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A Temple man dies when his motorcycle collides with a vehicle

A 23-year-old Temple man lost his life when his motorcycle and a car collided in Waco late in the evening on Feb. 2. According to a spokesperson with the Waco Police Department (WPD), disptachers first started receiving calls alerting them to a crash that had occurred along the 1400 block of N. Valley Mills Dr. just after 11:15 p.m. that Saturday night. When they arrived at the crash scene, they found the motorcyclist lying in the road unresponsive. Paramedics quickly arrived and transported him to Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center. He died soon after his arrival there. A spokesperson for WPD notes that their officers interviewed the motorist involved in the crash as well as witnesses who saw what occurred. Each of them reported having seen the car’s driver pull out of a parking in the moments before the motorcyclist ran into the rear portion of their vehicle. They then watched in horror as he was flung from his motorbike. WPD’s Crash Reconstruction Investigators remained at the scene to take measurements, interview more witnesses and photograph the scene. Their preliminary conclusion is that speed may have played a role in this fatal crash. Of the many different types of motorcycle crashes, wipe-outs are some of the most common. Individuals who are involved in these types of accidents risk serious injuries such as broken bones as well as brain and spine injuries. Some motorcyclists die in them. When you’ve been seriously hurt or lost a loved one in a Texas crash, a motorcycle accidents attorney can help you do what’s necessary to protect your right to compensation.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Motorcycle Accidents

Safety tips for novice motorcycle riders in Texas

Riding a motorcycle is thrilling, but it can also be very dangerous. Riders have no protection other than their helmet. There’s nothing separating them from the pavement below and the vehicles next to them. Even the most minor of accidents can cause severe injuries and even trauma to riders. Here are some safety tips for novice motorcycle riders in Texas. Motorcycles are faster and more powerful than they were 10 to 15 years ago. This should be in the back of your mind if you haven’t ridden a bike in quite a long time and are purchasing one again. If you are new to motorcycles altogether, it’s something you need to be aware of because you shouldn’t purchase a bike that is more than you can handle. This can only lead to difficulties operating it. Make sure you always wear the proper gear when riding your motorcycle, even in the daytime. You want to be seen by everyone on the road around you. This involves wearing reflective clothing that is rated for motorcycles. You also want to wear shoes that are closed at the toes as well as long sleeves and long pants. This will help protect your skin should you crash and slide across the pavement. Do your best to hone your motorcycle skills when you have the chance to do so. This can be done by practicing in empty lots and other roads when there is limited vehicle traffic. You can also practice with more experienced riders who can teach you how to be safe. Become a defensive driver. Anticipate that other drivers will not be able to see you on your bike. Learn to notice aggressive drivers and inattentive drivers. It might help save your life someday. Novice motorcycle riders have a higher risk of being involved in an accident and suffering a serious injury. If you find yourself on the bad end of an accident, contact our firm to discuss your situation and learn how you can protect your rights.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Motorcycle Accidents

What can keep motorcyclists safe on Waco roads?

Motorcyclists face certain risks just like any other motorists out on the road. Data published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggests that motorcycle accidents may be particularly dangerous though. Their statistics show that 80% of all motorcycle accidents result in an individual getting hurt or dying. There are precautions that motorcyclists can take to keep themselves safe from harm though. One of the best things that any motorcyclist can do is to take a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF)-approved safety course. New bikers can learn a great deal about how to operate their motorbikes including crash avoidance techniques in these classes. Motorcyclists who take these classes may even qualify for reduced insurance rates upon completion of them. Motorcyclists should make sure that the clothing that they put on isn’t just protective, but that it has reflective components and other features that enhance the chances of motorists seeing them. Bikers should always wear helmets, even when local laws don’t require them to do so. Any helmet that a motorcyclist purchases should be approved by the Department of Transportation. This will ensure that they receive the best benefits possible from it. If you’re planning to head out on your motorcycle, then you’ll want to make sure that you’re well-rested and not intoxicated when you do. If you’re fatigued, then you’ll have slower-than-normal reaction times to different stimuli. If you’re drunk or drugged, then you may struggle with visual acuity, perceiving distances and other motor skills. Motorcyclists should always be cautious when traveling through intersections or operating their bikes during inclement weather. Motorists often comment that they had difficulty in seeing motorcyclists in busy intersections. Braking is apt to take longer on slick roads. While motorcyclists can’t control how the motorists around them operate their vehicles, the steps that they may take to protect themselves may just save their lives. An attorney in Waco can help you hold a negligent motorist accountable if they struck and injured you in a senseless crash here in Texas.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Motorcycle Accidents

Preventing motorcycle crashes starts with you

As warmer weather sets in over the next few months, there will be a resurgence of motorcyclists looking to enjoy the freeing feeling that comes with taking to the open road. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), nearly 90,000 bikers were injured and nearly another 5,000 were killed in motorcycle crashes in 2016. Motorcyclists could stand to take some additional steps to remain safe out on the road. One particularly statistic that stood out in NSC’s Injury Facts 2017 report is how in 2016, nearly 1,900 of the motorcyclists who lost their lives weren’t wearing helmets when they crashed. This is alarming, especially since their research shows that helmets can help prevent an operator’s or a passenger’s fatal injuries by up to 41 percent. Helmets that have the strongest potential of protecting you in a crash are new, full-coverage ones that feature a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) sticker. This lets you know that it meets established federal safety standards. You should never wear a used one or the same one that you’ve worn in a crash before. Other ways that motorcyclists can reduce their risk of becoming involved in a serious motorcycle crash is to be more cautious when selecting the motorbike that fits them. Riders should research how crash-prone certain ones are and look to see what safety features they offer. Newly licensed motorcyclists should learn the rules of the road and take motorcycle safety classes. Anyone who switches to riding a new type of bike or takes a break from riding one for a while should also participate in such workshops to brush up on their skills. Waco motorcyclists who use their headlights at all times of the day and who wear clothing that is both protective and reflective can greatly improve their visibility to motorists. Those who use defensive driving techniques, drive at the posted speed limit and lay off of alcohol before taking to the road have the strongest potential of not becoming one of the 80 percent of Americans who are either injured or killed in motorcycle crashes each year. Even when Texas motorcyclists follow these rules, they’re still subject to getting hurt by motorists who drive recklessly. Individuals who have lost a loved one to a wipeout crash or similar incident will want to work with an attorney who is intent on protecting your rights by filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

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Being conspicuous can help you avoid motorcycle accidents

Do you feel confident that other motorists can see you when you are riding your motorcycle? Did you know that many drivers who collide with motorcycles claim that they did not see the bike? You might wonder how this can be but it is probably wise to take the statement as truth. Unfortunately, many bike enthusiasts in the state of Texas have suffered serious injury or death due to motorcycle accidents. In the ever-continuing quest to reduce these tragedies, never assume that you are highly visible to other motorists. According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), not automatically assuming you are visible is a great strategy for improving your safety. Other effective strategies endorsed by the MSF include: Wearing bright or reflective clothing and gear Making sure that you always signal your intentions Equipping your bike with front lights, rear lights, brake lights and a horn Formulating escape paths as you ride Assuming other motorists are impaired in some manner Identifying any blind spots that might compromise your safety Making safety your No. 1 priority Many riders feel that focusing so much on safety can take the fun out of riding. However, once you have become accustomed to safety-focused thinking, it will likely become second nature. This means that you can continue to enjoy your bike and stay safer at the same time. For those who would like to play a role in reducing motorcycle accidents across the state, it is important to use whatever tools you possess to increase awareness. This may mean speaking out when you see bad driving behavior or calling the authorities if you suspect impairment. You can also set a good example for your neighbors by holding negligent drivers responsible for your motorcycle accident and your injuries through the legal system.

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Other drivers often ruin safe following distances

On a motorcycle, it’s critical to maintain a safe following distance. A rear-end accident may not hurt the driver in the car at all, but the biker could be seriously injured or even killed while slamming into the back of the vehicle. The amount of distance you should keep between you and the next car varies depending on speed and other factors. If you’re going faster than 25 mph, some experts suggest keeping a three-second cushion. If you’re going faster than 55 mph, increase that to four seconds. On the interstate, when going faster than 75 mph, you need a minimum of five seconds. If you’re traveling downhill, they suggest adding 10 percent to make up for gravity. If you’re on a loose surface — like a gravel road — or a wet surface, you should add 25 percent. One of the biggest problems with these cushions, though, is that other drivers may not respect them. If you’re driving with four seconds between you and the next car, another driver may ruin it by jumping into the gap. This is frustrating, and the reality is that most drivers have no real concept of how much cushion is needed. They don’t even realize that what they’re doing is reckless and dangerous. They just see an open space where a car will fit, and they take it. Reckless drivers can cause accidents. As noted above, these are often more detrimental to motorcycle riders due to the small size of the bike and the lack of protection. If you’re injured, be sure you know your rights to compensation. Source: Bike Safer, “Stopping Distances Revisited.,” accessed Oct. 05, 2017

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Motorcycle Accidents

How can you make your motorcycle more visible to others?

There are many poorly illuminated streets here within the city limits of Waco. There are even areas like this as you venture out onto the rural Texas roadways. The best thing you can do in these instances is to make both you and your motorcycle more visible to others. One of the best ways for you to catch the attention of motorists around you is for you to wear bright colors like yellow or white. They’re most apt to contrast with one’s surroundings including the darkness of the night. Never wear grays or greens though as they tend to create a camouflage effect. This makes it hard for any motorist to see you. You may want to focus on more than wearing brightly colored clothing though. You can increase your chances of being seen if you purchase a brightly colored motorcycle to ride on. If you already have a darker one, then you may want to consider painting it a different hue. Replacing your headlights with brighter bulbs is also critically important. You may find that adding reflectors to all sides of your bike may call more attention to it as well. You can greatly increase your visibility if you focus on keeping your motorcycle centered in your lane. One thing that you should avoid doing in heavy traffic is moving between lanes as motorists are more apt to lose track of or forget about you if you do. You should also make sure to choose a lane that makes you most visible when passing through an intersection. The more the motorists can see you, the more apt you are to avoid a collision. Riding a motorbike is dangerous as bikers lack the protection of the outer shell that car operators enjoy around them. This doesn’t give drivers a valid excuse for driving recklessly though. An attorney can help you recover the funds that you’re sure to need to cover your medical bills if you’ve been hurt in a Waco crash.

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Motorists should always remain vigilant for motorcyclists

Late last month, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) celebrated National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. They took advantage of the increased attention being placed on motorcycle safety to launch their “Look Twice for Motorcycles” initiative. TxDOT representatives hope that this campaign will encourage motorists to keep their eyes peeled for motorcyclists when driving down the road. Data released by TxDOT earlier this year captured how there were 7,656 motorcycle crashes in 2018. Those resulted in 1,920 motorcyclists injuries and 417 deaths. A TxDOT spokesperson noted that it’s generally during the late spring and summer that an increase in the number of motorcyclists taking to the road often occurs. They note that it’s important for vehicle operators to remember just how catastrophic a crash between a car and a motorcycle can be. Bikers often get injured because they lack the protection of the shell of the vehicle that drivers enjoy. They note that motorcyclists are most vulnerable to being struck when making left turns once inside of an intersection. Bikers often end up getting struck because drivers fail to adequately assess how fast motorcyclists are traveling and how far away that they are. Data compiled by the TxDOT for crashes that occurred in 2018 shows that 30 percent of those involving motorcyclists occurred at intersections. Another factor that often results in motorcycle crashes is a motorist’s lack of understanding of biker’s ability to brake. Motorcycles work much like cars with manual transmissions. Motorcyclists are capable of downshifting to reduce their speed without ever applying the brake. This makes it where they never see their red light become illuminated. If motorists are following too close, then they may inadvertently crash into the rear-end of the bike. Texas motorcycle crash rates can be greatly reduced if motorists take their time to get to know more about how these powerful bikes function. They can also minimize their risk of striking a motorcyclist by keeping a safe distance behind them and scanning the area to make sure one is not in the immediate vicinity. Individuals who have been injured by negligent motorists can benefit from reaching out to an attorney. They can aid you in protecting your rights, including your ability to recover compensation if you’ve suffered permanent injuries in a motorcycle crash in Waco.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Motorcycle Accidents

Take action to make yourself more visible as a motorcyclist

The authors of a report published by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) on July 16 sought to better understand how likely motorcyclists are to wear safety gear when operating their bikes. They initiated this study after determining that that high-visibility clothing makes it more likely that motorists will see them and thus less likely that they’ll die in a crash. When they delved into the topic of high-visibility gear, such as boots, jackets, boots, pants, helmets and gloves, the researchers found that motorcyclists, in general, have some type of aversion to wearing it. Most don’t like how the pieces available on the market look. If these motorcyclists were to wear their high-profile gear though, it could save so many lives. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), aPPs many as 5,000 motorcyclists who are killed each year die because a driver didn’t see them. The researchers discovered that most of the motorbike riders who do wear high-visibility gear do so because they’ve almost been in accidents themselves or they’ve known someone who has. Motorcyclists across 18 different cities including some here in Texas provided feedback to researchers about what would motivate them to wear high-visibility clothing. In addition to making it more stylish, motorcyclists also mentioned that they want to see these features incorporated into all branded gear. They also noted that they’d want to be educated as to what the benefits of wearing high-visibility gear are, especially in low-light conditions. The researchers found that they’d want to see data showing how wearing this type of clothing can significantly curb their risk of dying in a crash. Motorcyclists would expect to receive discounts on their insurance and other financial benefits for wearing this gear as well. A representative with GHSA notes that they owe it to motorcyclists to try and get to the bottom of why bikers elect to wear this gear, especially since it has the potential of greatly reducing motorcycle fatality rates. While improvements that make motorcyclists more visible to motorists can have a significant impact in curbing fatal crash rates, it’s unlikely that this will completely eliminate them. Drivers can still stand to learn better ways to share the road with motorcyclists, bicyclists, other cars and pedestrians. Motorcyclists who have been seriously injured here in Waco should reach out to an attorney to protect their rights following a crash.

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4 things car drivers should remember about motorcycles

Many car and truck drivers have never even ridden on a motorcycle, much less driven one on their own. This can lead to misunderstandings and mistakes on the highway, and these can turn into deadly accidents. To help prevent this, here are four things that drivers should always try to remember about motorcycles: Riders do not always use their brakes, even when they are intentionally slowing down. They may just downshift and let go of the throttle. Do not count on a brake light to warn you that the bike is slowing. Your blind spots are huge for a motorcycle. The entire bike can be hidden by that pillar supporting the back corner of your roof. Always double-check before switching lanes. Motorcycles are often closer to you than they appear. They are very small and very fast. The size, in particular, causes a lot of problems when you’re used to gauging how far away cars and trucks are. Don’t cut off a motorcycle. Give the rider extra space. Motorcycles deserve the entire lane. Don’t try to drive next to them or pass in the same lane. If a motorcyclist sees debris in the road, while you may be able to hit it with your car, he or she may swerve around it to avoid a crash. The biker needs all of the room in the lane. Respect bikers and give them the same space you’d give another car. These four tips can help prevent a lot of dangerous motorcycle accidents, but the risk still remains high on roads all over Texas. Riders who get hit and injured must know all of their legal rights to financial compensation. Source: Motorcycle Safety Foundation, “For Car Drivers,” accessed March 21, 2018

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