Posted by: Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC
Since they lack the extra protective layer of cars and other motor vehicles, motorcyclists often face life-threatening and fatal injuries when they become involved in accidents. According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, there are more than 3,400 motorcycle accidents in the Buckeye State each year. In 2017, 157 individuals lost their lives in Ohio as a result of motorcycle crashes.
While motorcycles can be dangerous, there are a variety of ways motorcyclists and motorists can reduce the risk of motorcycle accidents. In honor of Motorcycle Safety Month, we’ve created this guide of tips to stay safe during motorcycle season.
If you get hurt or lose a loved one in a motorcycle crash, reach out to our highly skilled Ohio motorcycle accident lawyers at Kisling, Nestico & Redick. We can help you determine liability and may be able to recover fair and full compensation on your behalf. Contact us today.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in the Cleveland Area
There are a number of different reasons motorcycle accidents may occur. However, the most common ones include the following.
- Left turning cars: When cars make left-hand turns in front of motorcyclists, accidents often occur. In most cases, the turning car hits the motorcycle when the motorcycle is passing the car, attempting to overtake the car, or going straight through an intersection.
- Lack of visibility at intersections: Since motorcyclists are small, many motorists fail to see them at intersections. This is particularly true if they aren’t paying attention and making quick turns.
- Failure to yield: Sometimes, motorists do not yield to motorcyclists at highway ramps or parking lots. Obstacles such as bushes or buildings may also prevent motorists from yielding.
- Potholes or road debris: Potholes, puddles, grooved payment, pooling water, and other debris or flaws in the road pose a serious hazard to motorcyclists due to the way their vehicles are designed. Most single-vehicle motorcycle accidents occur because of road dangers.
- Following too closely: As a result of their light weight, motorcycles usually have shorter stopping distances and are prone to getting rear-ended by motorists who are tailgating or distracted.
- Taking curves too quickly: Taking curves too fast is a common mistake made by new motorcycle riders. It’s essential for motorcyclists to slow down as they approach curves and give other riders plenty of room.
- Intoxicated driving: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) discovered that about 40% of all motorcycle accident fatalities were related to alcohol.
- Distracted driving: When motorcyclists and/or motorists are texting, eating, drinking, grooming, or engaging in any other distracted activity, a crash is bound to occur.
How to Reduce the Risk of Motorcycle Accidents
While some motorcycle accidents are unpreventable, others can be prevented by taking certain safety measures. Our Ohio motorcycle accident attorneys recommend these tips for reducing the risk of motorcycle accidents.
- Be aware of your surroundings: Motorcyclists and motorists alike must pay complete attention while operating their vehicles. Even one second of a distracted activity can lead to a serious crash.
- Wear a helmet: In Ohio, motorcyclists do not have to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle unless they are under the age of 18. However, wearing one is one of the most effective ways to reduce the severity of injury should a motorcyclist get into an accident.
- Avoid alcohol: Drinking and driving as well as drinking and riding should be avoided at all costs. Refrain from drinking whenever you are planning to ride your motorcycle or drive your car. You can always ask a sober friend for a ride or utilize a ride-sharing services like Uber.
- Take motorcycle riding classes: Regardless of whether you’re new to riding or have been doing it for years, motorcycle riding crashes can allow you to brush up on your riding skills and increase your safety.
- Avoid poor weather conditions: Rain or snow can drastically affect a motorcyclist’s ability to see in front of them. Therefore, it’s vital to avoid riding when it’s not dry outside. If you must ride in the rain, turn slowly and be sensitive with the controls.
Motorcycle Ohio Rider Enhancement (MORE)
The Motorcycle Ohio Rider Enhancement (MORE) program was created to help new Ohio motorcyclists ride with safety. Since motorcycling require mental and physical skills, the program’s courses focus on both. If you participate in MORE, you’ll learn a variety of techniques to help sharpen your judgement and perception and improve the physical skills necessary for safe riding.
Some of the courses you can expect to take include Risk and Motorcycling, Preparing to Ride, Wheels in Motion, Special Situations, and Mental Motorcycling. Even if you’ve been a long-time rider, you may find value in MORE as it can refresh your knowledge on motorcycle safety and even teach you some concepts you may not have heard of in the past.
Why Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Sometimes, a motorcyclist is at fault for an accident. Other times, the motorcyclist is innocent and another motorist is to blame for a crash. Since determining liability in motorcycle accidents can be complicated, it’s important to consult a motorcycle accident lawyer immediately after a crash.
A motorcycle accident lawyer can perform a thorough investigation, gather solid evidence, prove liability and help you recover the maximum compensation you may deserve. The compensation can be used to pay for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. If you lost a loved one after a motorcycle crash, a wrongful death claim may be filed so that you can ease the financial burden your loved one’s death has caused.
Injured in a Motorcycle Crash? Contact Kisling, Nestico & Redick
Despite your best efforts to practice motorcycle safety, you may still find yourself in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence. If you sustain an injury or lose a loved one in a motorcycle crash, our firm is an invaluable resources. The experienced Ohio motorcycle accident lawyers at Kisling, Nestico & Redick can inform you of your legal options and ensure your rights are protected. We have 11 locations throughout Ohio, including Canton, Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Toledo, and more – find a location near you. Contact us today.