Are motorcyclists at the mercy of negligent drivers?

Do certain obligations come with purchasing a motorcycle? If the Motorcycle Safety Foundation had its way, each new motorcyclist might be required to sign a contract for safety. The publication, available on the MSF’s website, lists nine different safety areas, each with a space where the individual can check or sign his or her initials.

Awareness tops the list. Since motorcyclists can do little to change others’ negligent driving, the MSF calls for 360 degrees of awareness. That attention should be directed to the motorcyclist's position in traffic, with a recommended minimum two-second following distance. In addition, motorcyclists should take care when changing lanes, using a manual head check to safeguard against the possibility of other drivers failing to see them due to their smaller size. 

Of course, protective gear can also help in the event of a collision or being thrown from a motorcycle. Even eye protection is recommended to ensure that a motorcyclist is able to monitor street conditions. In that vein, an individual should only drive a motorcycle that is appropriate to his or her physical characteristics and a good fit.

As a comparative negligence state, a motorcyclist not wearing a helmet might be imputed with some responsibility for any resulting head injuries. This is yet another reason why DOT-compliant helmets should always be worn. Unfortunately, the injuries from a motorcycle are often much more severe, if not fatal. If you have been injured, a law firm, like ours, that focuses on personal injury claims can help protect your rights.

Source: MPN, “The Motorcycle Safety Foundation Introduces ‘Contract for Safety’,” Greg Jones, Dec. 14 2015

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