash due to the negligent behavior of another driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Claims for motorcycle accidents are complicated, and it pays to have the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer who understands the legal aspects of motorcycle accidents and who will fight for your rights. The law in Pennsylvania is complex. The Financial Responsibility Act may come into play along with first-party benefit issues, limited or full tort, uninsurance and underinsurance. Do not deal directly with insurance companies. Let your lawyer do that.

There may be cases that involve design or defect in the motorcycle. Motorcycles have to be designed to certain specifications which make them safer. Sometimes a motorcycle accident may happen because a kickstand spontaneously made contact with the road. There are other issues concerning design, construction and maintenance of motorcycles that may be an issue in your claim.

Injured in an accident? Get a free consultation.

If you have lost a loved one or have been seriously injured in an accident involving a motorcycle, you may be entitled to be compensated for the physical, emotional, and financial damages you suffered.

The experienced Pennsylvania personal injury Attorney Clifford Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann know that accidents can happen even if a motorcyclist takes appropriate safety measures. We have spent decades honing our skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence. We offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, and aggressively fight for their right to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome.

Do not delay — when it comes to accidents, prompt legal consultation can ensure the collection of relevant facts and the preservation of evidence. Contact Clifford Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann today by calling 800-326-9259 for a free consultation, or use our online contact form.

Based in Williamsport, we serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania, offering a free consultation on all injury matters. More than that, we offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.

Cliff Rieders is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. Rieders has won numerous awards and recognition from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice. Rieders is on committees and organizations that write the law in many fields of practice. Cliff Rieders was involved in the writing of the Mcare Act, which governs medical liability actions in Pennsylvania. Cliff Rieders wrote the book on medical malpractice that lawyers use in the state. Cliff teaches the subject of medical malpractice at seminars attended by the leading lawyers in the state. Cliff Rieders is recognized as an outstanding authority in the medical malpractice field. Cliff has even testified before the legislature on medical malpractice laws. Cliff Rieders is the lawyer that other lawyers call for counsel and advice in the medical malpractice and pharmaceutical/vitamin supplement fields. Cliff Rieders is admitted in state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.

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