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2 important motorcycle helmet safety tips

Your motorcycle helmet is your best line of defense against suffering a fatal injury in the event of a collision. For this reason, the selection of your helmet should be taken very seriously. Here is some advice that all motorcyclists should follow pertaining to their helmets. Don’t let your friends borrow your helmet. The memory foam inside most helmets is designed to conform to your head and fit it perfectly. The snug fit of your helmet is absolutely essential to keeping you safe. As such, make sure your helmet fits the right way, and don’t loan your helmet to a friend, especially if your friend has a bigger head than you, as your helmet might not fit you anymore after your friend returns it. Make sure the visor is appropriate. A tinted visor is great for the day, but if you’re riding at night a tinted visor could limit your ability to see. If you’re doing a lot of nighttime riding, be certain that your helmet is equipped with an alternative clear lens visor that you can use during low light driving conditions. A good helmet can save your life and prevent serious injury in many cases, but not in all situations. If you got hurt in a motorcycle accident due to no fault of your own, you might want to investigate your legal rights and options. In some cases, the at-fault party who causes a motorcycle crash will be financially liable to cover the costs and expenses related to the injured party’s medical care and other damages.

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Motorcycle Accidents

Fatality rates and the real risk on a motorcycle

A motorcycle offers unparalleled freedom. There is something exciting about the open road, the feeling of the wind and the exposure to the landscape that makes you feel like you’re really a part of it — not just passing through it. However, that freedom does not come without risk. Statistics paint a fairly bleak picture, especially when looking at fatality rates. For instance, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatalities went up by 8.3 percent between 2014 and 2015. That was a jump from 4,594 to 4,976 fatalities. When you consider that there are around 8.6 million registered motorcycles in the United States — that statistic applies to both commercial and private vehicles in 2015 — the odds of being killed in an accident are 1 in1,728. Since some registered motorcycles likely never see pavement during any given year, the true odds when looking at the number of bikes on the road could be even higher. To put this in perspective, when comparing the motorcycle fatality rates to those for passenger cars, the 2014 statistics show that people on motorcycles are six to seven times are likely to be killed in an accident. If you adjust for vehicle miles traveled, that jumps up to 27 times as likely. Clearly, the risk is serious. While motorcyclists can take some steps to reduce their own personal risk, such as wearing a helmet and observing the speed limit, they cannot avoid all accidents. The families of those who die or suffer serious injuries need to know what legal options they have to seek compensation.

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| Read Time: 1 minute | Motorcycle Accidents

Texas man goes to prison after purposefully hitting motorcycle

A Texas man will go to jail for 15 years after he purposefully swerved his car into a passing motorcycle. A couple on the motorcycle was attempting to make a pass, when video footage caught the man swerve directly into their path. Earlier this month, a trial by jury convicted the man of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The accident happened in October 2015, and the 68-year-old driver has been in jail since that time awaiting the completion of his trial. The man will stay in Hood County Jail until he is transferred to a Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison to complete the rest of his sentence. The driver might not have been convicted if it weren’t for video footage recorded by another motorcyclist that had been following the couple. The video shows the motorcycle passing the 68-year-old man’s vehicle. Then, the vehicle jerked suddenly to the left and collided with the bike. Both the motorcycle driver and his girlfriend crashed onto the asphalt road and suffered injuries as a result. The motorcyclists accused the man of striking them on purpose after the accident. In response, he yelled, “I don’t care!” But later, he offered an explanation in court that he swerved because of a spider bite. Video footage during a serious car accident can be very helpful to bring the at-fault party to criminal justice. Sometimes, Texas residents have “dashcams” that record roadway activity. Other times, video footage can be pulled from municipal surveillance cameras placed at intersections. This footage can also be used in civil court by car accident victims seeking financial compensation from an at-fault party for their injuries and other damages. Source: Chron, “Texas man who swerved into motorcycle in viral video sent to prison for crash,” John Boyd and Heather Leighton, April 03, 2017

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Motorcycle Accidents

Tips to Avoid Distracted Drivers On Your Next Motorcycle Ride

Riding through Texas on a motorcycle is one of the greatest pleasures in life. Once you make it out of the city limits of Waco, you have endless miles of open road available. Unfortunately, like with most things, riding a motorcycle comes with risk. The weather can suddenly change, causing the roads to become dangerous. A deer can leap out in front of you and cause you to lose control. And, the most dangerous, are the cars and trucks cruising down the street, operated by drivers that think multitasking behind the wheel is a good idea. In general, cars and trucks are the greatest threat to you every time you climb on your bike. While it is not always possible to avoid a collision with a reckless driver, there are things you can do to reduce your chances of being in an accident. For some tips to avoid distracted drivers, read below. Stay to the right By staying to the right on a two-lane road, even when you come to a stop, you can give yourself enough room to avoid a collision with distracted driver. When people are playing with the radio, checking their phones or engaging in other activities, they tend to drift. By avoiding the middle of the lane and staying to the right, you can create a nice cushion between yourself and oncoming traffic. Avoid multi-lane highways Yes, I-35 might be the quickest way out of town, but those multi-lane highways can be nothing but trouble. You will have cars coming at you from multiple directions and it is likely that fewer than half of those drivers will see you, even if they are not distracted. If possible, take the back roads out of town and take the chance of having one of those winding ranch roads all to yourself. Light it up The best thing you can do to avoid becoming a victim of a distracted driver is to make yourself as visible as possible. This might mean wearing a brightly colored jacket with reflective panels instead of your standard black leathers, or it could mean giving in to that secret temptation to buy the crazy colored helmet you have been eyeing in the shop. Also, do not be afraid to use those high-beams. It might irritate drivers, but at least they will see you. In addition to the above tips, be extra careful when a vehicle is coming at you from the side or pulling out from a parking lot. Always assume that you are invisible to every single individual operating a car or truck. Doing so will make you more cautious and keep you safe.

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Lane-splitting: Is it legal in Texas?

Lane splitting is simple: It’s a tactic that motorcyclists use to pass traffic, generally when it’s stopped and backed up. There may not be enough room for a car to move forward when a two-lane interstate comes to a stop, for instance, but a motorcycle can easily fit between the cars in both lanes. Proponents argue that this is safe because the cars aren’t moving anyway, and because it helps to reduce the road congestion. You don’t have a bunch of bikes sitting in traffic and taking up space. It’s also harder for motorcyclists to stop in traffic since they have to constantly put their feet down and hold the bike up. It’s easy for a driver to spend an hour inching forward, stopping and starting, but it can be very hard for a biker. So, is it legal? It’s not. Only one state has made it legal, and that’s California. It’s technically considered illegal passing in Texas. If it’s done very quickly or dangerously, reckless driving charges could also factor in. Texas did attempt to make it legal in 2016. Senate Bill 288 was produced, and, had it passed, lane-splitting would have become legal in traffic going under 20 mph. It also would have said that bikers needed to go only 5 mph faster than the traffic around them. However, that bill never got out of committee and the Senate never voted on it. So, at this time, lane-splitting remains illegal. This shows how important it is to understand all of the motorcycle laws and to adhere to them so that if another driver causes an accident, there’s no way to say that you were at fault. You may then be able to seek compensation. Source: Motorcycle.com, “Lane Splitting in Texas,” accessed Nov. 30, 2017

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Is it Actually Wise to Lay Down a Motorcycle?

People often talk about laying a motorcycle down in an effort to avoid a crash. It is typically seen as a last-ditch effort. You see a truck pull out into the road in front of you. The driver never saw your motorcycle. You lay the bike down to avoid a direct collision at speed. But is this really wise? There are some situations where it can help. You may be able to take the impact with your legs and body, for instance, rather than your head. Since two broken legs may heal more effectively than a traumatic brain injury, laying the bike down can decrease the lasting issues you face — even when it will not prevent injuries entirely. However, experts do note that you are often better off to stay on the bike. For one thing, your tires are designed to slow your bike down and grip the road. The metal side of the bike and your leather jacket are not. You may actually cut more speed before the crash if you just hammer the brakes and stay on the bike. In addition, some accidents can be avoided. Are you better off to lay the bike down on the pavement and slide into the accident or to turn your bike and swerve around the other vehicle on the shoulder? Obviously, every situation is different, but you may be better off to avoid a crash. No matter what, if this is a decision you have to make, you’re likely going to suffer some injuries. Make sure you fully understand your legal options.

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