Many of our friends are out on the roads of the Hudson Valley on their Harleys and other bikes during the summer, sometimes on charity rides or just enjoying the freedom of being out on the road. We know that loud pipes can save lives by alerting motorists to approaching motorcycles.
Whether one rides up to the Catskills into Dutchess, Ulster, Green or Columbia County to enjoy the scenery and the open roads of New York, always expect the unexpected. How many times have we heard someone who hits a biker say “oh, I didn’t see him.” They won’t see you, but you have to see them and always be vigilant and expect the unexpected.
There are 345,000 registered motorcycles in New York State, the sixth most popular state for riders in the nation. Unfortunately, motorcycles offer little protection for riders. In fact, the Insurance Information Institute estimates that bikers are 27 times more likely to be fatally injured in a traffic accident compared to vehicle occupants.
Because of the high risk of injury associated with riding a motorcycle, especially during the summer months when traffic is at its heaviest, it is vitally important that bikers and motorists share the road.
For our brother and sister cyclists, here are some important safety tips:
• NEVER operate a motorcycle after consuming alcohol.
• NEVER operate a motorcycle after smoking a joint.
• Try to avoid heavy rains that create hazards like slick roads.
• Avoid being distracted by music or the person sitting behind you.
• Check mirrors and blind spots frequently, especially before changing lanes or making a turn.
• Don’t share lanes with other motorcycles, and never tailgate passenger vehicles. Make sure that you and other vehicles on the road have plenty of space to maneuver and stop safely at all times.
• Watch out for deer that can suddenly dart out from the side of the road into your path.
• Wear your helmet and have your lights on.
Bikers must take steps to protect their own safety, but statistics indicate that a majority of motorcycle accidents are caused by negligence on the part of drivers in passenger vehicles. For motorists, there are some important steps you can take to make the road safer for you, as well as motorcyclists:
• Give motorcycles more following distance than you would for other passenger vehicles. Motorcycles face a much greater danger from common road obstacles such as downed branches or potholes, and may have to make necessary adjustments at the last moment to avoid an accident.
• Take an extra moment to check your blind spots and mirrors. Motorcycles can be more difficult for drivers to see on the road, so take extra precautions and watch for bikers.
• Always signal when turning at an intersection. Far too many motorcycle accidents occur when motorcyclists attempt to pass a car that they were not aware was making a turn.
At Fellows Hymowitz Rice, we want to help motorists whether in a car, on a bicycle or on a Harley, safely arrive.
Please be aware of other drivers at all times when out on the road. Don’t drink and drive. Avoid common distractions such as phones and other mobile devices behind the wheel. Taking these steps will help protect not only your own safety, but the safety of everyone around you.
If your or a loved one has been injured while riding a motorcycle in an accident that was not your fault, call Fellows Hymowitz Rice at 845-639-9300. When you call, you will speak with an experienced New York and New Jersey Motorcycle Accident attorney absolutely FREE. We will investigate every detail of your situation at no cost to you and will fight hard to protect your rights.
If we take your case, you will never pay an attorney’s fee up front. In fact, we take all cases on a contingency basis, which means you owe us nothing until we recover for you.
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