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How to Avoid Motorcycle Accidents in New York?

Riding a motorcycle in New York can be a thrilling experience and yet, it is fraught with danger too. Many motorists in NYC are in the habit of aggressive driving and this factor, in combination with the congested roads, increases the probability of a motorcycle accident. Unlike other motor vehicles, motorcycles do not have airbags and seatbelts and this lack of physical protection and safety features can cause even a minor crash to cause serious injuries to the motorcycle rider.

avoid motorcycle accidents

Riding a motorcycle in New York can be a thrilling experience and yet, it is fraught with danger too. Many motorists in NYC are in the habit of aggressive driving and this factor, in combination with the congested roads, increases the probability of a motorcycle accident. Unlike other motor vehicles, motorcycles do not have airbags and seatbelts and this lack of physical protection and safety features can cause even a minor crash to cause serious injuries to the motorcycle rider.

The injuries in a motorcycle accident can sometimes be so severe that your medical bills can run into thousands of dollars. Such injuries may also render you physically and medically unfit to work and this adds to the financial burden. In addition, the pain and suffering that you may go through because of your injuries can often be unbearable and long-lasting.

Suing to recover damages for the economic and non-economic losses you have suffered is a complicated process. Having an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in New York City to help you with this process can make it easier for you to get the compensation you rightfully deserve.

Motorcycle Safety and the Significance of the Hurt Report

A study on motorcycle safety was commissioned by the United States government in 1976. This study was contracted to the Traffic Safety Center of the University of Southern California by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and was carried out by Professor Harry Hurt. It continues to be considered the most comprehensive study on motorcycle accidents and safety.

Here are a few relevant findings of the Hurt Report.

  • A motorcycle crashing into another vehicle, often a passenger automobile, was the cause for 75% of motorcycle collisions.
  • More than 60% of crashes that involved a motorcycle and at least one more vehicle occurred because the vehicle driver had violated the motorcyclist’s right of way.
  • Other vehicles not noticing the motorcyclist on the road was the most common cause of accidents involving motorcycles. Either the driver completely missed the presence of the motorcycle, or realized it too late to prevent the crash.
  • In 25% of the accidents, the motorcyclist only collided with a fixed object on the road, or the roadway.
  • Motorcycle failure was responsible for only about fewer than 3% of the crashes. In most cases, the failure was due to a flat tire.
  • Poorly maintained roads with cracks, potholes, and ridges on the pavement were responsible for 2% of motorcycle accidents.
  • Stray animals running into the path of the motorcycle were responsible for 1% of collisions.
  • Motorcycle accidents were found to be most common at intersections, especially in situations where the vehicles violated traffic rules, and also got in the way of the motorcyclists.
  • An obstruction in the vision of either the motorcyclist or the other driver due to glare or the presence of other vehicles blocking sight was responsible for more than half of all the accidents that involved multiple vehicles.
  • In most cases, the motorcyclist has fewer than two seconds to react to an unexpected situation on the road, making it extremely difficult to avoid a collision.
  • Motorcyclists are at great risk of injury in an accident. In 96% of accidents involving single vehicles and 98% of accidents involving multiple vehicles, the motorcyclist was found to suffer minor injuries. In 45% of crashes, the motorcycle rider was found to sustain injuries of a moderate to severe nature.

What are the Causes of Motorcycle Collisions in New York?

According to statistics from the Fatalities Analysis Reporting System of the Department of Transportation (DOT), between 1997 and 2008, there has been a 150% increase in the number of motorcycle crashes that resulted in a fatality. A motorcycle accident can occur due to several reasons, of which the most important ones are described below:

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs

This is probably the most common cause of motorcycle accidents. A motorcyclist who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs has slower reflexes and poor judgment and both these factors affect their riding skills. Such motorcycle riders may not be able to stop in time to avoid a crash.

Vehicle Lane Changes

Most motorists lookout for cars and other bigger vehicles when they change lanes. Motorcycles are far smaller in size and often fall into the car driver’s blind spots, making them invisible. When a vehicle cuts into the motorcyclist’s lane, it may be unable to brake in time to avoid a crash.

Riding too Fast

Riding a motorcycle at high speeds can be enthralling, which is why many motorcyclists indulge in it. However, it’s vital to remember that riding at high speeds reduces the control you can exert over the vehicle and this increases the odds of an accident. These kinds of crashes are more common with supersport bikes than with regular motorcycles.

Entering a Bend at High Speeds

Negotiating a bend or a curve in the road requires a careful calculation of the size and angle of the turn you need to make. If a motorcyclist enters the bend at a high speed, they are more likely to miscalculate the turning angle and when they realize this their first reaction is to brake hard, which can cause them to be thrown off their motorcycle. A motorcyclist who is too fast when entering a blind corner may even crash into any obstacle in their paths such as a telephone booth, or a patch of gravel or sand, or a tree.

Getting Hit from Behind

If vehicles behind your motorcycle do not keep a safe distance, you could end up getting hit from behind. This may also happen when you ride motorcycles in a group – if the rider in front applies the brakes suddenly to avoid an obstacle or an animal that has run into the path, the riders behind may slam into the motorcycle in front of them.

Poor Weather

Motorcycle accidents are far more likely in bad weather. Snow and rain tend to decrease the visibility; they also make the road more slippery, increases the chances that the motorcyclist will lose traction and skid, causing a collision.

Motorcycle Training to Reduce Risk of a Motorcycle Crash in NYC

Educating yourself about the different factors that are responsible for a motorcycle accident and then taking care to avoid these is the most effective strategy to reduce the probability of being in a motorcycle crash in NYC.

Several institutes offer training courses in keeping with the standards laid down by the NHTSA. Entry-level training courses include a study of the following topics:

  • Pre-ride tasks
  • Motorcycle maneuvering and control skills
  • Skills of roadway management
  • Street riding strategies
  • Motorcyclist performance impact factors
  • Managing cargo or passengers on a motorcycle

Such a training program will help educate you about managing road dangers, and also greatly enhance your riding skills. Some courses also train new motorcyclists on the type of safety gear one needs to wear while riding and tips to ride safely with passengers.

Role of Safety Gear in Reducing Injuries in a Motorcycle Crash

Wearing the prescribed safety gear is vital for motorcyclists to stay safe and reduce the probability of severe injuries in case they happen to be involved in a motorcycle accident. Recommended safety gear for motorcyclists includes:

  • A helmet that meets guidelines of the Department of Transportation
  • Full-fingered gloves
  • Gear for eye protection (face shield and goggles)
  • Shirt or jacket that covers the entire arm up to the wrist
  • Pants that cover the entire leg until the ankle
  • Footwear that is sturdy

Safety Tips for Riding the Streets of New York

Here are a few tips you can follow when you ride the streets of NYC on your motorcycle:

  • Make sure other vehicle drivers on the road notice you. Wear bright-colored clothing that grabs attention. In bad weather and when riding your motorcycle at night, use the high beam to announce your presence on the road.
  • Stay alongside other vehicles in traffic instead of trailing behind them or trying to get ahead of them.
  • At busy intersections, be extra careful to stay out of the blind spots of vehicles in front of you, and be watchful of which vehicles are turning in which direction.
  • Keep a safe distance away from other vehicles on the road. When a car coming from the opposite direction is headed towards your path, make sure you stay close to the curb, or the car driver may fail to notice your presence.

Speak to a Capable and Trusted Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in New York Today

Despite taking measures to drive carefully and avoid an accident, you may find yourself involved in an accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident in New York, get in touch with our competent and skilled motorcycle accident attorneys in New York at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP at 212-344-1000 to schedule a free consultation.

Our lawyers have decades of experience in dealing with motorcycle accidents in New York. We have helped injured riders and their family members obtain their deserved compensation from the parties liable for the accident.

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Aisha Neri
Aisha Neri
20:29 18 May 23
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