Spring in Sight: Safety Tech and Tips for Maryland Motorcycle Riders
You may not know it from looking out the window, but spring is on the way in Maryland – bringing with it the sunny weather and mild temperatures that make conditions ideal for motorcycle riding. After a long winter, you are no doubt eager to get out and enjoy the open air. However, since many motorcycle riders have not been out in the last few months, the time is right for a reminder on the safety risks and issues involved with your favorite activity. The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) summary on motorcycle accidents indicates that there are almost 1,400 total crashes every year. That number may not seem high until you dig deeper into the data: Almost 89% of motorcycle collisions cause death or injury to at least one person.
Of course, motorcycle riders have an obligation to protect themselves, so it is important to get a refresher course on safety now that spring is around the corner. Plus, since new safety tech is available for riders and their motorcycles, you might find it useful to review options to enhance your protection. You can trust a Maryland motorcycle accident lawyer to advise you on your legal options if you were hurt in a crash, but some additional statistics may also help you understand why safety tips and tech are so important.
Additional Statistics on Motorcycle Crashes
MDOT data on motorcycle collisions is disturbing, but it is even more concerning to review further statistics on these incidents:
- Fatal crashes rose 32% from 2018 to 2019, but the highest number of accidents occurred in 2017 when 85 people were killed in 83 deadly collisions.
- More than 84% of all motorcycle crashes leads to injuries for at least one person. In Maryland, the five-year average is 1,172 victims.
- Prince George’s and Baltimore Counties rank first and second for motorcycle accidents, at 28% of all incidents occurring in the state.
- The most dangerous months for motorcycle riders are June through September, in which 53% of all collisions occur. However, April and May are also risky, whether due to weather or operators being out of practice. One in five motorcycle collisions happen during these months.
- It is wise to take extra precautions when riding your motorcycle on weekends, as more than 40% of all accidents take place on Saturday and Sunday. You should also be vigilant at dusk and during the evening rush hour, since four in 10 motorcycle collisions happen between 4:00 and 8:00 p.m.
New Safety Tech for Motorcycle Riders
If you have not been on your motorcycle in several months, you may not yet be aware of some of the latest developments in safety gear, equipment, and technology. To some experts and enthusiasts, one of the most impactful solutions is air bag clothing – which builds upon the same technology used in automobiles. The air bags are contoured balloons that are incorporated into vests, jackets, pants, and full-length bodysuits. They deploy when sensors on the clothing detect an imminent threat, thereby reducing the force when a rider is struck AND absorbing the energy of a secondary impact when the rider is tossed. Additional safety tech for motorcycles includes:
- Adaptive headlights that steer into curves, enabling a larger range of vision compared to fixed lighting;
- Auto clutch and shift, which functions similar to an automatic motor vehicle transmission and provides support as new riders get familiar with the motorcycle; and,
- Tire pressure monitoring, which reduces the effect of one of the biggest risk factors of riding a motorcycle. Low tire pressure makes it more difficult to maneuver the vehicle. Monitoring systems are available as a mobile app that links to the tire pressure technology, alerting you when you need to add air.
Tips for Avoiding Motorcycle Accidents
When you practice proper safety tactics, motorcycle technology goes even further to protect you from injury and reduce the potential for crashes. The most obvious tip is also the oldest and one you have heard many times: Always wear an approved helmet when riding. In addition:
- Consider investing in other safety gear, such as gloves, boots, and specialty clothing that includes impact-resistant fabrics.
- Follow all traffic laws and drive defensively to guard against motorists that do not.
- Never operate a motorcycle after drinking or taking drugs, even legal prescriptions that lead to drowsiness.
- Get ready for spring riding by taking a formal course that helps develop and hone your skills.
What to Do if You are Hurt in a Motorcycle Collision
Your first priority after a crash is to seek proper medical care right away, whether you head to the ER, an urgent care center, or your primary care physician. Your health is important and so are your rights, which can be damaged if you delay. Depending on the nature of your injuries, additional To-Do’s on your list may be:
- Take pictures at the scene, including images of the intersection or roadway, damage to vehicles, your injuries, weather conditions, and other factors.
- Get contact information from witnesses who may have observed the motorcycle crash.
- Avoid talking to the other driver about who you think was at fault, and never admit that you may have been careless in causing it.
- Check around the scene and jot down any businesses or buildings in the vicinity. These properties may have security cameras installed, and the footage may be useful when it comes to filing an insurance claim or in court.
Contact a Maryland Motorcycle Accident Attorney Right Away
This information should be a good review as you anticipate the arrival of spring and motorcycle riding, and the details on safety tech might convince you to look into your options. However, no amount of advice or technology can completely eliminate the potential for deadly and injury-causing motorcycle crashes. If you were hurt or lost a loved one, please contact Bob Katz Law right away to discuss your circumstances with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. We can set up a free consultation to advise you on your legal rights and remedies.