Motorcyclists in Maryland should be always aware of the risks other drivers pose to them on the road and be prepared to get help after a crash.
A driver of any type of vehicle in Maryland can be at risk of experiencing an accident. However, motorcyclists must know that they are at a higher-than-average risk for sustaining serious injuries or even death because of their lack of natural protection. A good understanding of the risks is important for anyone who rides a bike.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration collects data on motor vehicle accidents, including those that involve motorcycles. Between 2010 and 2014, a total of 307 motorcyclists died on Maryland roads. The year with the lowest number of biker deaths was 2013 with 62 fatalities. The year with the highest number of biker deaths was 2010 with 82 fatalities.
It is generally known and accepted that a proper helmet can protect bikers in many situations. It is for this reason that the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration requires all motorcyclists to wear helmets at all times. In addition, anyone participating in a state-approved motorcycle safety course must wear a full or three-quarter style helmet.
Despite the fact that helmets can offer some assistance in the event of an accident, they are no guarantee of a positive outcome. The vast majority of motorcyclists who died in Maryland in the five years from 2010 to 2014 were wearing helmets at the time of their accidents.
It is not simply young people who can be involved in serious or fatal bike crashes . The NHTSA data shows that 75 riders in their 50s died in Maryland between 2010 and 2014. Bikers in their 40s and 30s accounted for 70 and 83 fatalities, respectively, in that timeframe.
Cars and trucks can be responsible for a motorcycle wreck in many ways. Ride Apart notes explains three common scenarios in which other vehicles cause accidents for bikers. One of these is by changing lanes without noticing that a motorcycle was there. Another is by turning in front of a motorcycle. In yet other situations, cars or other vehicles can easily rear-end a motorcycle and turn what is often a minor crash for a car into a life-threatening experience for a biker.
Despite the fact that a vehicle driver might not see a motorcyclist, the rider still has rights. If an accident happens, motorcyclists or surviving family members should always reach out to an attorney to learn about how to seek financial compensation.