Meetings can be scheduled by appointment at various locations for the convenience of our clients. If you can't come to us, we'll come to you.
Baltimore, MD
410.576.4287410.576.4287
Tysons Corner, VA
888.540.2599888.540.2599
By Appointment Only
Bethesda, MD
301.470.7201301.470.7201
Washington, DC
202.659.0555202.659.0555

Tips to Avoid a Motorcycle Accident in Maryland

Posted on: August 6, 2018

 

Riding your motorcycle is one of the most exhilarating, exciting ways to enjoy warm weather in Maryland, whether you are hitting the road for fun, commuting to and from work, or running errands around town. However, motorcyclists must always be mindful of the threats that surround them. You are not protected by a metal shell like occupants of passenger cars and trucks, making you extremely vulnerable to serious injury in a crash. Plus, the size of your vehicle makes you less visible to other motorists who may overlook your presence on the road or in their mirrors. Of course, motorcycle riders are also more susceptible to rain, wind, road conditions, and other factors as compared to other vehicles.

Based upon these considerations, motorcyclists must be proactive in protecting themselves from harm. The defensive driving techniques you learn as the operator of a car or truck are often not enough under the circumstances, so take the time to review some motorcycle laws and safety tips to avoid an accident. In addition, you should always keep in mind that you do have rights if you are involved in a crash, and a Maryland motorcycle accident attorney can help you recover compensation for your losses.

Maryland Motorcycle Licensing and Laws

Proper safety in riding a motorcycle starts with ensuring that you are in compliance with all state laws regarding licensing. The Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration is charged with establishing and enforcing regulations regarding motorcycles. Many of the requirements depend upon your age, your current license, and whether you were licensed to ride a motorcycle in the past. Therefore, note that:

  • If you are new to motorcycling, you must fill out an application form, pay an application fee, pass a vision test, and show proof that you are 18 years or older. You must also pass the motorcycle knowledge test, the details of which are covered by the Maryland Motorcycle Operator Manual.
  • If you are under age 18 years, there are additional requirements beyond the above criteria. You must complete the Maryland Motorcycle Safety Program’s Basic Rider Course before applying, and need to have your parent or guardian sign the application form.

Of course, even if you are not required to take a course, it is smart to participate in sessions that teach about safety.

Motorcycle Safety Tips

Beyond proper education and licensing, there are additional safety recommendations that can help you avoid a motorcycle accident or protect you if you are involved in a crash.

Wear a Helmet

If you follow one safety tip, it should be this one. Maryland law requires operators and passengers to wear appropriate head protection while the vehicle is in motion, but the misdemeanor charge and $500 are not the only incentives to do so: You are 40% more likely to suffer a fatal head injury if you are not wearing a helmet and are involved in a motorcycle accident. Even if you survive a crash, you are three times more likely to sustain serious head trauma as compared to those who do have a helmet on.

Still, not all helmets are the same, so you should carefully review your options when investing in a helmet. Try on several models for comfort and size, and make sure the equipment fits snugly when you secure the chin strap. Also, consider helmets with face shields or eye protection built in.

Wear Other Safety Gear

Besides your head, you should pay attention to protecting other parts of your body when you head out on your motorcycle. Road rash is one of the most serious types of injuries that can occur as you skid across pavement in a motorcycle accident, so consider investing in:

  • A jacket and pants or chaps made of leather, denim, or another heavy-duty material;
  • A durable set of gloves;
  • Leather boots that come up to you knees; and,
  • Goggles or other protective eyewear, if your helmet does not include proper protection.

When looking at attire for motorcycle riding, you should factor in visibility issues. Other motorists are more likely to see you and avoid hitting you if your clothing includes light-reflective strips or patches.

SEE System

Motorcycle enthusiasts have developed a methodology for riding that, with dedication and practice, can keep you safe for many miles and years to come. The “SEE” System incorporates certain defensive driving tactics, along with additional safety precautions specifically designed for motorcyclists. According to the acronym, you should take care to:

  • S = Search around you for potential hazards, including other cars, trucks, pedestrians, and inanimate objects;
  • E = Evaluate the hazard and anticipate how it may affect your maneuvers, especially vehicles that are turning, changing lanes, or stopping suddenly; and,
  • E = Execute preventative or evasive action to safely and effectively avoid the hazards presented.

Statistics on Motorcycle Accidents

Part of the reason Maryland laws on licensing are so strict, and the reason you should exercise proper motorcycle safety, are the harrowing statistics on accidents. Consider the following numbers from data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

  • In 2016, 5,286 motorcyclists were killed in accidents, which represents a 5% increase over the 5,029 riders who killed in 2015.
  • According to 2016 figures, motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to suffer fatal injuries as compared to occupants of passenger vehicles.
  • Among riders who suffered fatal injuries in accidents in 2016, 27% did not have a valid motorcycle license.
  • Alcohol use is an extreme concern in motorcycle accidents. Of the motorcyclists killed in single vehicle collisions in 2016, 37% were alcohol-impaired. The risk is more significant at night.
  • The NHTSA estimates that helmets saved the lives of almost 2,000 motorcyclists in 2016 and, if all riders had been wearing a helmet, around 800 deaths could have been avoided.

Schedule a Consultation with a Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today

For more information on motorcycle safety tips and what to do if you were injured in a motorcycle accident, please contact the Baltimore office of Bob Katz Law to schedule a free consultation. One of our experienced personal injury lawyers can tell you more about your legal remedies as a victim of a motorcycle crash.

 

Read Some of Our Recent Client Reviews!

Ashley Poole
Ashley Poole
01:05 08 Nov 18
Attorney Bob Katz and his staff are highly recommend. Customer Service was impeccable. Every phone call and email was responded to in a timely manner. Natalie Ulrich was very professional, helpful and thorough every step of the way, which resulted in a stress free experience. I will recommend this law firm to family and friends!
Tania Jefferson
Tania Jefferson
17:51 06 Nov 18
Customer service was A+. All questions were answered promptly and information was shared appropriately. Concerns were addressed and I was made aware of all updates on my case. I would whole heartedly recommend this firm.
edward Robinson
edward Robinson
03:00 06 Nov 18
I highly recommend Mr. Katz and his staff. They were friendly, compassionate and really showed they had their clients best interest at heart. There was never a time you called them they didn't respond or returned your calls and answer your questions.They took the worry, and stress and turn it into reassurance. They were diligent and just down right professional. My wife and I really thank God for allowing us to cross paths on a professional business experience. Ms. Rebecca Slatery is the most courteous, compassionate soul. We wish you all peace, love and blessings. Thank you for your service.
J JR
J JR
20:11 31 Oct 18
I decided to use this firm again for an accident I was involved in. As always they were professional and caring. Rebecca slattery was the paralegal assigned to my case and she was professional and kept me up to date with everything. I would recommend this firm to friends and family!
Cedric Jones
Cedric Jones
19:04 23 Oct 18
Erica Z is amazing with keeping you to date and staying communication with you during the entire process. Meghan Young was a wonderful lawyer made me feel extremely comfortable in the courtroom and she also fights for the best possible outcome for you..GREAT LAW FIRM
Nguyen Le
Nguyen Le
16:44 23 Oct 18
It was a great experience being taken care of by Rebecca Slattery and Meghan Young, they helped me resolve my case and were very courteous and professional. Highly recommend working with this law firm
Soun Gil
Soun Gil
21:35 17 Oct 18
Ms. Park helped me out through my whole accident process. She took her time with me and made sure I understood everything. I would recommend to her all of my friends if they were to get into any accident.
Yejin Chung
Yejin Chung
15:40 12 Oct 18
I highly recommend. My family’s experience with this office was great. Christina Franetovich was very helpful throughout the whole process, which made this experience less stressful. She responded to my questions immediately and made sure that I understood everything.
Claudette Pope
Claudette Pope
13:18 30 Aug 18
I was referred to Gordon & feindblatt in 2014 when my family was in an accident, Mr. Katz personally consulted with me by phone and he was very polite and professional, Mr. Carpuso, one of the litigation attorneys even came out to our home and went over our case with us, he made sure all of our needs was addressed and before he left our home that day I felt like we were old friends. that case was settled and I was very pleased, I have used this law firm twice since then and the results are always the same, I have nothing but great experiences with Gordon & Feindblatt the staff are courteous and professional and they get the job done but the one in particular that really stood out for me is Rebecca Slattery, she is truly a gem, she is so compassionate, she walked me through the entire process, she even checked up on me from time to time just to see how I was feeling and I really appreciated her kindness. I will use this law firm again and again for any future legal issue that may arise and I would highly recommend Gordon & Fiendblatt to friends, family and co-workers.
UniversalSniping
UniversalSniping
02:32 04 Aug 18
The lawyer who was initially handling my case parted ways with the company and I was assigned a new lawyer. This new lawyer was amazing! Christina Franetovich made me feel secure by double checking all the facts and notes in my case so that I was not worried during this transition. I was on disability from an a different accident while she was finalizing my case, and I had called and hounded her about the time frame of my settlement very frequently to the point that I felt guilty for calling so much. Christina was very sympathetic to my situation and assured me that she would do everything in her power to make sure the situation would be resolved quickly. She actually finalized my case before the time frame she had given me, was always very courteous and knowledgable on the phone, and I feel extremely lucky that she ended up handling my case because the previous lawyer was not as amazing with customer service as Christina. She also has a way of making you feel comfortable and builds incredible rapport quickly. I am going to highly recommend her to my friends and family. Thank you Christina!!!
Richard Hose
Richard Hose
02:26 27 Jun 18
On Feb 23, 2017 I was in a bad accident on the JFX. I had been rear end by another driver. Almost immediately I felt pressured by the other drivers insurance. Everything from wanting a recorded statement; to failing to acknowledge responsibility. No one would answer my questions, nor would anyone take responsibility. I was frustrated and overwhelmed with everyone from the towing company, to the repair shop, to the insurance company nightmare I just entered. I reached out to Attorney Robert Katz and I was assured they were here to help. He provided with some much needed information, and told me not to worry, Sarah his Paralegal would be in touch to help get things moving. Sarah reached out as expected and explained their process and walked me through what my expectations would be. She as well assured me they were here to help me navigate the obstacles. What Sarah really did was so much more than help. She took the stress and burden off my shoulders and assumed ownership for handling everything on my behalf. I knew what to expect, and I received regular updates throughout the entire process. Honestly, I received so much more than I anticipated. Some of the most frustrating items to chase after are medical records and hospital charges. While I was trying to recall events and timelines, she had already obtained my records and information. She made this process so painless. I truly cannot say enough about the exceptional service she provided. Many thanks for all your help. Sincerely, Richard Hose
Andrea Barajas
Andrea Barajas
15:13 16 May 18
My husband and I were in a car accident in August 2017. We contacted Bob Katz team for legal representation in our case. Kristen A. Turner was our paralegal and she was excellent. It took 9 months for us to receive our settlement and Kristen kept us updated throughout this entire process. She was very kind and patient as I happened to have several questions. She always answered my questions promptly and thoroughly. I would highly recommend this firm and Kristen if you are in need of legal assistance.
TheOfficalCeeandDee
TheOfficalCeeandDee
15:24 09 Feb 18
My experience here was great. My lawyer Rebecca was so professional and I love her personality. She handled my case well and kept me updated and made the process easy and always made me feel comfortable to call whenever I needed to know anything.
Next Reviews