A man in his mid-20s who was riding his motorcycle on U.S. 412 [in Huntsville] tried to pass an 18-wheeler. While attempting to pass, he almost hit an oncoming vehicle and, while trying to merge back into the lane, collided with the front of the 18-wheeler and died instantly. The driver of the tractor-trailer was uninjured.
Reckless Driving Dangers to Motorcyclists
While in many cases it is the driver of the motor vehicle who was inattentive and/or otherwise responsible for an accident involving a motorcycle, some motorcyclists behave recklessly and endanger themselves and those around them too.
There are many things that drivers and riders alike do that constitute reckless driving. These behaviors can include any of the following:
- Speeding up and passing other vehicles without ensuring adequate space for safe travel and passage
- Braking suddenly and without warning
- Not leaving enough space between vehicles or between their motorcycle and another vehicle
- Speeding or not following traffic signals
- Making illegal turns or not signaling properly for turns
- [add link] Driving while distracted by cell phones, music, or other activities
- [add link] Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
The reality is that while either the motorcyclist or a driver can cause an accident by engaging in these behaviors, the injuries suffered by the motorcyclist will almost always be more severe.
What should a motorcyclist do to stay safe?
Being on a motorcycle with no frame to protect its rider puts that rider in a delicate and dangerous situation. If he is involved in an accident, there is really nothing to protect him. Riders, of course, should wear appropriate safety gear. But even if they do, motorcycles do not offer airbags, seatbelts, or other safety devices to protect riders. There is, of course, no guarantee of safety for motorcyclists.
Nevertheless, the first consideration should be to make sure that, when riding, you are not engaging in any of the reckless behaviors described above. Be sure to practice defensive driving and always be alert.
In addition, motorcyclists may improve visibility by wearing bright colors or clothing and proper protective gear including, at the very least, a helmet. Alabama mandates helmet use among all riders. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle helmets are 37 percent effective in preventing fatal injuries to riders and 41 percent effective in preventing fatal injuries to passengers. The agency estimates that had all motorcyclists worn helmets in 2013, it could have saved another 715 lives.
Be sure to honor the rules of the road and wear a helmet—the risk of injury in an accident is too significant to ignore. Other protective gear that could help prevent injuries in the event of an accident includes padded jackets and pants, goggles, boots, and more.
What kind of injuries can happen in a motorcycle vs. car accident?
In a motorcycle accident with a car, the injuries can be anywhere from minor “road rash” to fatalities and everything in between. The rider can even suffer paralysis, brain damage, and permanent disability as a result of his injuries.
Depending on the facts in the matter, and who is at fault for the accident, there can be significant costs to the rider and potential lawsuits as well. If you or someone you love suffers injuries in a car vs. motorcycle accident, be sure to contact Martinson & Beason, P.C. today at 256-533-1667 for help.