Keeping Motorcycle Riders Safe

Records from the Department of Transportation (for 2014) show that the state of California has the highest number of registered motorcycles, at 801,803, followed by Florida, which has 574, 176, and then Texas, with 438,551.

Back in 2012, the number of motorcycles allowed on US roads and highways numbered close to 9 million – counting only those that were registered, of course. With the exception of light scooters or mopeds (a low-powered motorized bicycle with an engine smaller than 50cc), motorcycles, generally defined as any two- or three-wheel powered vehicle, should comply with state and federal certification standards and be registered or licensed to be used on public roadways.

While cars have now become the most common means of transport, the fame of motorcycles has also continuously risen in all 50 states, prompting state and local governments to pass and enforce laws that will keep motorcycle riders safe on public roads. Some of the directives required by these laws include:

  • The use of a helmet that complies with the standard required by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218 (FMVSS 218), more commonly known as the “DOT helmet standard”
  • The installation of the “automatic-on headlamp” (or the daytime running lamp), which lights up as the motorcycle engine is started. Some states required this feature in 1973. Eventually, almost all street bikes sold in the nation got equipped with it.
  • This daytime running lamp is intended to make motorcycles more noticeable even during the daytime to significantly reduce incidences of right-of-way violations
  • Recognition of a motorcyclist’s right-of-way. Violations of this law definitely have different effects on drivers and riders. While accidentally or intentionally failing to yield or give way to a motorcyclist may severely injure a driver in the event of an accident, this accident’s effect on a rider is more likely to result to harm that is far worse, such as disability, amputated limb/s, disfigurement or death.

While the risk of an accident should never be a deterrent for one to enjoy and benefit from the experience of riding a motorcycle in Louisville, one should also not forget that, no matter how careful a rider he/she may be, it will only take one negligent or reckless driver to make his/her motorcycle experience a nightmarish one. And, since his/her ride lacks the protection offered by a seat belt, steel frames, an airbag and all other protective shields that a car can provide, a rider can easily be tossed violently from his/her bike and suffer injuries that can alter the rest of his/her life.

Wear at least a DOT standard helmet, a brightly-colored and padded upper-torso jacket or shirt, and the prescribed riding pants, shoes and other necessary gear and, most important of all, always ride safely. Though some of these safety apparels may run in total contrast with one’s concept of being fashionable, especially when riding a perfectly cool motorbike, the benefits of taking precaution will still greatly outweigh the possible consequences of an accident, a situation, which a personal injury lawyer will be very much interested about. This is because a motorcycle accident will leave a rider not only traumatized, with damaged property and physically injured, but also with costly medical bills to pay and lost income: damages a negligent driver will be required by law to pay. But for the motorcycle rider victim, what is necessary is the best legal representation that only a seasoned personal injury lawyer can provide.

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