Battle Born Injury Lawyers | February 6, 2023 | Motorcycle Accidents
Riding a motorcycle is inherently more dangerous than driving a car or another similar kind of motor vehicle. One reason is that motorcycles do not have a protective metal frame around them that keeps the rider (relatively) safe from harm.
Another reason is that motorcycles generally take more skill to operate effectively. They have two wheels instead of four, and keeping the bike balanced can be difficult. On top of this, motorcycles are smaller than most other vehicles on the road, and riders must be hyper-vigilant of their surroundings virtually all the time.
Due to these considerations (and others), motorcycle accidents occur often and tend to cause significant harm to the rider. Indeed, the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) indicates that motorcycles continue to be overrepresented in fatal accidents.
Continue reading to learn about 7 common types of motorcycle accidents in Las Vegas, Nevada, and what you can do to avoid them.
Cornering Motorcycle Accidents
Many motorcycle crashes are single-vehicle in nature, often occurring when the rider fails to maneuver around a bend appropriately.
Riding a motorcycle is a skillful activity in and of itself. While some riders may be capable of making a turn marked “25 MPH” at a speed much higher than that, others may need to stick to a slower speed. This is not to say that speeding is advisable; rather, it is to point out that making a tight turn on a bike is not nearly as automatic as it would be on a car.
The best way to avoid this type of accident is for the rider to work on and improve their riding skill consistently. Nevada has more involved licensing requirements for motorcyclists, which makes sense considering the techniques required to ride one safely.
A rider might consider taking a more advanced riding course beyond that which is required to obtain a license. As just one example, Red Rock Harley Davidson offers a skilled riders course where a more experienced motorcyclist can work on their skill set in a controlled environment.
Motorcycle Crashes Caused by Lane Splitting
Lane splitting is illegal under Nevada law, but the practice sometimes occurs nonetheless. As motor vehicle drivers in Las Vegas and throughout the state are not accustomed to motorcycles passing by them in between lanes of traffic, lane splitting has a higher tendency to result in a crash.
Perhaps it goes without saying, but the best way to avoid this type of accident is to not engage in lane splitting in the first place. While there are arguments that doing so can be beneficial – it can help traffic move forward more efficiently, for instance – it is ultimately illegal in the state, and the risk of an accident can be significant.
Head-On Motorcycle Collisions
A head-on motorcycle accident in Las Vegas can potentially cause the most serious, catastrophic types of injuries to the rider. This type of crash might be between a motorcycle and a car, truck, bicycle, or even pedestrian. When another motor vehicle collides with a motorcycle in this way, in particular, serious damage can result.
Fortunately, there are certain steps a motorcyclist can take to help avoid this type of collision. A good habit to get into as a rider is to inspect the motorcycle for any potential mechanical issues regularly. It is crucial, for example, to have a working headlight when riding a bike.
Many accidents occur because the motorcycle is not properly set up for safe operation, especially a head-on collision. If the motorcycle has a broken or dimmed headlight, it can be even more difficult for other road users to spot.
Left-Turn Motorcycle Accidents
Left-turn accidents generally occur because one vehicle involved has failed to yield the right-of-way to the other properly. For example, consider accidents that take place at intersections, either those marked by stop signs or traffic lights. This type of accident oftentimes occurs because the other motor vehicle driver did not see or recognize the motorcycle’s position.
There are many steps a motorcyclist can take to help avoid this type of accident in Las Vegas, NV. One example is to wear protective clothing that contains high-visibility material. Often referred to as “high-viz” gear, this type of equipment can make the rider easier to spot by others – whether in the daytime or at night.
Another step a rider can take to help prevent this type of crash is to make eye contact with other vehicle operators. Sometimes this isn’t feasible given the circumstances. However, it is often possible for the rider to be more certain that the vehicle operator is aware of their presence by doing so. Similarly, it can benefit a motorcyclist to engage in hand signals prior to making turns.
Motorcycle Crashes As a Result of Lane Changes
Motorcycles and other types of vehicles alike must change lanes on a regular basis. Because motorcycles are relatively small, they can more easily fit into the blind spots of cars and trucks. This type of motorcycle crash in Las Vegas is one of the most common for this reason alone.
As a motorcycle rider, it is especially important to consider one’s position relative to the other vehicles on the road. If possible, it is best to position the motorcycle as safely as possible. For instance, it can sometimes be safest for the motorcycle to be on the far left lane on a highway, as that is the lane where the least amount of lane changes will generally take place.
Further, the motorcyclist may consider whether they are currently in the blind spot of the automobile adjacent to them – if so, slightly speeding up or slowing down to get out of this position may be best. And, as mentioned in the “left-turn accidents” section just above, utilizing the same hand signals a bicyclist would use can help prevent this type of crash.
Tailgating Motorcycle Accidents
Aggressive driving or riding is, unfortunately, a common tactic throughout the United States, and Las Vegas is no exception. Tailgating is one of the more common types of aggressive behavior. Sometimes, tailgating occurs intentionally – other times, the rider or driver may be doing so out of a lack of awareness or skill.
First and foremost, motorcycle riders should never tailgate the vehicle in front of them if they can help it. “Brake checking” is a common practice among those who become enraged by tailgating, and a serious accident can occur as a result. This is especially true if a motorcycle is involved in this type of accident.
In addition, if a motorcyclist notices a vehicle tailgating them, it is best to change lanes as soon as it is safe to do so to allow the other vehicle to pass. In this context, succumbing to road rage or anger can be deadly, and it is not worth the risk.
Motorcycle Accidents Due to Poor Weather or Road Conditions
Sometimes, motorcycle accidents in Las Vegas take place as a result of poor weather (such as extreme wind) or poor road conditions (such as potholes and insufficient markings). These accidents may not be the fault of any motorist, as they are merely a result of environmental conditions out of anyone’s control.
As a motorcyclist, it can be helpful to keep a more watchful eye over the weather, especially if a longer ride is on the table. If it looks like the weather will be unfavorable, postponing the ride may be the best course of action, if possible. If that isn’t an option, pulling over to the side of the road for some time while a severe storm passes through, for example, could be safest.
Avoiding unsafe road conditions can be difficult even in the best of times, and this is one area where good roadway awareness is critical. By looking far in front of them as they ride, the motorcyclist can anticipate hazards in advance – and can respond appropriately as a result.
Other Safety Considerations for Motorcyclists in Las Vegas
Beyond the tips and tricks mentioned above, there are some other things a motorcycle rider should keep in mind in order to stay safe on the road in Las Vegas, Nevada.
One of the most important is that helmets are required in the state by law. However, even if they weren’t, it would still be strongly recommended to wear one. A helmet can help prevent severe traumatic brain injuries in the event of an accident, and doing so can also help the rider pursue full compensation from the at-fault driver in the event that they need to file a claim.
While a helmet is probably the key piece of riding equipment to wear at all times, it is best to become used to riding in full protective equipment. This means wearing a jacket and pants with armor or that are at least made of relatively strong material, such as Kevlar. It also means wearing supportive boots as well as gloves. Failing to wear this equipment could result in more significant injuries in the event of a crash.
Lastly, beyond the regular self-inspection that was discussed in a previous section, it is especially important to keep up with overall maintenance when it comes to owning a motorcycle. Things like oil changes, fresh tires, and engine upkeep are just a few categories that relate to properly upkeeping a motorcycle.
A Las Vegas Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help After an Accident
If you or a loved one have recently sustained injuries after a motorcycle accident in Las Vegas – regardless of the cause – you may have legal options available to you for compensation. Beyond filing a claim with your own insurance company, you may be able to pursue a monetary award or settlement from the responsible party.
An experienced Las Vegas motorcycle accident lawyer can help you throughout the entire process while you focus on your medical recovery. As most attorneys in the area offer free initial consultations, it is likely worth your time to reach out and determine whether you have a case as well as what your best course of action is.
Contact the Las Vegas Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at Battle Born Injury Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident in Las Vegas and you need legal assistance, contact our motorcycle accident attorneys at Battle Born Injury Lawyers and schedule a free consultation with our legal team.