Without a doubt, motorcycles offer advantages and disadvantages.

The advantages are clear: Dedicated enthusiasts delight in riding and maintaining their motorcycles and sharing their experiences with other motorcyclists.  These enthusiasts may find roads and highways (for instance, the “Tail of the Dragon” in East Tennessee and parts of North Carolina) to challenge their riding skills and genuinely find riding exhilarating and refreshing.  Some motorcyclists, however, use their motorcycles to travel to and from work or school, to run errands, or for other mundane purposes.  Generally, motorcycles cost less to own and operate than cars or trucks.

The disadvantages are clear as well: The principal disadvantage is that motorcyclists are far more likely to be injured than car drivers when a wreck occurs – and wrecks will occur.  Drivers of cars and trucks often do not see – or look for – motorcycles.  Sometimes, drivers of other vehicles either fear motorcycles or are uncertain how to drive or react when a motorcycle is near.  These drivers’ actions or inactions may result in the motorcyclist having to stop suddenly or make an unexpected, dangerous move to try to avoid a wreck.  Motorcyclists should pay close attention to traffic and vehicles, and other vehicles should pay close attention to motorcycles.  Drivers of other vehicles should look carefully for motorcycles before turning or changing lanes, use turn signals, avoid sudden stops, give motorcycles plenty of room to operate, and drive sensibly.

Here are some tips to avoid a motorcycle accident in the first place:

  • Exercise good judgment and prioritize safety.
  • Wear proper gear, such as a quality motorcycle helmet, sunglasses, and clothing, which is close-fitting, full-length, brightly-colored, and made of a material like leather.
  • Obtain a motorcycle license.
  • Receive the proper instruction from a trained professional.
  • Know what commonly leads to motorcycle accidents.
  • Ride per your skill level.
  • On every ride, ensure that your bike and gear are in proper working order.
  • Watch out for dangers like roadside debris.
  • Avoid riding in bad weather.
  • Do not ride when alcohol or drugs are in your system.

If you are in a motorcycle accident, contact emergency personnel and get immediate medical treatment.  Obtain the contact information, the insurance information, the license plates, and more from all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians present at the accident scene.  To preserve evidence, if possible, take pictures of the wrecked vehicles, the accident scene, vehicle damage, property damage, injuries to people, and more.  Do not leave the accident scene prior to the police’s arrival.

In addition, do not agree to interviews with insurance adjusters representing the other party.  They may use your own words against you in court and you may respond to a question without understanding it.  Adjusters are trained; an injured person often is not in a good position to answer questions.  Keep track of all matters related to the accident, including repair costs, medical bills, rental vehicle costs, and missed workhours.

If you were in a motorcycle accident, you have legal remedies.  If you have questions about motorcycles and the law, talk to a lawyer. For more information and to have your questions answered, contact Nashville Attorney Perry A. Craft.