Avoiding Motorcycle Accidents in Pennsylvania
As summer approaches, many Pennsylvania residents take to roadways on their motorcycles, enjoying the open scenery and warmer weather. Unfortunately, motorcyclists face particular road dangers that do not affect other vehicles. Exposure to the elements leaves motorcyclists vulnerable to catastrophic injuries when collisions take place. Increasing motorcycle safety knowledge and awareness can help to avoid accidents.
Motorcyclists are required to master particular skills before sharing the road with other traffic. Strengthening riding skills can help even a seasoned motorcyclist perform the right maneuvers when faced with road hazards. But even those riders who possess these strong riding skills may not be able to avoid the conduct of a negligent driver.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation administers the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program. This free program is offered to Pennsylvania class M permit and motorcycle license holders. The program was created by legislation in 1984 and has been operating since 1985. It serves to help new riders develop an understanding of how to safely operate their motorcycle. There is a course for more advanced riders as well. Again, the goal is to help lower the risk of injury on the road.
In addition to increasing safety knowledge, it is helpful to be aware of the particular dangers posed by riding a motorcycle. These include:
Common types of road debris include broken pavement, slick patches, and oil spots. Motorcyclists must be hyper-vigilant as they maneuver around these safety threats. Since the motorcyclist’s path is often the center of a traffic lane, this location presents particular dangers because the debris often settles here.
Many drivers involved in motorcycle collisions fail to see an approaching motorcyclist. Drivers are often scanning for other vehicles or trucks when checking their mirrors before changing lanes. An approaching motorcyclist may suffer injuries when drivers fail to see them approaching or in fact open a car door into the path of a passing rider.
A motorcycle with two wheels is by nature less stable than a four-wheeled car or truck. Road hazards that throw off the balance of the bike can lead to a dangerous fall or the loss of control of the bike. In high winds, it is advisable to drive slowly or avoid the road if possible.
The instability of a motorcycle also increases the challenges of maneuvering easily. While there is a shorter stopping distance for a motorcyclist, this in fact poses the risk of being rear-ended by other vehicles that cannot stop as quickly.
Exposure of the Motorcyclist
Catastrophic injuries are unfortunately common in motorcycle collisions because the rider is exposed on their vehicle. A rider wears protective gear but is not covered by machinery, and upon a collision there is a high likelihood of striking the pavement. Motorcycle accidents present a high potential for fatalities and serious injuries, such as brain damage.
At Needle Law, our motorcycle accident attorneys have represented injured riders in their claims for compensation for over 20 years. Even skilled motorcyclists are vulnerable when encountering distracted or reckless drivers. Colliding with a driver can result in serious injury and even death.
We offer a free consultation and can be reached by calling (570) 344-1266 or contacting us online.