Fuel efficiency, precision, low maintenance costs, the thrill of the open air — motorcycles have their benefits, that’s for sure.
It’s easy to understand why so many in North Carolina choose motorcycles as either a primary mode of transportation or simply a way to have some fun. But as high-speed vehicles, motorcycles are first and foremost a responsibility. Operating them on the roads requires a serious and sober commitment to safety, caution, and obedience to the rules of the road.
Biking responsibly also means acknowledging the fact that motorcycles pose certain inherent risks that expose their drivers to unique perils.
Too often, in defense of their choice of transportation, some bikers insist that they needn’t employ any precautions beyond those expected of car drivers. But we believe it’s possible — and better — to fully embrace all of the benefits and enjoyment of riding a motorcycle without compromising one’s own safety.
As Charlotte motorcycle accident attorneys, we at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, L.L.P.® see entirely too many tragedies as a result of motorcycle negligence. When bikers are careless — or when car drivers fail to share the roads with motorcycles responsibly — unthinkable tragedy can transpire in the blink of an eye.
It is particularly upsetting to realize that the majority of these accidents could have been completely prevented. Better safety habits, coupled with an increase in caution, could literally save lives.
To that end, we’ve assembled some safety tips and helpful information in an easy-to-share guide. If you know a friend or family member who uses motorcycles, please pass on the information below — it could truly mean the difference between life and death.
The Most Common Kinds of Motorcycle Accidents in North Carolina
Motorcycle accidents don’t always happen in the same way that car crashes do. While rear-end accidents, T-bone crashes, and head-on collisions can all occur with any kind of vehicle, there are a few dangerous scenarios that become much more likely when a motorcycle’s involved. They include:
- The Left-Turning Car — Imagine that you’re heading down the highway on your motorcycle, approaching an intersection in which a car is facing you in the opposite direction. You’re planning to drive straight through the intersection; the car is turning left. You both have a green light. The car misjudges your distance (or maybe doesn’t see you at all) and makes its left turn so suddenly that neither of you realize the impending impact until it’s too late. Believe it or not, this is the single most common scenario for motorcycle accidents in North Carolina. To avoid them, we urge bikers to assume that any left-turning car might make that turn at the last minute. Slow down and be prepared to take evasive action.
- Hugging Curves Too Hard— Motorcycles are known for their ability to lean into a curve, but some bikers push the limits too far. If you find yourself hugging a curve too closely (or at too high a speed), it can be very difficult to maintain balance. Most experts recommend trying to simply ride it out rather than forcing a correction, but that can be dangerous too. The best advice is to avoid the situation to begin with. Slow down before taking a curve and never speed.
- Cruising in Blind Spots — Car drivers usually check their rear-view mirrors before changing lanes, but many of them fail to actually look over their shoulders. As a result, they never get a glimpse into their blind spots. Unfortunately, motorcycles are almost exactly “blind-spot size,” meaning they can cruise beside a car without ever entering the driver’s field of vision. It’s a recipe for disaster. Drivers should get in the habit of checking their blind spots before merging, while bikers should anticipate potential blind spots and try to stay out of them.
- The Wipeout — “Wipe Out” is a great Fat Boys/Beach Boys jam, but it’s a terrible highway hazard. Here’s how it happens: a motorcycle is driving along safely enough when, suddenly, a patch of gravel or sand (or some other roadway obstruction) makes contact with the front tire and causes the bike to wipe out. At low speeds and with light traffic, the biker might be lucky enough to survive with only a few bruises and a scraped knee. More often, though, wipeouts result in catastrophic injury or death, especially where high speeds or safety violations are involved. The solution is to always allow yourself more than enough reaction time.
The Most Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Bikers are exposed to unique kinds of bodily harm. It’s important to know what they are so you can avoid them.
The most common motorcycle accident injuries include:
- Head injury
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Road rash
- “Biker’s Arm” (an injury that occurs when bikers instinctively wrap their arms around their bodies when thrown off a motorcycle, causing the arms to absorb most of the impact, resulting in sometimes-permanent nerve damage)
- Fractured or broken bones in the arms and legs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Burn injuries from fire or explosion
Even minor motorcycle injuries can result in hefty medical bills, time away from work, and prolonged pain and suffering. More severe injuries might also result in permanent disfigurement, disability, and the loss of future income, not to mention ongoing emotional distress.
The Charlotte motorcycle accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, L.L.P.® can fight for comprehensive compensation in these areas and more, holding motorcycle manufacturers, negligent drivers, and their insurance companies accountable to the letter of the law.
Get Help and Advice from Experienced Charlotte Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident in North Carolina and need legal guidance, please know that the Charlotte motorcycle accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, L.L.P. ® will treat you fairly and respectfully.
We find that accident victims are sometimes reluctant to seek representation because they fear the expense, uncertainty, or hassle of pursuing a claim. But you don’t have to worry about any of those things with us.
Our capable lawyers will handle the entire claims process for you, making sure you feel comfortable, informed, and in control — but without any of the confusion that might otherwise come along with fighting against the insurance company without an experienced team of legal professionals on your side.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident in North Carolina, you need an experienced attorney fighting hard on your behalf. You deserve an advocate with the knowledge, skill, and track record it takes to fully protect your rights.
We do not charge for our services unless and until you win — either in the form of a favorable court judgment or an out-of-court settlement that will empower you with the compensation you need without ever even having to step foot inside a courtroom.
Additionally, we offer free consultations in person or over the phone. These are available right now and they’ll help you better understand your rights under North Carolina personal injury law. Please, contact us to set up a free consultation today.