According to the most recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 5500 motorcycle riders lose their lives in traffic accidents annually in the United States. This equates to 14% of all traffic fatalities, even though motorcycles make up only 3% of all registered vehicles, and only 0.6% of all vehicle miles traveled. Furthermore, motorcycle riders die in accidents almost 28 times more frequently than occupants of passenger vehicles.
As a New Orleans personal injury law firm, we have represented many motorcycle accident victims. Injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents are frequently more serious than those suffered in auto accidents because there is nothing separating the motorcycle rider from the road and other vehicles.
Other drivers are the biggest hazards motorcycle riders face on the roads. Due to their relatively small size, drivers often have difficulty seeing motorcycles in traffic. But, by taking the proper precautions, motorcycle riders can minimize the risk of inattentive and careless drivers.
Protecting Yourself as a Motorcycle Rider in New Orleans
The most dangerous circumstances for motorcycle riders to navigate safely are at intersections and when cars and trucks are changing lanes. In both cases, motorcycles are sometimes hit by drivers who fail to see them passing.
While it is the responsibility of all car and truck drivers on the road to be aware of smaller vehicles, like motorcycles, there are precautions that motorcycle riders must always take to protect themselves. Here are some ways motorcycle riders in New Orleans can protect themselves when riding:
- Wear Safety Gear: Not wearing the right gear can get you hurt. Be sure to wear a DOT-compliant helmet with goggles, glasses or face shield, a leather or reinforced jacket, gloves, and protective pants and boots.
- Ride Smart and Safe: Reckless riding, speeding, and performing stunts are the fastest ways for motorcycle riders to be seriously injured or lose their lives. Ride smart and safe, keep both wheels on the ground, and observe the speed limit. This way, you have the best chance of reaching your destination alive and well.
- Stay situationally aware: Always know where you are relative to other vehicles around you. Check your mirrors frequently and be sure to check your blind spots. To avoid being rear-ended when stopped, stop in first gear and have an escape.
- Stay visible: Drivers do not see motorcycle riders who blend in. Wear bright colors or reflective materials and consider adding an extra headlight, an oscillating rear brake light, or white or amber ground-effect lighting. The more visible you are, the safer you will be.
- Don’t drink and ride: Never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They affect your thinking and depth perception, slow your reaction time, and affect your balance. If you are going to drink or do drugs, wait until after your ride is over and you are done for the day. This way, you will avoid injuring or killing yourself and others.
- Take a safety course: Taking a motorcycle safety course is a great way to learn proper riding skills or refresh your knowledge. You can learn or stay up to date with motorcycle safety laws and best practices, and you can find classes taught both in the classroom and outdoors.
- Slow down: Speed and skill level also can affect safety, especially when making turns. When riding, it pays to slow down, especially when going around curves.
- Keep an eye out for road hazards: Annoyances like loose gravel, potholes, and uneven roadways are significant hazards for motorcycle riders. So be aware of where you are riding and remember that you must ride even more cautiously when on rocky, uneven, or wet surfaces.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident in New Orleans
After being involved in a motorcycle accident, it is important to think clearly and take steps to protect your physical well-being and ability to recover compensation for your damages. After a motorcycle accident, follow these steps:
- Stay calm.
- Immediately call for medical help if you or anyone else is injured. Get checked out by a doctor even if you feel fine.
- Call the police to report the accident. Get the reporting officer’s name and badge number and be sure to ask for a copy of the report.
- Take down the driver’s license number, address, phone number, and insurance details for the other driver involved.
- Identify any witnesses and get their contact details.
- Call your insurance provider to get a claim started.
If you are in a motorcycle accident that results in injury or significant property damage, you should also call a qualified motorcycle accident lawyer in New Orleans.
What to Look for in a New Orleans Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
When choosing a lawyer to represent your interests after a motorcycle accident in New Orleans, look for a lawyer with the following qualities:
- Specializes in motorcycle accidents in New Orleans
- Cares about your well-being
- Provides a free consultation and case evaluation; and
- Charges no legal fees unless a settlement, judgment, or verdict is won on your behalf.
At Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers, our team specializes in motorcycle accident cases. We can help you recover the compensation you need to cover your medical bills and lost wages, as well as compensation for your pain and suffering and other related losses. Our New Orleans motorcycle accident lawyers have years of experience helping motorcycle accident victims, and we may also be able to help you.
Let Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers Help You
Regardless of how careful a motorcycle rider is, they cannot control the actions of other motorists on the road. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may want to seek legal representation.
To learn more about pursuing a motorcycle accident claim and how to find the motorcycle accident lawyer that is right for you and your unique case, call Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers to schedule a consultation with a motorcycle accident lawyer New Orleans residents trust.
We provide every potential client with a free consultation. We love to help accident victims protect their future and recover the compensation they deserve.
This content has been reviewed by Chad Lederman, Director of Legal Operations at our New Orleans office.
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