Being a motorcycle accident lawyer is not just about helping folks protect their rights in the aftermath of a crash. (Of course, we do that, too. Contact us if you would like to discuss your case.) That said, we are also advocates for bikers. Far too often, motorists have misconceptions and prejudices involving motorcycle riders.
Some are correct. For example, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute (IIHS) reveals that the majority of motorcyclists dying in a crash are male. The percentage in 2014 was 92 percent. In contrast, it is not true that most riders dying on the roads are young men doing crazy stunts. Statistics prove that 36 percent of those suffering a fatal outcome of a motorcycle accident were over the age of 50. Those under the age of 30 accounted for 30 percent of fatalities.
What other biker myths and misconceptions may color your perception of the riders you encounter – and your interactions with them?
- Expert handlers ride bikes. Although the size and makeup of a motorcycle might give you the impression that it is a nimble conveyance, it does not really explain why drivers think that riders are experts. Bikers do make mistakes. Moreover, no amount of expertise makes up for a driver’s poor decision to slam on the brakes or tailgate a motorcycle.
- Motorcycles can just thread a way through traffic. In fact, lane splitting is illegal in Oklahoma. Do not assume that a biker can simply drive around you or other vehicles to escape a dicey situation. Also, remember that the motorcycle ahead of you will not be riding around the other cars stopped at the light. Drivers have to pay attention to stopped bikes.
- Wearable safety gear protects riders from injury. Although helmets and proper riding gear offer some protection to motorcyclists, it is not enough to suggest that bikers will walk away unscathed from even a slow-speed crash.
Keep riders safe by not buying into misconceptions.