There is a myth that the average person on a motorcycle is reckless. And while we have all seen idiots on crotch rockets kicking up wheelies down Germantown Road, they are the exception, not the rule. The average motorcyclist is older than you might guess, and has probably been riding for quite a while. They tend to drive more defensively because they realize how vulnerable they are to vehicular traffic.
In 1981, a comprehensive governmental Study, called “The Hurt Report,” found that in two-thirds of accidents involving a car and motorcycle, the driver of the car is actually at fault. Most often because he crossed into the rider’s right-of-way.
It’s all about visibility and what one expects to see. In motorcycle riding, many cars not ever noticing the motorcycle in traffic is the worst factor. That’s why cars so often pull out or make left-hand turns right across their path.
As a matter of fact, in our injury law firm, that is considered our “standard motorcycle accident.” The cyclist has right away and is proceeding at regular speed, when suddenly the Buick pulls from the stop sign making a sweeping left turn and the biker hits the side of the car and is launched over its hood.
The results are often devastating.
Believe it or not, in Arkansas it is optional for adults whether they wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle. Tennessee almost passed a similar rule for those over 21. However, it was defeated.
The brain injuries that occur from non-helmeted collisions can be awful both personally and financially. Many of these victims are under-insured on their motorcycle insurance and therefore they wind up requiring full-time care through Tennessee’s Medicaid program called Tenncare.
The state has a strong interest in making sure that we reduce the amount of head injuries on motorcycles and thus the helmet law makes sense.
But in the end, we need to look twice. I know it’s a trite saying, but looking twice can save a life.
Mr. Peel seeks justice for those injured in motorcycle, truck and car accidents, disability and medical malpractice. He often addresses churches, clubs and groups without charge. Mr. Peel may be reached through PeelLawFirm.com for motorcycle accident case assessments wherein other articles may be accessed.
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