Advocating for Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

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Advocating for Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month happens in May of every year. While this month serves as a good reminder of why advocating for roadway safety is necessary, you can and should take steps to protect yourself and all bikers every day of the year.

If the worst happens and you are injured or another biker is killed because of someone else’s negligence, a Michigan motorcycle accident lawyer in your area will advocate for your rights and make sure the liable party is held to account.

How Bikers Can Stay Safe on the Road

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers solid advice for how riders can protect themselves. This advice includes:

Maintaining a Valid Motorcycle License

To get your license, you will need to prove to your state that you know how to use the bike correctly. Like with a driver’s license, you have to renew your motorcycle license every so often to show that you are a responsible rider who is aware of and can follow the law.

Always Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet

Some states have mandatory helmet laws, while others do not. For example, Michigan does not require those over the age of 21 to wear a helmet, although they must meet certain insurance requirements to do so. Whatever your state law says, it is always better to wear a helmet. They are the only protection you have from sustaining a traumatic brain injury or other head injury in a crash.

It is also a good idea to wear protective gear on other parts of your body, such as a padded jacket.

Being an Alert and Sober Biker

Your best chance of avoiding a crash is often a swift reaction. When an unexpected hazard appears or a driver swerves into your path, you want to know it immediately so you have plenty of time to register the danger and get out of the way.

While riding, keep your attention on the road and on the people and vehicles around you at all times. Do not drink alcohol or take other drugs that could impair your judgment or reaction time.

How Other Road Users Can Keep Motorcycle Riders Safe

Safety is a two-way street. Not only should all bikers ride carefully and stay alert, the people they share the road with must also be aware that motorcycles are (or could be) around and act accordingly.

Respect Bikers’ Right to Safe Roadways

Everyone—from drivers and bikers to bicyclists and pedestrians—has the right to use our nation’s roads safely. Drivers must remember that cars are not the only vehicles they may encounter.

It is a driver’s job to watch out for motorcycles and treat all of their fellow road users with respect. That means using their rearview mirrors to check for vehicles behind them while also scanning the road ahead for approaching motorcycles. States like Michigan even have safety campaigns dedicated to reminding drivers to watch out for vulnerable motorcyclists.

Give Motorcycles Plenty of Room

Motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles, but they should still be given enough room to maneuver. That means allowing them the full use of a lane (rather than trying to crowd in next to or too close behind them) and giving them adequate space to turn or change lanes.

Stop After Hitting a Motorcycle

If a driver does end up hitting a bike, it is their duty to stop as close to the accident scene as possible and help the biker. This might include calling 911, making sure the biker gets any necessary medical care, and giving the biker their name and insurance information.

There are laws on the books in most, if not all, states that require such actions of drivers involved in a crash. Michigan’s law, found at Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 257.619, outlines the responsibilities of those involved in an accident.

How Attorneys Advocate for Motorcycle Safety

Unfortunately, we are not yet at the point where all road users respect bikers’ rights. As the NHTSA reports, bikers are overrepresented among traffic accident fatalities. Motorcycle safety is therefore a topic of supreme importance to anyone who enjoys riding a motorcycle.

The motorcycle accident law firms in your area play a significant role in advocating for Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and protecting the rights of local bikers. Here is how:

Attorneys Pursue Fair Compensation for Motorcycle Riders

While the injured biker stays home to recuperate, their personal injury lawyer is hard at work figuring out how to hold the at-fault party accountable. This process involves collecting evidence, negotiating with the at-fault party’s insurer, and possibly even representing their client in court.

Through a legal action, an injured rider is entitled to ask for damages like:

  • Medical costs
  • Other costs
  • Loss of income
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Scar tissue

Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Support Bikers

Getting into an accident is a traumatic event for any rider. They deserve the support of a compassionate and knowledgeable attorney who can guide them through the entire legal process, which includes:

  • Meeting legal deadlines: For example, Michigan’s statute of limitations is set at three years, per Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 600.5805. Most states have similar deadlines. Lawyers protect clients’ rights by ensuring their case complies with all applicable laws.
  • Understanding legal options: There may be multiple options available to you, depending on your situation. Your legal representative will explain the pros and cons of each one so you can make an informed decision.
  • Keeping you updated: You have enough to worry about as it is. You should not have to be concerned about how your case is going and what your attorney is doing. A good lawyer will stay in touch with you from start to finish.
  • Charging nothing up front: Your access to an attorney should not depend on whether you can afford legal fees. Many firms will work for a contingency fee, so you pay nothing unless you win compensation.

Lawyers Can Advocate for Greater Protections for Bikers

Some law firms choose to become more actively and directly involved in local politics. They use their knowledge of the law and their experiences with motorcycle accident clients to identify areas where state or local lawmakers can improve safety for bikers (and everyone else). Their legal battles have taught them:

  • Where the most dangerous roads and intersections are and how to fix those areas
  • The most common motorcycle accident causes and what should be done about them
  • What vehicular safety features might protect bikers and should therefore be made mandatory
  • How to interact with other legal representatives and lawmakers more effectively than the average person can
  • Sponsor or support local events dedicated to drawing awareness to the challenges riders face.

Legal Advocates Hold Unsafe Drivers Accountable

Advocating for greater roadway safety means ensuring that anyone who breaks the law faces just consequences for their actions. You can do this by hiring a motorcycle accident law firm to find the at-fault party in your case and push them to pay for the damage they caused.

During Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and every other month of the year, bikers should be able to ride without worrying about driver negligence. Everyone—including bikers, drivers, and lawyers—has a role to play in creating a safer future for all.

Be Safe for Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and All Year Round

Advocating for Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month means acknowledging and dealing with roadway hazards all year long. Christensen Law does this by representing riders who were injured due to other parties’ negligence. Call today and let us evaluate your case for free.