Riding the Open Road Poses Unique Risks

motorcycle

Motorcycles today are a popular form of travel for those wanting to experience the “open road.” This is especially true in the Yakima Valley and Central Washington. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were over 8.4 million motorcycles on the road in 2013. The increased number of motorcycles means an increased number of motorcycle collisions. Every year, there are more than 60,000 people seriously injured or killed in motorcycle collisions across the country.

Even with proper safety gear and a helmet, motorcyclists are much more likely to be injured in a collision than occupants of a passenger vehicle. Motorcycles are less stable and less visible than cars and often have high performance capabilities. Thus, when motorcycles crash, their riders lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle and are more likely to be injured or killed.

According to the NHTSA, compared to drivers and passengers in a motor vehicle, motorcyclists are five times more likely to be injured in a collision. While motorcycles account for less than two percent of registered vehicles in the United States, they account for 85 percent of all traffic deaths. Injuries suffered by motorcyclists are often very serious because the rider is often thrown from the motorcycle and suffers impact injuries from either hitting another vehicle, the ground, or both.

Because serious head injury is common among fatally injured motorcyclists, helmet use is critical. Helmet use has been shown to be 37 percent effective in preventing motorcycle deaths and 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries. However, only 19 states and the District of Columbia mandate helmet use by all riders. In Washington State, helmet use is the law for all riders and passengers.

Motorcycle collisions are often caused by the inattentiveness of other drivers, or those who do not treat motorcycles the same way they would treat other vehicles in traffic. On the other hand, there are many motorcycle collisions where the primary cause of the collision is due to the motorcycle rider’s inexperience, excessive speed, or risk taking. Thus, it is very important for new riders to obtain proper training before going out on the road.

Motorcycle insurance is not required by Washington law, but it is critically important. One of the biggest reasons to have motorcycle insurance is to help protect your assets in case you are at fault and are sued for costs associated with that collision. Another reason to buy insurance is to protect yourself from those on the road who aren’t insured. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM) covers you, members of your household, and other people riding with you on your motorcycle for damages caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver up to the amount of UIM coverage purchased. The damages covered include, medical bills, wage loss and pain and suffering.

Motorcycles today are a popular form of travel for those wanting to experience the “open road.” This is especially true in the Yakima Valley and Central Washington. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were over 8.4 million motorcycles on the road in 2013. The increased number of motorcycles means an increased number of motorcycle collisions. Every year, there are more than 60,000 people seriously injured or killed in motorcycle collisions across the country.

Even with proper safety gear and a helmet, motorcyclists are much more likely to be injured in a collision than occupants of a passenger vehicle. Motorcycles are less stable and less visible than cars and often have high performance capabilities. Thus, when motorcycles crash, their riders lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle and are more likely to be injured or killed.

According to the NHTSA, compared to drivers and passengers in a motor vehicle, motorcyclists are five times more likely to be injured in a collision. While motorcycles account for less than two percent of registered vehicles in the United States, they account for 85 percent of all traffic deaths. Injuries suffered by motorcyclists are often very serious because the rider is often thrown from the motorcycle and suffers impact injuries from either hitting another vehicle, the ground, or both.

Because serious head injury is common among fatally injured motorcyclists, helmet use is critical. Helmet use has been shown to be 37 percent effective in preventing motorcycle deaths and 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries. However, only 19 states and the District of Columbia mandate helmet use by all riders. In Washington State, helmet use is the law for all riders and passengers.

Motorcycle collisions are often caused by the inattentiveness of other drivers, or those who do not treat motorcycles the same way they would treat other vehicles in traffic. On the other hand, there are many motorcycle collisions where the primary cause of the collision is due to the motorcycle rider’s inexperience, excessive speed, or risk taking. Thus, it is very important for new riders to obtain proper training before going out on the road.

Motorcycle insurance is not required by Washington law, but it is critically important. One of the biggest reasons to have motorcycle insurance is to help protect your assets in case you are at fault and are sued for costs associated with that collision. Another reason to buy insurance is to protect yourself from those on the road who aren’t insured. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM) covers you, members of your household, and other people riding with you on your motorcycle for damages caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver up to the amount of UIM coverage purchased. The damages covered include, medical bills, wage loss and pain and suffering. Medical Pay covers your medical bills and uninsured motorist pays for disability, pain and suffering, and other losses.

All riders should purchase liability insurance to protect their assets in the event they are at-fault for causing a collision. Typical entry level liability policies provide for bodily injury coverage in the amount of $25,000/$50,000 (maximum individual recovery of $25,000 or maximum combined recovery of $50,000 if more than one injured person) and $10,000 for property damage.

Since the coverages listed will only cover property damage or bodily injury suffered by others in a collision you caused, we strongly encourage you to consider purchasing other types of motorcycle insurance coverages. Here are some common types of additional coverages:

Collision: Covers repairs to your motorcycle if it is damaged in a collision.

Comprehensive: Helps with repairs to your bike if it is damaged in non-collision incident.

Medical Pay: If you are hurt in a crash, this coverage can help with medical payments related to your injuries.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist: As explained above, this coverage is an absolute necessity.

Towing and Labor: Helps provide and pay for roadside assistance and towing if your bike breaks down.

Motorcycle collisions often involve several areas of law including personal injury, product liability, and insurance coverage. The lawyers at Abeyta Nelson have years of experience helping those who were injured in motorcycle accidents, and can help you recover from the losses and damages you sustained as a result of the motorcycle collision.

covers your medical bills and uninsured motorist pays for disability, pain and suffering, and other losses.

All riders should purchase liability insurance to protect their assets in the event they are at-fault for causing a collision. Typical entry level liability policies provide for bodily injury coverage in the amount of $25,000/$50,000 (maximum individual recovery of $25,000 or maximum combined recovery of $50,000 if more than one injured person) and $10,000 for property damage.

Since the coverages listed will only cover property damage or bodily injury suffered by others in a collision you caused, we strongly encourage you to consider purchasing other types of motorcycle insurance coverages. Here are some common types of additional coverages:

Collision: Covers repairs to your motorcycle if it is damaged in a collision.

Comprehensive: Helps with repairs to your bike if it is damaged in non-collision incident.

Medical Pay: If you are hurt in a crash, this coverage can help with medical payments related to your injuries.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist: As explained above, this coverage is an absolute necessity.

Towing and Labor: Helps provide and pay for roadside assistance and towing if your bike breaks down.

Motorcycle collisions often involve several areas of law including personal injury, product liability, and insurance coverage. The lawyers at Abeyta Nelson have years of experience helping those who were injured in motorcycle accidents, and can help you recover from the losses and damages you sustained as a result of the motorcycle collision.