Fall is fading fast. The leaves have fallen, and Winter and snowy weather are just around the corner. However, motorcyclists in the cities of Reading and Pottsville and throughout Berks County and Schuylkill County are continuing to enjoy driving on scenic and twisting country roads, suburban streets on the way to the shopping mall, and on the highways in Pennsylvania, including the Philadelphia area. Bikers also enjoy and appreciate the camaraderie of their fellow bikers as they head out on the road to go to social activities and other types of events.
When operating any motor vehicle, safety is the number one priority. This is especially true for motorcycle riders. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), in 2019, there were just under 3000 motorcycle crashes in PA with 172 fatalities. The United States Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that nationwide, in 2019, 5,014 motorcyclists died. Also, according to PennDOT, in Pennsylvania, based on vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclists are killed 27 times more often than car occupants (motorists). However, this does not paint the full picture of the danger posed to drivers of motorcycles and their passengers. Shockingly, when occupancy rates are taken into consideration (the occupancy rate for cars is 1.4 times that of motorcycles), motorcyclists suffer fatal injuries 38 times more than car occupants. PennDOT further reports that in 96% of fatal motorcycle crashes in the United States, the motorcycle is the striking vehicle (including single-vehicle crashes).
PennDOT and NHTSA promote a two-pronged approach to making the roads safer for bikes and bikers and requires cooperation on the part of motorcycle drivers and car drivers. Bike riders need to slow down and make sure that they yield to other road users. Motorists need to be more aware of motorcycles traveling on the road. The experienced auto, truck, and motorcycle accident attorneys at Liever, Hyman & Potter, P.C., want to help make the roads safer for all motor vehicle operators and passengers by sharing important motorcycle safety information from PennDOT and NHTSA.
The following bike rider safety tips are provided by PennDOT:
• Obey the speed limit.
• Wear a USDOT approved full-face helmet.
• Familiarize yourself with all of the equipment on your bike.
• Make sure that you are seen and protected by wearing proper clothing (gloves, pants, and boots), having your headlight on, and using your turn signals.
• Give yourself time to react by maintaining a safe distance.
• Be especially careful at intersections.
• Make sure you know the proper way to brake, stop and swerve.
• Be alert for curves along the road.
• Avoid obstacles on the roadway and reduce your speed on wet roads.
• Clean and adjust your mirrors and make sure that your low and high beams are working.
• Make sure that your bike and its parts are functioning properly (clutch, throttle, brakes, tires, turn signals, and brake lights).
The following additional safety tips for bikers are provided by NHTSA:
• Complete a motorcycle rider education course.
• Practice driving your motorcycle, especially if it is new and/or if you are not accustomed to it.
• Inspect your motorcycle before every ride.
• Obey all traffic laws obey all lights, signs, and lane markings.
• Do not drive while impaired.
The team at Liever, Hyman & Potter, P.C., are always concerned for the safety of the public while driving in Reading, Berks County, Pottsville, Schuylkill County, and throughout Eastern and Central PA. The personal injury attorneys near Philadelphia serve motorcycle, automobile, and truck accident victims and their loved ones in claims and cases involving serious injury and death caused by the negligence of others. The firm also handles medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, and work comp cases.
From the desk of Adam K. Levin, Esquire.
When riding a motorcycle, the need for safe driving habits is critical to the safety of you and others on the road. Learn important tips to stay safe while on the open road!