It seems that we hear a story about someone dying in a DC motorcycle accident almost every day. If these vehicles are so dangerous, you might ask, why do people keep riding them?
The truth is, a motorcycle can be just as safe a mode of transportation as any other-until an accident occurs. Motorcycle riders are at increased risk of injury in a crash, since they are not protected by the steel of a car. However, these accidents are usually caused by the same factors that cause car crashes: weather, systems failures-and even the driver himself.
The leading causes of motorcycle accidents in Virginia are:
- Speed. This is the number one factor in motorcycle accidents where no other vehicle is involved. Bikers will often lose control of their cycles at increased speeds, and are more likely to veer off the road and into a stationary object.
- Driver inattention. Motorcyclists have a notorious reputation among car drivers, but the fact is the car driver is usually the one at fault-and he has a much better chance of walking away from an accident.
- Inexperience. Driving a motorcycle is drastically different than driving a car. Young drivers in particular have been killed because they did not brake properly, or know how to shift their weight during turns.
- Weather conditions. Snow and ice are dangerous for all vehicles, but even riskier for those with only two wheels. Less traction means less control, and a higher chance of a crash.
- Bike malfunction. Just like cars, motorcycles are built on assembly lines. An electrical failure or disconnected frame could easily cause a bike to veer off course-and into another driver.
As experienced Fairfax motorcycle accident attorneys, we know that the effects of a motorcycle crash can be devastating. With a little extra planning, there are a number of ways motorcycle riders in Virginia can protect themselves from serious injuriesFor example:
- Wear a helmet. If you are in a crash, you have a much better chance of surviving by wearing a road-approved safety helmet. Always wear yours, and keep a spare if you take on riders.
- Make drivers notice you. Wear a reflective patch on your back while on the highway, and take extra precaution when riding at night.
- Beware the weather. Think of your bike as a convertible: if it’s raining, snowing, or windy, keep it in the garage for better days. Not only will you stay safe, you’ll avoid rust and weather damage on your bike.
- Watch road conditions. Always travel on routes that are biker-friendly. If your journey takes you into a pothole-rich road, construction zone or on a dangerous curve, look for an alternate route.
We know that even the most prepared drivers can experience accidents. If you have been injured in a DC motorcycle crash, call Shevlin Smith today at 703-721-4233.