Sharing the Road with Motorcycles on The Maryland Beltway — Safe Driving Tips for Maryland Drivers

According to the NHTSA, there was a 5.1 percent increase in the death of motorcyclists from 2015 to 2016. During 2016 5,286 riders lost their lives in motorcycle accidents nationwide. In Maryland, 71 motorcyclists lost their lives in 2016 in motorcycle crashes statewide. In addition to fatalities, tens of thousands of riders and passengers are injured each year in motorcycle collisions. Our Parkville motorcycle accident attorneys assist victims and their families in filing claims when they suffer tragic injuries and overwhelming financial losses because of another motorist’s negligence and carelessness.

Motorcyclists face risks each time they take their motorcycles on Maryland roads. Unfortunately, many of those risks involve other motorists. Therefore, motorcyclists and drivers on the Beltway and throughout Maryland must take steps to decrease the risk of an accident while sharing our state’s roads.

Safe Driving Tips for Maryland Motorcyclists and Drivers

The NHTSA offers several tips for drivers for how to prevent a crash with a motorcycle. By following these tips, you can reduce the risk of causing a motorcycle accident that could result in a traumatic injury or death:

  • Before changing lanes, always use your turn signal and check carefully for a motorcycle
    in the other lane;
  • Always allow a motorcyclist the use of the full width of the lane. Just because the
    vehicle is smaller than another passenger vehicle that does not mean you should use
    part of the lane for your vehicle;
  • Allow more distance between your vehicle and the motorcycle in front of you to avoid
    rear-end crashes with motorcycles;
  • Never operate your vehicle when you are impaired by alcohol or drugs;
  • You must carefully check all mirrors and blind spots before merging into traffic or
    changing lanes. Motorcycles are small; therefore, you must look very carefully to make
    sure you do not miss seeing a motorcycle before merging;
  • Do not assume a motorcyclist is turning if the turn signal is on because the rider may
    not know the signal is on;
  • Never drive while distracted; and,
  • Before turning left, double check for oncoming traffic. A motorcycle’s size makes it very
    easy to overlook the motorcycle if you are even slightly distracted or in a hurry.

Even though a motorcyclist is not responsible for the actions and inactions of other motorists, riders can also take steps to decrease the chance they will be injured in a motorcycle accident in Maryland:

  • Never operate a motorcycle while you are impaired by alcohol or drugs;
  • Do not ride while distracted;
  • Always wear a DOT-compliant motorcycle helmet and other protective gear;
  • Use vehicle signals and hand signals to let other drivers know where you intend to
    turn;
  • Obey all traffic laws and adjust speed for road conditions and weather conditions;
  • Make yourself and your motorcycle more visible by wearing brightly colored clothing
    and installing flashing lights allowed by law; and,
  • Ride in the middle of the lane to increase visibility to other drivers.

While there is not a foolproof method for avoiding motorcycle accidents, the steps you take can help reduce the risk and reduce the chance of being injured in a motorcycle crash.

Steps to Take After a Maryland Motorcycle Crash

You should take the same steps after any crash involving a motor vehicle. Call 911, go to the emergency room, document the accident, document your injuries, and consult a Maryland motorcycle accident lawyer. However, because you were riding a motorcycle, three steps are critical after an accident.

  • Do Not Discuss the Crash with Anyone — Until you meet with your motorcycle accident attorney, do not provide statements to the insurance adjuster or sign any documents for the insurance adjuster or an attorney. Motorcyclists are often blamed for the cause of the crash even though they did not do anything wrong. You need an experienced Parkville motorcycle accident lawyer on your side to protect your rights before you talk to anyone about the accident.
  • Avoid Posting Online — Many victims share pictures of their motorcycle and details of the accident with friends and family online. Do NOT use social media or post anything online about the accident or your injuries. Defense attorneys love to use information found online to fight accident claims. Even though you assume your information is “secure” you cannot be sure. Therefore, avoid using social media and posting information online until after you discuss your claim with your Maryland accident lawyer.
  • Do Not Fix Your Motorcycle Right Away — It may be tempting to repair your motorcycle or settle the property claim if the motorcycle is totaled. However, if fault for the accident is in question, the damage to your motorcycle could be very useful in reconstructing how the accident occurred. Therefore, wait until after your free consultation with a motorcycle accident attorney before making repairs or settling the property damage claim.

Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Parkville for Help

You can contact the accident attorneys of Pinder Plotkin, LLC at 410-661-9440 to request a FREE consultation and no-obligation case evaluation. We assist clients in Parkville, Bel Air and throughout Maryland with their motorcycle accident claims.

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