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Veteran motorcycle riders share their safety tips

If you’re new to motorcycles, the one thing you can’t get instantly is experience. You may also know that experience can help keep you safe on the road. There’s only one way to really put in those hours, but that does not mean you cannot learn from others who have done it. Here are some safety tips from veteran riders: Do not wear black. Yes, it’s the “traditional” color that bikers wear, but it makes you far less visible than red, neon green or even a reflective jacket. Put on something bright so that other drivers see you. If you ride in a group, make sure you trust everyone else in that group. If anyone makes a mistake, it could lead to a chain-reaction accident. Maintain a 20-foot cushion around yourself. That’s how far you want to be from other bikes or vehicles, on all sides. Only ride when you’re awake and alert. Of course, you never want to drink and ride, but you also want to avoid drowsy riding, which can reduce reaction times. Look for escape routes. Know where you’d go if someone else makes a mistake. That 20-foot cushion can help at stoplights. Watch the cars behind your bike. Sometimes, drivers do not see a stopped motorcycle and rear-end it. Watch out for cars that approach too quickly. The accident would be that driver’s fault, but you still want to avoid it if possible. You’re very exposed on a motorcycle. These safety tips can help, but you may still get involved in an accident. Be sure you know all of your legal options. Source: Buffalo Chip, “12 Safety Tips Seasoned Riders Swear By,” Mary Panerio, accessed June 15, 2018

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcyclists should be proactive in preventing crashes

There are many dangers associated with riding a motorcycle. While many motorcyclists appreciate the freedom that comes with operating a motorcycle in the open air, bikers enjoy very little protection from reckless motorists out on the road. There are some strategies that motorcyclists can employ to remain safe while riding their motorcycles though. Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to getting hit while they’re riding their bikes in heavy traffic. One of the best things that bikers can do to ensure that they aren’t riding in a driver’s blind spot is to ride alongside them instead of either behind or in front of them. Another instance that’s quite dangerous for motorcyclists is when they’re passing others or someone is passing them. This is why it’s important that bikers signal when they’re ready to change lanes. It’s also imperative that motorcyclists leave adequate space between themselves and other drivers when changing lanes. This gives motorists adequate time to brake if they need to. Motorcyclists should keep in mind that visibility is reduced when they’re navigating curves. It may be hard for motorcyclists to identify a vehicle and to get out of its path if they’ve traveled around a curve at a too high of a rate of speed. Riding at night is dangerous for pedestrians, motorists and motorcyclists for a variety of reasons. Bikers can give themselves the strongest chance of being seen if they keep their headlights, turn signals and brake lights in proper working order while riding at night. Motorcyclists should also be cautious when preparing to enter intersections. Bikers should aim to keep their motorcycles centered in their lanes. It can be helpful if bikers leave their headlights illuminated and are prepared to stop at a moment’s notice if need be at intersections as well. Many individuals ride motorcycles because it gives them a boost of adrenaline driving a car just can’t offer. While motorcyclists who practice some of these defensive driving techniques can greatly reduce their chances of causing a crash, motorists need to do their part to prevent collisions as well. If you’ve been hurt by a negligent driver, then you’ll want to consult with an attorney. Your Waco lawyer can advise you of how you can go about protecting your rights following a motorcycle crash here in Texas.

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Road rash seldom kills, but it can if it’s left untreated

If you ever research how to prevent injuries when you suffer a motorcycle crash, then you’ll likely come across information that emphasizes the importance of you wearing protective gear at all times. A helmet can protect you from head injuries. Specially-designed clothing can protect you from painful and potentially life-threatening road rash. In case you’re not familiar with what road rash is, it’s a type of injury that you’re at risk of suffering if your unprotected skin comes in contact an asphalt roadway during a motorcycle crash. While in most cases, it’s disturbing to look at, and it’s painful, it’s not normally life-threatening. It can be, though. Provided that a person who’s suffered road rash seeks immediate treatment for their injury, their skin is likely to bounce back to its original condition in due time. If they don’t, then dehydration and an infection may set in. Skin may initially start peeling via an abrasion process. Those with the most extensive friction burns may be left with disfiguring scars if their skin has to be surgically removed or depending on the extent of their injuries. Waco motorcyclists who suffer road rash can minimize their risk of developing a potentially deadly infection by changing their bandages at least once every 24 hours. If pain, redness or swelling increases, the area around the wound is warm to the touch or fluid begins draining from it in the days after the injury occurs, then this may be a sign that an infection is setting in. Texas residents who suffer debilitating or disfiguring injuries after experiencing a wipeout should first consult with a doctor to receive the life-saving treatment they need. They should then reach out to an attorney who will aggressively protect their right to compensation for medical costs and other expenses.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Motorcycle Accidents

A Denton man is indicted for causing a fatal crash while on drugs

A grand jury in Bell County handed down a criminal indictment this week in a motorcycle accident case that occurred in Belton back in October. The driver alleged to have been responsible for the crash will now face vehicular manslaughter and intoxicated driving with deadly weapon charges as a result. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, the defendant had been driving his pickup truck southbound along State Highway 317 in the direction of Temple when he suddenly made a U-turn to head north. A 55-year-old China Spring man was traveling northbound along that same stretch of highway when the pickup truck’s driver turned in front of him, making an impact with his motorbike. The motorcyclist was killed in an instant. Another motorcyclist, who was closely following the first, was also struck during the crash. The 54-year-old Waco man suffered undisclosed injuries. It’s unclear if he was transported to an area hospital for treatment. Soon after arriving on the crash scene, the pickup’s driver was taken into police custody. The 56-year-old Denton man was later booked in jail on vehicular homicide, driving while intoxicated (DWI) and drug possession charges. It’s unclear how much marijuana he had on him or in his vehicle at the time of the crash. There are many reasons that a motorcycle can wipe out. It can result from lane sharing, driving too fast for road conditions, a motorist suddenly opening their doors or from getting rear-ended by a car. When these types of collisions result in the death of a loved one or serious injuries, you may have to turn to the courts to obtain both justice and fair compensation. A criminal case can punish someone for their reckless or negligent behavior, but a civil suit can help you obtain compensation that replaces lost wages and provides for future expenses.

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In a motorcycle crash? Get an attorney’s help for your case

Data shows that riders belonging to the 17 to 25-year-old demographic become involved in the majority of motorcycle crashes. There are many reasons that motorcycle accidents happen. Motorcyclists are most vulnerable to becoming involved in a crash when traffic is heavy such as during rush hour. They also put themselves at risk of getting hurt when they engaged in reckless driving such as cutting short their turns, speeding or splitting lanes. The lack of the protection of the outer shell of their vehicle often results in motorcyclists getting seriously hurt or killed in crashes. Injured motorcyclists who are hurt due to other motorists’ negligence often find it difficult to secure the financial backing necessary to cover their medical bills or lost wages. The reason for this difficulty is that fault is often mis-attributed to the biker. Even though truckers and car drivers are often to blame for motorcycle-involved crashes, insurance companies often attribute fault to the biker for such accidents. They do this because they blame motorcyclists for putting themselves in danger by riding a motorcycle versus a car. Motorcyclists can greatly reduce their chances of becoming involved in a crash by employing defensive driving tactics — but that won’t guarantee an accident-free ride. One of the best things that you can do if you’ve been struck while out riding your motorbike in Waco is to consult with a motorcycle accident attorney. An attorney can look after your interests and battle with the insurance company while you recover. Please contact our office to learn more about your legal options or continue reading the information we provide on our site.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Motorcycle Accidents

What are the leading causes of motorcycle crashes?

Data published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to get killed while out riding their motorbikes than passenger vehicle operators are. That same data shows that 11% of all crashes that occur involve motorcyclists. Those same statistics also point to the fact that helmets can truly save many of these bikers from getting seriously hurt or killed. NHTSA data shows that most motorcyclists who get hurt while out riding their bikes are ultimately diagnosed with head injuries. It also shows that those bikers who wear helmets have 37% less of a chance of dying in a crash when they wear helmets. If they don’t wear them, then they’re 15% more likely to suffer a nonfatal injury. Their chances of being left with a head injury that ultimately claims their life if they don’t wear one is 40% greater than it is for those who ride with one on. While helmet use is important to minimize the risk of injuries to motorcyclist, it’s also important for passenger car operators and bikers alike to know why accidents occur in the first place. This may lead them to operate their vehicles more cautiously. Motorcyclists are often struck by cars because of poor visibility and reckless driving. Poor lighting, traffic congestion, weather and a lack of use of turn signals can all make it difficult for a motorist to see a biker or to anticipate their actions. Motorcyclists who weave in and out of traffic, drive in the wrong direction down the road, speed or fail to adhere to traffic signs or signals are more likely to get hit than those who follow established rules. Bikers who are inexperienced or under the influence of alcohol or drugs are also more likely to become involved in injuring accidents than others. Damage to the roadway or hazards that motorcyclists may encounter in their path may make them more vulnerable to get getting hurt as well. Motorcyclists who wear helmets, follow the rules of the road and practice defensive driving techniques are less apt to get hurt than those who don’t. Their health and safety greatly depend on the actions of other motorists around them though. Motorcyclists who have been injured should consult with an attorney in Waco who has a track record for holding negligent Texas motorists liable for their actions.

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How to protect your motorcycle passenger

Riding motorcycles is a thrilling pastime for millions of people across the country. Many know how to operate their motorcycles safely, while others have trouble being safe no matter the effort they put into it. When it comes to riding with a passenger, it’s best to know some safety tips ahead of time to prepare for the ride and keep the passenger safe. Ensure that the passenger on the motorcycle is properly equipped. This includes having a helmet, goggles, gloves, boots, leather clothing and a reflective vest to wear. Closed-toed shoes are important to protect your feet and keep the shoes on your feet while riding. Tell the passenger that they must turn their head as you do when the motorcycle makes turns. The passenger should also be taught that they must lean with you and not against you when on the bike. Show the passenger where the foot pegs are on the bike to anchor their feet. You, as the experienced rider, need to learn what it’s like to operate a motorcycle with a passenger. There will be added weight, which means the bike’s center of gravity will fluctuate. The bike will also handle differently, so be sure the tires, fluid levels and other equipment are all working properly prior to the ride. Being injured in a motorcycle accident can change your life in an instant. Speaking with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Waco can help you understand what’s at stake, what comes next and how you can protect your rights after a motorcycle accident leaves you with costly medical bills. Source: Chuck Hawks, “Tips for the Motorcycle Passenger,” Chuck Hawks, accessed Aug. 11, 2017

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Motorcycle Accidents

Why is black ice something motorcyclists should worry about?

If you own a motorcycle, then you may not want to keep it stowed away for the entire winter. Black ice is one of the most dangerous winter-weather hazards on the road though. You should learn how to better identify black ice as well as when and where it’s most likely to develop if you want to be safe out on the road. Black ice is most apt to appear on the roadway when there’s water that’s puddled and it’s 32 degrees or less outside. One of the reasons that it’s hard to identify is because it’s a layer of ice that’s so transparent and thin that it appears as the same color as the asphalt, concrete or any road surface below it. Individuals should be extra cautious when driving into higher elevations as these areas tend to experience lower temperatures and get significantly more snow than other areas do. All of these factors may lead ice to appear. You should also be careful when driving over overpasses or bridges. They both tend to develop black ice because the wind and cold air reach them from both above and below. This same logic applies to why you should be careful when traveling around shaded areas. Ice melts much more slowly along with these places, especially if the temperatures seldom rise above freezing. When many individuals think about puddling on a roadway, they seldom think about how exhaust from vehicles, melted snow, fog and other substances can cause enough of a water buildup for ice to form. Traffic congestion can make it hard for you to see what lies in front. You may only notice it once you come upon it. This can make for very unsafe driving conditions. One of the worst things that can happen to you as a motorcyclist is for you to be struck by a motorist traveling at a high rate of speed. If the motorist who strikes you is both speeding and hits a patch of ice, then it’s likely that they’ll cause even more catastrophic damage than they typically would. A motorcycle accidents attorney can help you file a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent motorist who caused you harm if you’ve been seriously hurt.

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Motorcycle-related accidents and safety tips while on the road

On March 3, a motorcyclist died after sliding his bike sideways into the rear of a pickup truck in Waco, Texas. And on February 22, a motorcyclist lost control of her bike and fell from an elevated roadway in North Austin. These are just a few of the recent fatal motorcycle accidents that have become increasingly common in our state and across the United States. What factors contribute to motorcycle accidents? And what can be done to keep riders safer on Texas roads? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,976 people died in motorcycle crashes in 2015, up 8.3 percent from 2014. Motorcycle accident injuries for 2015 were at approximately 88,000, although this figure was down 4.3 percent from the previous year. Data from 2016 has yet to be released, but will no doubt be similarly high given crash data. What factors contribute to fatal and non-fatal motorcycle accidents? Below are a few driver behaviors and safety issues that play a role in crashes: Alcohol or drug use – The NHTSA reports that 27 percent of motorcycle riders involved in fatal accidents had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher. Refraining from alcohol or drug use can increase motorcycle safety. Speeding – In 2015, 33 percent of those involved in fatal motorcycle crashes were speeding. Slowing down and adhering to posted speed limits will help motorcyclists to be safer on the roads. Proper licensing – Twenty-seven percent of riders in fatal 2015 crashes did not have a proper motorcycle license. Obtaining proper training and licensing will increase rider safety and skills. Helmet use – According to the NHTSA, motorcycle helmets saved 1,772 lives in 2015. In Texas, helmet use is required for riders and passengers age 20 and younger, but can improve safety for everyone.

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Be careful not overreact when caring for an injured motorcyclist

Most of us hope that we never have the misfortune of coming across someone who has been involved in a motorcycle crash. It’s best if everyone follows the Patient Assessment System for the best way to aid a motorcyclist after a collision. The best thing that you can do if you witness a motorcycle crash or come across an injured person is to immediately call 911 to summon the police and paramedics to the scene. Another step that you may want to take if you witness a crash is to do your best to establish some type of barrier between active traffic and where the biker is located. It may be ideal if you can park your car strategically to block the motorcyclist. If that’s not possible, then you may want to at least recruit another motorist to help re-direct traffic as far away from where the injured motorcyclist as possible. It’s best if you don’t do anything that could jeopardize the health and safety of the injured motorcyclists. It’s better if you wait for the arrival of paramedics to let them do what they’re trained to do instead. Paramedics will likely check for any bleeding, administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation and assess the person for injuries. You may notice that first responders seldom remove a biker’s helmet. Parademics are taught that by doing so, they could cause a motorcyclist further injuries. There are inherent dangers associated with riding a motorbike. While many bikers get hurt during actual crashes, countless others develop even worse injuries after it. Many get struck a second time by other cars. Others suffer injuries while being tended to improperly by untrained good Samaritans. A motorcycle accident attorney can help you protect your rights if you’ve been involved in a serious crash here in Waco or elsewhere in Texas.

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