by Alison De Villiers

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and we are encouraging all motorists to safely share the road with motorcycles and to be extra alert to help keep motorcyclists safe.  According to NHTSA, motorcyclist are about 37 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a traffic crash and nine times more likely to be injured, per vehicle mile travelled.  As such, we would like to remind motorcyclists and other motorists of the following tips:

  • Ride and drive sober.  The percentage of intoxicated motorcycle riders in fatal crashes is greater than the percentage of intoxicated drivers on our roads.  But, all motorists should ride smart and sober.
  • Wear a helmet.  NHTSA estimates that helmets can prevent close to 40% of fatal injuries to motorcycle riders and passengers.
  • Make yourself visible.  Motorcycle drivers and occupants should make themselves visible to motorists on the road.  Likewise, motorists should be aware and watching for motorcyclists on the road.
  • Eliminate all distracted driving.  Both motorcyclists and other motorists should avoid cell phone use, texting and other distractions while driving.

In the unfortunate case of an accident, it is important that motorcyclists have sufficient insurance to help physically and financially survive a crash and resulting injuries.  It is important that you speak with your insurance agent to be sure that your policy covers your motorcycle use.

Following a motorcycle collision it is important to do the following:

  • Get all necessary medical treatment.  Be sure to report all symptoms that you are having.  And do not dismiss any symptoms you are having as they may worsen when you leave the scene of the crash.
  • Preserve evidence by taking your own photos or videos of the scene, if possible.
  • Get the names of any witnesses who witness the crash.
  • Notify your insurance company of the crash and cooperate with them.
  • Do not feel that you need to speak to the insurance company of an at-fault party until you have consulted with an attorney.  But, it is important that you contact an attorney timely, as strict time limitations apply to your claim.