California is known and appreciated for not only its “car culture” but for its great roads to cruise on with your motorcycle. Drivers are tasked with watching for motorcycle drivers since they are far less protected than those in motor-vehicles and trucks. Motorcycle riders in a collision with any vehicle are always at risk for serious injury or death, so the law makes a point to protect their right of way. By 2019, with more than 850,000 motorcycles registered in the state of California, the vehicles that share roads with them need to take care to give a motorcycle rider space and thoughtful care when sharing the road with them.
Dangers for Motorcyclists in Visalia
The California DMV Motorcycle Handbook outlines the dangers a motorcycle driver faces on the road, including the perils of being passed by a car or truck. The handbook advises motorcycles to stay in the center of the lane or risk a larger vehicle getting too close to them. Being clipped by a passing car or truck even slightly could cause the motorcycle to side swipe, with the motorcycle falling on its driver, crashing into oncoming traffic, or hitting obstacles on the side of the road. Vehicle side mirrors sometimes hang out farther than a motorcycle or the car driver might realize, and could nick the motorcycle, causing a problem with stability.
Additionally, car passengers might thoughtlessly toss items out of their windows, which could interfere with the motorcycle tires or distract or obstruct the vision of the driver. Gusts of wind that blast from the side or back of a passing truck could cause a loss of balance and catastrophic spin-out for a motorcycle driver. Driver blind spots often miss a motorcycle in their back side view, and additionally motorcyclists are often not given sufficient space on the front or rear or even the side of their lane when being passed. All of these issues cause a motorcycle driver to negotiate hazards that other vehicles rarely think about. The consequences for a motorcycle driver are infinitely more dangerous than for a car when any of these scenarios play out.
Spinal Cord Injury and Motorcycles
A majority of US Spinal cord injuries, or SCIs, at 90%, are caused by what is termed ?physical, preventable accidents? and 38% of those are collisions, many of which happen to riders of motorcycles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that:
“Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclist fatalities occurred 26 times more frequently than passenger car occupant fatalities in traffic crashes.”
Survivors of a motorcycle crash are in danger of being afflicted with a spinal cord injury. The effects of such an injury can be catastrophic, forever changing life as the victim knows it. Typical types of SPIs resulting from a motorcycle crash include partial and complete paralysis, which can lead to loss of work, disability, and life-long medical and care expenses. It changes relationships, family needs, and living requirements.
Clearly, motorcyclists in Visalia need to know, not only how to stay safe on the road, but what to do if a terrible accident that injures their spine does occur. Having an attorney who understands personal injury laws in California and works out of the Visalia area is necessary to make sure their rights are secured. The Maison Law Firm will uncover all the damages you are entitled to and fight for your due compensation so you can focus on building your life again. Call us today to find out what we might be able to do for you.