Motor vehicle accident lawyers encounter a variety of collisions in their profession, from single-car accidents, to collisions involving pedestrians, to motorcycle crashes, which have accounted for a disproportionate number of accidents in 2017. In fact, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) announced this August that motorcycle fatalities had reached an “alarming” milestone.
“We have had 30 motorcycle riders die in collisions already in 2017,” OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said. “That is very alarming considering last year, all year, we only had 36, which is 36 too many.”
‘Too many’ may be an understatement: the 36 people who died in motorcycle accidents last year was the highest number in a decade – and it might be surpassed in 2017.
Despite the fact that much of Ontario endured an unusually wet and rainy summer, Sgt. Schmidt stated that most of the accidents were caused by “preventable factors that we don’t want to see happening,” including impairment, excessive speed, and reckless driving that resulted in losing control of the vehicle.
“In a car you’re always in a compartment,” wrote Robert M. Pirsig in his 1974 book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. “You’re a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame. On a cycle the frame is gone … You’re in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming.”
This passage illustrates precisely why motorcycling is both exhilarating and dangerous. Other vehicles are designed to keep their occupants as safe as possible; motorcycles are built to deliver speed and a sense of freedom. However, motor vehicle accident lawyers believe that by taking certain precautions motorcyclists can enjoy their favourite pastime without putting themselves too much at risk.
First, motorcyclists should always wear appropriate head and face protection. Though every deceased motorcyclist listed by Sgt. Schmidt was wearing a helmet at the time of their accident, the number of fatalities would certainly be much higher if fewer riders wore head protection.
When it comes to proper motorcycling attire, helmets are just the beginning. Your motorcycling gear should minimize injuries the case of a minor accident or skid, and should be bright and visible to ensure you’re noticed by fellow motorists.
Motorcyclists must obey traffic rules, stay keenly aware of their surroundings, and drive defensively. What might amount to a minor fender-bender for a car could be a life-threatening accident for a motorcyclist. When you leave the house for a ride, be prepared proactively avoid other vehicles on the road.
Before you depart for a ride, ensure that your vehicle is fully functional. Check its tires; headlights, taillights, and signals; mirrors, brakes, and horns; and perform a quick check for leaks and fluid levels.
Finally, never drive while overly tired or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Slow reaction times, impaired awareness, or even a momentary lapse in judgment can be fatal on a motorcycle.
If you or a member of your family has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact the motor vehicle accident lawyers at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Image credit: Joshua Kimberly/Wikimedia Commons
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