Inexperienced vs. Experienced Motorcycle Riders
A motorcycle rider’s experience level can make a vast difference in their degree of safety. Naturally, experience allows motorcyclists to become more comfortable on their bikes, familiar with the experience of riding a motorcycle, and capable of responding to dangerous circumstances.
Even so, inexperienced motorcyclists have a right to be on the road. Motorists must do everything possible to avoid colliding with a motorcyclist. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident, a motorcycle accident lawyer from Spaulding Injury Law will seek money to cover your damages.
Why Inexperienced Motorcyclists May Be at Heightened Risk of an Accident
The Journal of Safety Research found that accident rates decline as motorcyclists become more experienced. We know that inexperienced motorcyclists face a greater risk of suffering injuries or dying because of accidents, and this may be the case because:
- Motorcycles can be difficult to control: If you have ever hopped on a motorcycle for a spin, you know that the rapid acceleration can be jarring. Turning the throttle to accelerate is totally different from pressing the gas pedal in a car. The acceleration and speed of a motorcycle take time to command, and inexperienced riders may
- Motorcycles have only two wheels: While this is obvious, new riders don’t always consider the difficulties that two-wheeled vehicles present. Maintaining balance while turning, changing lanes, and reducing speed (including to a stop) are particularly tricky for inexperienced riders.
- Motorcyclists are directly exposed to natural elements: Wind, bugs, rain, and other natural hazards affect motorcyclists more than those who occupy enclosed, protected motor vehicles. Man-made hazards like debris flying from truck beds also pose a serious risk to motorcyclists.
- Riding a motorcycle can be more nerve-wracking than driving a car: The feeling of other vehicles whizzing by with no physical barrier can be nerve-wracking. If a motorcyclist does not remain hyper-focused and calm, they may fall victim to an accident.
- Inexperience always creates uncertainty: Whether you’re driving a car, riding a bike, or commanding a motorcycle, inexperience is always a disadvantage. You simply have not encountered and overcome many dangerous situations. Therefore, you may lack confidence or a clear plan when hazards arise.
- Road hazards are constantly changing: Driving on the road is not like playing a video game. Rather than facing the same scenario over and over, each new ride presents new, unpredictable hazards. Therefore, even as a motorcyclist gains experience, they could face tests—a motorist stopping suddenly or veering into the motorcyclist’s lane, for example—that only the most experienced motorcyclists can overcome.
Because thousands of motorcyclists die each year in traffic accidents, the cost of rider inexperience can be immense and permanent. By recognizing their inexperience and taking measures to protect themselves, inexperienced riders may substantially reduce the risk of suffering injuries in an accident.
How Inexperienced Motorcyclists Can Reduce the Risk of a Collision (or at Least, Serious Injury)
Every motorcyclist should have two primary goals every time they ride:
- Avoid being involved in a collision
- Take safety measures in the case that a collision does happen
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes that speeding and alcohol consumption are two common factors in motorcycle accidents. By abstaining from drunk driving and drugged driving and going the speed limit, inexperienced riders can reduce their accident risk.
A motorcyclist may also reduce their risk of suffering serious injury by:
- Being familiar with how their bike works and handles
- Obeying all traffic laws
- Driving defensively, never assuming that motorists or pedestrians will do the logical or safe thing
- Refraining from using a phone or engaging in any other distracting behaviors
- Wearing extensive safety gear, including padded clothing and a crashworthy helmet
Inexperienced riders should choose their roadways carefully. If there is a backroad with less traffic than a busy highway, it is generally wise for the inexperienced rider to avoid traffic.
Motorcyclists aren’t the only ones who cause motorcycle accidents. The most cautious rider, regardless of experience level, can fall victim to others’ negligence.
Even After Taking All Possible Precautions, Motorcycle Riders Can Fall Victim to Others’ Negligence
All the experience in the world cannot protect a motorcyclist from the dangerous actions of others. While an alert and prepared rider may be able to avoid catastrophe (think, swerving out of a lane when a motorist suddenly moves over), many accidents are unavoidable.
Drivers of cars, trucks, and SUVs pose the greatest risk to a motorcyclist. These motorists may cause a motorcycle accident because:
They Don’t See the Motorcyclist
Motorcyclists are more difficult to see than larger vehicles. This lower visibility makes it especially important that motorists check blind spots before changing lanes, turning, and making other maneuvers that may endanger a motorcyclist.
They Are Impaired
Motorists who are drunk, under the influence of legal or illicit drugs, tired, emotionally upset, or otherwise impaired pose a risk to motorcyclists. While these kinds of motorists may be a danger to themselves and other motorists, it’s motorcyclists who face an outsized risk of harm.
They Engage in Dangerous Driving Behaviors
Several driving behaviors increase the risk of an accident, including:
- Changing lanes without checking blind spots or using a blinker
- Disregarding traffic lights, stop signs, and yield signs
- Breaking any other traffic laws or best practices
When these or any other dangerous driving acts cause a motorcycle accident, the liable motorist must be accountable for their negligence.
Motorcyclists Face a Greater Risk of Serious Injury and Death When Accidents Happen
Riding a motorcycle comes with unique risks. Unlike motor vehicles, motorcycles do not have the following:
- A windshield
- A protective metal frame
- Seats that can help prevent serious injury
The lack of such protections means that motorcyclists face elevated danger when an accident happens.
Motorcyclists accept these risks when they choose to ride. However, motorcyclists do not accept the risk that another motorist—or any other party—will cause them harm.
Who Is Liable for a Motorcycle Accident
A motorist who causes a motorcycle accident is generally liable for that accident. However, some motorcycle accidents aren’t the fault of a motorist. Non-motorists who may be liable for a motorcycle accident include:
- Motorcycle or motor vehicle manufacturers: If any kind of defect causes a collision between a motorist and a motorcyclist, the manufacturer of the liable party may be liable.
- Municipalities: If dangerous road conditions, poorly positioned work crews, defective traffic signals, downed signage, or any other hazards within a government’s control cause an accident, that municipality may be liable for the motorcyclist’s damages.
- Pedestrians: If a pedestrian does anything that causes an accident (jaywalking, for example), they could pay the cost of the collision they caused.
The motorcycle accident lawyers at Spaulding Injury Law fight for victims’ financial recoveries. We will determine who is liable for your accident, what damages they have caused, and how much money they owe you for damages.
Been in a Motorcycle Accident? Here’s What to Do Now
Your health is most important after a motorcycle accident. Whether you’ve suffered injuries or lost a loved one, seek the treatment you need as soon as possible. Seeking either physical treatment, mental health treatment, or both can:
- Provide a clear treatment plan for physical and psychological injuries
- Protect you from suffering further injury
- Produce documentation and a clear link between your accident and all resulting injuries
You should also hire a motorcycle accident attorney from Spaulding Injury Law as soon as possible. Our legal team will protect your rights, explain your options for seeking compensation, and lead your case to financial recovery.
How a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer from Spaulding Injury Law Can Help You
Our firm helps motorcycle accident victims who often cannot fight for their own settlements and judgments. Injuries and time constraints may limit you, and you may not be able to put forth a case that is as strong as you’d like. That is where Spaulding Injury Law can help.
We also represent those who have lost loved ones due to fatal motor vehicle accidents. The Spaulding Injury Law team can help you by:
- Completing all case-related communications and paperwork
- Documenting your damages
- Calculating the cost of your damages
- Gathering any evidence that helps your case
- Leading settlement negotiations
- Taking your case to court, if we need to
For more than 25 years, our firm has fought with urgency for the money our clients deserve. That’s what we can do for you.
Recoverable Damages for a Motorcycle Accident Victim
Motorcycle accident victims may get money for:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income
- Lost earning power
- Missed bonus and promotion opportunities
- Bicycle repairs
- Replacing damaged property
- Any other damages resulting from the collision
We will work relentlessly to get every penny you deserve. Only then will justice be served.
Call Spaulding Injury Law About Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today—the Consultation Is Free
We typically face a deadline for filing any motorcycle accident case, so don’t wait to contact our team. Call Spaulding Injury Law today at (770) 744-0890 or contact us online for your free consultation.