Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Working with Injured Clients Across Alabama
Riding a motorcycle can offer a sense of freedom; the feel of the wind in your hair and the proximity to the outside world create an exhilarating combination. Unfortunately, riders are increasingly likely to be involved in an accident. 2018 saw 83 rider fatalities on Alabama roads, with almost 50 injuries recorded for each of these deaths. Staying safe as a motorcyclist can be tricky, and any injuries can be truly devastating.
What Does the Law Say About Motorcyclists?
Legislation attempts to keep motorcyclists as safe as possible on the roads, laws which include wearing the correct protective equipment, such as a padded jacket and properly fitted helmet, at all times. In addition, the practice of ‘lane splitting’ (which allows a motorcyclist to travel between vehicles and not be confined to one lane alone) is prohibited in the state. This practice can result in motorcyclists being lost in the blind spot of a vehicle, increasing the chances of an accident.
In addition, all motorcyclists are legally required to pass a test to obtain a motorcycle license before being let loose on the road. This test ensures that they have received adequate training and supervision.
What Causes Motorcycle Accidents?
Despite the best efforts of legislation, Alabama ranked top of the list in motorcycle crashes in 2018, with 76 riders killed that year. There are a number of potential causes for motorcycle crashes, and these can include:
- Drivers Under the Influence: driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious offense, and one which can have significant repercussions for others on the road. A driver who has been drinking or taking drugs is not in a fit state to be in charge of a vehicle and can pose a significant danger to everyone else on the road—including other motorcyclists.
- Drivers Who are Distracted: common distractions may include talking to others in the vehicle, applying make-up, eating or drinking, changing the radio station, or any activity which takes attention away from the road. It only takes a second for accidents to occur, and the small size of motorcycles means they can take the full force of the crash. Cell phones are another common culprit.Research shows that a driver who is texting while driving is 23 times more likely to be involved in a serious accident.
- Speeding: failing to adhere to the speed limit is a common cause of accidents, especially if there are other factors involved, such as bad weather or driver distractions. A driver unable to stop quickly will take longer to react to incidents—like a motorcyclist appearing in front of them—whichcould result in fatalities.
- Inexperienced Drivers: almost half of all preventable deaths involving those under the age of 18 occur in Alabama each year as a result of car or auto accidents. Teen and young drivers are more likely to speed and ignore the rules of the road, or they lack due care and consideration to other drivers. They may also be more tempted to drink and drive or use a mobile phone behind the wheel;statistics show that in 2016 almost 20% of teen driver fatal crashes involved alcohol, while 10% of crashes involved the driver being distracted.
- Lack of Protection: the very nature of motorcycles means that their drivers are more likely to be injured if they are involved in a crash; motorcyclists are closer to the road, with no buffer or car frame to protect them. The heavier, larger nature of cars also means that they can do far more damage to a small bike.
- Poorly Maintained Vehicle or Mechanical Failure: from failing brakes to bald tires, a fault on a vehicle can also be a contributing factor to a crash. If you can prove that the driver was aware of this, they may be found liable for the accident.
What Can I Do?
If you are involved in a motorcycle crash, your best course of action is to prove the liability, recklessness, or negligence of the other driver. If this can be achieved, you may be able to pursue the driver to cover expenses, such as loss of earnings, medical costs, or compensation for pain and suffering.
Here at Pharr & Associates Injury Attorneys, we have helped motorcyclists across Alabama achieve the justice they deserve. Get in touch today by calling (256) 487-6080 and see how our experienced team can advise you on your next steps.