The Lone Star State is 660 miles wide and 790 miles long. That’s a lot of road, and in a car, that sounds like a long, tiresome and exhausting trip. But for an avid motorcyclist, that’s an adventure. Cruising across the open land from the humid depths of Austin to the great city of Dallas to the vast West Texas plains is an invigorating thought for anyone with a sense of wonder. Motoring from your home to work in the morning and breathing in the fresh air is appealing, too. However, there is a risk in riding a motorcycle, just like there is with any motor vehicle. But for motorcyclists, they are 35 times more likely to get into a wreck than a person in a passenger vehicle. Yet, that added danger makes riding a motorcycle that much more appealing to some thrill-seekers, doesn’t it? Texas State motorcycle laws are lenient, allowing motorcyclists the right to choose to wear a protective helmet or not. Only drivers and passengers 21 years of age or younger are required by law to wear a helmet. Protective eyewear is not enforced either.
You’ve seen the signs “Share the Road” advocating motorcycle awareness, but does that mean everyone else is paying attention, too? The majority of motorcyclists realize the dangers in their passion as soon as they crank up their bike. In fact, motorcyclists themselves are not the root of most motorcycling accidents; it’s the other motor vehicle drivers not sharing the road.
Rules Concerning Motorcyclists
Passenger vehicles should stay at least 500 feet, or two to three car lengths, behind a motorcyclist, but many times you’ll see vehicles tailgating the motorcyclists, which can distract them from keeping their eyes on the road. If a motorcyclist has to suddenly break and a vehicle is tailgating him or her, then it’s unlikely the vehicle has ample stopping distance before crashing into the motorcyclist.Road burns, neck, leg and foot injuries frequently occur in motorcycle accidents. Head injuries are the most common though, especially if one isn’t wearing a helmet.
As previously mentioned, motorcyclists are not legally required to wear helmets, but it is highly recommended. So is wearing adequate clothing, such as long jeans and high boots, which can protect your skin if you are thrown off your bike by providing ample friction between you and the pavement. Keep your headlights on day and night. Wear bright clothing and reflective gear to stand out amongst other motor vehicles. Especially at night, when there is low visibility, motorcyclists should take every precaution. But that goes for all drivers as well. Because a motorcycle is much smaller and less powerful than a car, truck or commercial vehicle, motorcyclists are even more vulnerable to injuries in accidents.When a car changes lanes, the driver may fail to notice the motorcyclist riding next to him. Motorcyclists involved in accidents are more inclined to suffer serious injuries, disabilities and death than those in passenger vehicles.Just like a bicycle, a motorcycle doesn’t have a seatbelt or airbag for added protection.
Just five years ago, motorcycle fatalities in the U.S. reached an all-time high, while motor vehicle crash-related deaths involving cars and light trucks reached an all-time low, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Both men and women of all ages enjoy riding motorcycles, with one of the largest age groups including riders older than 50. However, in the state of Texas, motorcyclists between the ages of 20 and 29 had the highest number of fatalities and highest number of serious injuries, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.
What You Should Do After Being Involved in A Motorcycle Accident
You may be the most experienced, cautious and well-trained motorcyclist on the road, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be involved in an accident. And suffering extends beyond the physical if you are in an accident. With motorcycle accidents causing more serious injuries, the odds are not in your favor. Recovery time may take longer, medical bills may be higher, and this may leave you out of work for an extended period of time. Brain surgery and extensive burns require several surgeries, skin graphs and recovery time. Some employers only allow a certain grace period of short-term disability before terminating you, and if you are confined to a hospital bed for a few months and must go through physical therapy, you’re likely cutting that grace period close. But why should you be the one to suffer when the accident wasn’t even your fault?
If you or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you want the guidance of an attorney who is knowledgeable of the insurance business in order to get you all the compensation you deserve. Licensed professional attorney Amy K. VanDeLoo of the VanDeLoo Firm formerly served as Managing Staff Counsel Attorney for the North Texas Division of Fred Loya Insurance’s Litigation Department, representing insureds involved in car accidents. You may not know that there may be insurance available in addition to the other driver’s car insurance. You may not be aware of how to get a hold of all the insurance available to you to cover medical bills and vehicle repair. But Amy K. VanDeLoo is, and she knows how to get every penny you are entitled to.
If you live in the Plano, Frisco, Allen and McKinney areas and believe you have a motorcycle claim, call the VanDeLoo Firm today for a free case evaluation.
5700 Granite Parkway, Suite 200
Plano, Texas 75024