Most people who’ve had any experience driving in and around Las Vegas know that it’s treacherous. People are out in force all day and night because the city never sleeps.
Cabbies and tourists (and out of town drivers) abound because of the casinos. Drunk and distracted driving is an issue that just won’t go away. And many of the most popular areas are designed with pedestrians in mind far more so than drivers. But as bad as regular drivers have it, Vegas is worse for motorcyclists.
Exactly how dangerous is driving a motorcycle in Las Vegas? As of November 21, there had been 24 fatalities involving motorcycles in 2013. That number may not sound awful by itself, but here’s the kicker – those 24 people account for almost a third of all auto accident deaths this year in the entire city. And that doesn’t include any non-fatal crashes. In early November, seven motorcycles were involved in a single accident on I-15!
It’s Not If Motorcyclists Will Get Into an Accident, But When
While that statement isn’t technically accurate, it is true that motorcyclists are far more likely to experience auto crashes than drivers of other kinds of vehicles. In fact, MotorcycleAccidents.org says that while the passenger vehicle fatality rate was only 14 out of every 100,000 in 2005, motorcycle owners that same year had a fatality rate of 75 for every 100,000! They go on to reveal that motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to die in crashes than those in passenger vehicles, and that’s only the beginning. When motorcycles get into an accident with a car, it leads to the motorcyclist’s death 47% of the time!
How Can You Reduce Your Chances of Getting in a Motorcycle Accident
There are a number of things that lead to motorcycle accidents, some of which can be controlled by the person operating the motorcycle. Just like with any other motor vehicle, when you speed or drive intoxicated, your chances of crashing go up. Inclement weather can also be a factor, as can the condition of your bike. But motorcyclists also have to think about things that drivers of passenger vehicles wouldn’t even consider if they want to remain safe, such as working to stay visible so that other drivers don’t hurt them because they don’t realize that they’re even there.
Here are a number of things that you can do to keep from getting into an accident when riding your motorcycle:
- Stick to the speed limit
- Don’t ride when you’re drunk or high
- Take care when passing other drivers, especially if there’s a chance they might turn left or make a U-turn.
- Stop lane-splitting (riding on the line between two lanes)
- Go slower in bad weather
- Ride with other bikes
- Use your turn signals
- Keep your bike in tip-top condition
Additionally, you should always wear a helmet when you ride. In 2008, 43% of all motorcyclists who died in crashes weren’t wearing helmets, and research has shown that strapping one on can reduce your chances of dying by 37%.
Of course, sometimes it doesn’t matter what you do. The simple truth is that motorcyclists are much more vulnerable to accidents because other drivers just don’t pay enough attention to them or can’t see them due to their much smaller size. If you or a loved one is ever injured due to the negligence of another driver, the only way you’re going to get the compensation you deserve is by working with a personal injury lawyer with experience in motorcycle accidents.
About the Author:
Andrew Y. Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Lawlor Winston White & Murphy. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, and was recently voted by his peers as a Florida “SuperLawyer”—an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state—and to Florida Trend’s “Legal Elite.”