Being in an accident is frightening, but a motorcycle accident can be especially terrifying. The danger of injury is much higher, and the types of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident can be especially severe. Unfortunately, motorists don’t know how to watch for motorcycle riders very well, and there were over 3,100 motorcycle accidents in Arizona alone in 2014.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to protect yourself – both before an accident happens, and in the unfortunate case that you are involved in a motorcycle accident. Taking these steps will help you prevent many problems, and bounce back quickly if there is an incident.
Four Ways to Protect Yourself Before an Accident
There are many things you can do as a motorcycle rider to protect yourself from having a motorcycle accident, or reduce the chance of injuries if one occurs. Here are four important steps to take:
- Take a Riding Course. Even as an experienced rider, you can benefit from a refresher. The Arizona DOT offers both beginning and experienced motorcycle riding classes, which help riders of every level practice safety techniques and learn new things about how to ride a motorcycle.
- Wear Protective Clothing, Including a Helmet. Yes, Arizona can be hot. Very hot. However, that’s not a reason to forego protective clothing and a helmet. Your safety – in fact, your life itself – is at stake, and it’s worth a little heat to be safe and come through a motorcycle accident with as few injuries as possible. If it’s too hot to be safe, it’s too hot to ride!
- Check Your Motorcycle Before Riding. Motorcycle accidents aren’t always the fault of other drivers – sometimes a rider loses control of a bike because of a mechanical issue or other problem with the cycle itself. Check the breaks, headlight, and tires before you start to ride. If you detect any problems, be sure they are taken care of quickly!
- Be Visible. A motorcycle has a profile that many motorists simply aren’t watching for. Therefore, it’s important to take extra steps to be visible, even during the day. Consider wearing bright colors, and riding with your headlight on even during the day. Always signal turns with traditional turn signals – most motorists don’t understand arm signals.
Unfortunately, to be safe, you have to plan for other people’s mistakes. By taking riding courses, wearing protective clothing, checking your bike before a ride, and keeping high visibility, you’ll help prevent motorcycle accidents.
What to Do If a Motorcycle Accident Happens
Even with great preparation, there’s always a chance you’ll be in a motorcycle accident. If you’re injured or your motorcycle is damaged due to a mistake or recklessness on the other driver’s part, you may be entitled to damages. You’ll want to carefully protect your rights. Here are the steps you should take if you’re involved in a motorcycle accident.
- Contact Law Enforcement. Always get a police report when you are involved in any accident, especially a motorcycle accident. Without an official police review, the accident is simply your word against theirs, and you don’t want to take that chance. No matter what the other driver promises you, always contact the police.
- Be Careful What You Say. In the case of a liability lawsuit, anything you say can be used against you in court. Even simple politeness can be used as an admission of guilt, or as a way to reduce the liability of the other driver. Cooperate fully with police, stay calm, and be very mindful about what you say regarding the accident and the other driver.
- Check for Injuries. You may not feel injured after an accident, but it’s a good idea to let medical personnel check you for injuries anyway. Many times someone who is involved in a motorcycle accident is in shock and is unable to fully feel the bumps, bruises, and even broken bones as much as they will later. Check yourself carefully for injuries.
- Exchange Details with the Other Driver. Once everyone is safe and engines are turned off, exchange details with the other driver. You will want their name, contact information, insurance company, policy number, license plate number as well as the make, model, and color of their vehicle. You may want to take pictures of the damage and scene if you have a camera. You should both report the accident to your respective insurance companies.
Being in a motorcycle accident is frightening and disorienting. There are things you can do to help keep yourself safe, but accidents do happen. If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident and would like more information on your rights, or are seeking representation in a case, call my law office, Sonja Duckstein, at 602-212-0202. I’m here to make sure you get the best settlement possible for your case.