Archive for the ‘motorcycle accidents’ Category

Follow these top motorist tips to keep our fellow motorcyclists safe

Since the start of the year, 52 motorcyclists were killed in Colorado accidents, with 12 fatalities alone since June, and fatalities usually rise during summer months as more motorcycles hit the roads. Of these crashes, more than half involve another vehicle, most often with the driver of a car at fault, according to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. And motorcyclists are more than 6 times as likely than passenger car occupants to suffer a fatality in those accidents. Statistics like these are just one reason why the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) launched its “Live to Ride” motorcycle safety campaign. This safety program, which targets motorists who share the road with motorcycles, urges drivers to look twice to make sure to avoid crashes. “Looking twice helps ensure drivers see motorcyclists,” says Sam Cole, a CDOT spokesperson.

The CDOT campaign, and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, raises awareness by urging drivers to use extra caution around motorcycles by offering these motorist tips to keep riders and drivers safe:

  • Watch for motorcycles by searching the traffic around you constantly and check your blind spots before changing lanes or merging, especially in heavy traffic. Double-check traffic at intersections before you turn or pull out because motorcycles can easily be hidden in traffic. Look for a helmet above, tires below, or a shadow alongside a vehicle that you can’t see around.
  • Anticipate hazards that may confront the motorcyclist and predict how they may react to the situation. Even though maneuverability is one of a motorcycle’s better characteristics, don’t expect motorcyclists to always be able to dodge out of the way. Poor road conditions, bad weather, flying debris, oil slicks and heavy traffic pose high risks for motorcyclists. Remember that stopping distances for motorcycles are nearly the same as cars, meaning slippery pavement or other hazards require greater braking distance, so allow a safe space between you and a motorcyclist.
  • Allow a minimum two-second “space cushion” when following a motorcycle by picking out a fixed object ahead of you. When the motorcycle passes the object, count off, “one thousand one, one thousand two.” If you haven’t passed the same object after two seconds, your following distance meets the two second minimum. In poor driving conditions, at higher speeds and at night, use a four or five-second following distance for greater safety.
  • Most crashes between cars and motorcycles involve turning left at an intersection, so if you are preparing to cross traffic or turn left, take a second look for motorcycles. Motorcycles are harder to see than cars due to their small size, so it may be more difficult to judge their oncoming approach speed.
  • Share the road safely by not driving your car in the same lane as a motorcycle, and when a motorcycle is in motion, see more than the motorcycle, see the person under the helmet who could be your friend, neighbor or relative. Treat motorcyclists with the same respect and courtesy you afford to other motorists. Though a motorcycle is a small vehicle, its operator still has all the same rights of the road as a car or truck.
  • Failure to obey and yield the right-of-way can result in the death or serious injury of a motorcyclist. Use turn signals to indicate your next move. This allows the motorcyclist to anticipate traffic flow and find a safe lane position.
  • Never drive distracted or impaired, especially around motorcycles, because there will be a greater risk to you and others on the road.

If you or someone you love were injured in a motorcycle accident, an experienced Colorado motorcycle accident lawyer can help you understand your rights and discuss your options for recovering the compensation you deserve.

Follow these top protective gear tips to prevent a serious motorcycle injury

Last year 92 motorcyclists lost their lives in crashes on Colorado roadways even though motorcyclists account for only 3 percent of vehicles on our streets. While most people know that wearing a helmet is a no-brainer when it comes to protecting motorcyclists and their passengers from fatal head injuries, it’s just as important to wear other personal protective equipment to keep motorcycling as safe as possible. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the protective apparel worn by a motorcyclist provides the only defense against injury in a crash because motorcyclists usually separate from the motorcycle at some point during an accident.

As the folks at the Motorcycle Industry Council like to remind us: with a car, you step into your safety equipment but with a motorcycle, you put on your safety equipment. The right gear helps minimize impact and abrasion injuries if you do happen to have a crash. So before you even swing a leg over a bike, make sure you’re dressed properly by wearing this protective gear:

  • Eye protection– Colorado law requires that both motorcycle operators and their passengers wear eye protection. Eyewear is essential for protecting you from road debris and bugs or insects, but more importantly, it prevents vision degradation caused by windblast and foreign objects in the eyes. And proper eye protection can also reduce serious eye injury during a crash.

    While the best eye protection comes from a helmet visor, goggles or eyeglasses made from safety glass or plastic are also a safe way to go.

  • Gloves – Motorcycle riding gloves are critical for keeping your hands safe, dry, and
    comfortable while maneuvering your ride. Make sure your gloves fit well and you can use all your fingers without binding, and that you can use the handlebar controls effectively. Look for armor and/or padding in any areas that will absorb impact, like the palms and knuckles.

  • Jacket – The most frequent crash injury to a motorcyclist is abrasion. The right material and construction is very important when it comes to resisting abrasion, known as “road rash.” The good stuff is more expensive, but the right choice will pay for itself if you’re ever in a crash. While quality leather or textiles provide safe protection, the safest jackets have armor with stiff plates and soft pads of material designed to absorb the energy of a crash. Jacket armor should protect elbows, shoulders and even the spine. Also, wearing a brightly colored jacket with reflective strips goes a long way towards increasing visibility both day and night.
  • Pants – Don’toverlook the importance of a proper pair of motorcycle pants. As with a jacket, riding in pants of the right material can greatly minimize injuries in the event of a crash. Armor in the knees, hips and waist add extra protection.
  • Boots – It’s important your feet and ankles are protected from the heat of the engine as well as in the event of a fall. Riding boots should completely cover the ball of your ankle. Sturdy material (usually leather) is recommended. Boots should have good traction as well as oil and gas-resistant soles. Do not ride a motorcycle with bare feet, flip-flops, sandals, or running shoes of any type because they will not protect your whole foot in an accident.

Just adding this extra gear will greatly reduce your chance of serious injury in a crash. However, if you or a loved one were injured in a motorcycle accident, contact a knowledgeable Denver motorcycle accident lawyer who can evaluate your case and
help you understand your rights.

Motorcycle Fatalities and Injuries are on a Dangerous Upswing in Colorado

On a recent June evening in Aurora, a 53-year old motorcyclist collided with an SUV while attempting a left turn at a traffic signal. The motorcyclist, who wasn’t wearing a helmet, was thrown from his bike sustaining severe head trauma, and pronounced dead shortly after being rushed to the hospital. Tragic stories like these have become all-too-common in Colorado, and across our nation.

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How to Find a Lawyer after a Motorcycle Accident

After you have been in a motorcycle accident, the first thing on your mind may be how you are going to recover from your injuries. You may also be thinking about how you will pay to repair your bike as well as keep up with your other recurring living expenses. To help alleviate some of the burden, it may be worthwhile to contact a personal injury attorney.
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