Not So Easy Rider: Reducing the Risk of Injury for Alabama Motorcyclists

Motorcyclists know that the question is not if you will have an accident while riding a motorcycle but when? Automobile drivers often fail to see motorcyclists in traffic. The Alabama Department of Public Safety reports that nearly 40 percent of motorcycle accidents involve situations where a motor vehicle turns left into the path of a motorcycle.

A recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that the most common non-fatal motorcycle injuries involve leg and foot injuries (30%) and head and neck injuries (22%), followed by damage to the upper body (20%) and arms and hands (18%).  Studies also show that when a motorcyclist takes appropriate safety precautions, such as wearing a helmet and bright protective clothing, the likelihood of injury and death is significantly reduced.

These laws and guidelines are important to motorcyclists in Alabama:

  • License required.  Riders must be at least 14 years old. The licensing requirement includes mopeds.
  • Protective gear. Alabama requires riders to wear a helmet, and studies have shown that helmets reduce the risk of death in a crash by more than 40 percent, and the risk of head injuries by nearly 70 percent.  Other protective gear is recommended, such as gloves and brightly colored jackets, to protect your skin from abrasions and to make you more visible to other drivers.
  • Take a safety course.  About one-third of those killed in motorcycle accidents each year have not received formal training.  Taking a refresher course from time to time can be beneficial for veteran riders as well.
  • Know your vehicle.  Choosing the right sized motorcycle and maintaining it in good working condition can prevent injuries.
  • Follow traffic laws.  A motorcycle’s easy maneuverability encourages some motorcyclists to speed, swerve and perform other risky behaviors on the road.  Resist the temptation and drive safely.
  • Don’t drink and drive. In 2010, nearly 30 percent of fatally injured motorcyclists got on their vehicles with blood alcohol content above the legal limit.

Our firm fights for the rights of motorcyclists and their loved ones to obtain the compensation they deserve following an accident.  If you require legal assistance, call our office today.