Spring is Crucial Season for Motorcycle Safety Awareness

Every year, the return of spring and warm weather brings out hundreds of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts to Maryland’s roads and highways. Riding a motorcycle is a wonderful way to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Baltimore and the surrounding areas. However, with more motorcyclists returning to the road, spring is also an extremely important opportunity to discuss some basic facts about motorcycle safety.

  • Nationwide, 4,957 motorcyclists were killed in traffic accidents in 2012.
  • In Maryland, there were 62 motorcyclist fatalities in 2013, the most recent year for which data is available. The number of fatalities in Maryland decreased from 78 in 2012.
  • Of those 62 fatally injured riders, only 5 were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that a total of 34 lives were saved in Maryland motorcycle accidents through the use of helmets.

Maryland is one of 19 states in the U.S that currently enforces universal motorcycle helmet laws on all of its citizens. In Maryland, riding a motorcycle without a helmet can result in a fine of up to $500. While wearing a helmet cannot prevent traffic accidents from happening, they are a motorcyclist’s most crucial piece of safety equipment. Choosing the correct motorcycle helmet for you or your loved one is the first step towards practicing proper motorcycle safety.

There are three types of helmets to choose from:

  • Full Face: Covers the entire head and provides the maximum amount of protection. Full Face helmets also offer eye protection and reduce wind noise.
  • Three Quarter: Covers the back, top and side of the head but not the whole face. Most models also feature eye shields.
  • Half Helmet: Cover the top of the head only and offer the least protection.

Wearing and properly securing your helmet is far from the only factor that impacts the safety of motorcycle riders. As with all motor vehicles, the proper training and experience is a vitally important factor in ensuring that motorcyclists arrive at their destinations safely. Before getting on a motorcycle, be sure you undergo the proper training with a licensed Maryland motorcycle instructor.

Another crucial part of motorcycle safety places shared responsibility on both motorcyclists and passenger vehicle drivers. Driver inattention is a tragically common factor in many motorcycle accidents. All motorists must remember that motorcycles have a right to safely utilize roads and highways as well.

Car drivers should:

  • Be aware of motorcyclists at all times on the roads
  • Check your blind spots frequently
  • Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and any motorcycles in front of you
  • Especially watch when making a left hand turn

Remember, small road hazards such as potholes, downed tree branches or other debris don’t mean much for passenger vehicles, but could mean the difference between life and death for a motorcyclist.

Below are a few other key statistics to keep in mind as motorcycle season kicks into high gear:

  • Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists were 5X more likely to be injured or killed in a crash than other drivers.
  • Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists were approximately 26X more likely than passenger car occupants to be killed in a crash.
  • 1 in 25 motorcycle accidents results in a fatality.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of a motorcycle accident that was caused by another driver, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain & suffering and more.

Dealing with insurance companies and expensive medical bills is a difficult and draining process. When injured, you need to focus on your recovery, which is why you need to turn to the experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at The Yost Legal Group.  Our legal team is highly experienced in all Maryland driving laws and statutes, and will compassionately and thoroughly advocate for your rights as a victim.

Call The Yost Legal Group, Baltimore, Maryland Accident and Personal Injury law firm today at 1-800-YOST-LAW (967-8529). When you call, you will receive a FREE, no-obligation consultation with one of our legal experts. We will help you understand the details of your case, and will stand with you from the start of your claim through to the finish.

The Yost Legal Group – Experienced Attorneys Dedicated to Protecting Your Rights

Nothing is Better Than a Ride Into The Sunset.

There is nothing like the freedom of riding your motorcycle on a warm and leisurely weekend afternoon, soaking in the sun and the sights.  Your only limitation is when the road ends…or until you get hungry.  Sometimes you may ride with friends in a group, or you just want to be a lone wolf for the day.  Either way, the thrill of cruising is what you live for all week long.

As an attorney and a rider, I am intimately aware of the dangers of the road. Every year I receive calls from riders or a family member of a rider, who was injured on a bike, simply minding their own business and enjoying the ride.

The fact is, that the majority of motorcycle accidents occur because other drivers are not paying attention. And a motorcycle, being small in size, can be easily missed. This personal experience comes with a responsibility that certain riders may not like discussing, and that is Motorcycle Safety.

When experiencing the thrill of the road, the last thing a biker may want to think about is their responsibility to friends and family, and that is to return safely home to their friends and family.  At The Yost Legal Group, we would like to put a positive spin on being safe on two wheels, and that is that taking precautions when riding helps ensure many more pleasure cruises down the road.

The subject of helmets may be touchy, but they may be the difference between life and death, paralysis, or traumatic brain injuries.  Here are some helmet laws for Maryland:

Helmet Required:  Yes

Visor Required:  Yes

Look for the “DOT” certification

Avoid “bucket” helmets that don’t cover your chin, ears, or jawline, which helps prevent head trauma

Many accidents are caused by automobile operators who do not give bikers the proper respect. Here are some additional tips when dealing with careless drivers:

Preventing Dangers to Motorcyclists

  • Make sure your bike is well-lit with functional head-and-tail lights, and that your clothing is bright and visible to other motorists
  • Be sure that your apparel is thick and durable to prevent skin abrasions.  There is , after all, a reason why bikers wear leather
  • Be sure that you maintain a safe distance from other motor vehicles
  • Be careful when passing cars because motorcycles may be loud, but they easily get lost in a car or truck’s blind spot

The catch-22 of motorcycle-riding is that the risk and fun go hand-in-hand.  It is possible to mitigate that risk, and still enjoy the thrill of the open road.  However, if fate deals you a somber hand and you have been involved in an accident, then take a look at our Motorcycle Accident page for more information, or contact us directly.  The Yost Legal Group wishes you good riding and open roads.

If you or a loved one is ever injured in a motorcycle accident, a car accident or any other type of accident call The Yost Legal Group for help. We’ll speak with you for free to discuss your situation and help you to understand your rights. If we take your case we will do so on a no win/no fee or expense basis only.  That means you do not pay a fee or expense unless you recover.  If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, call 1-800-YOST-LAW (1-800-967-8529) to speak to one of our attorneys today.

The Yost Legal Group, Experienced Lawyers Dedicated to Protecting your Rights.