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Category: Motorcycle Accidents

Apr 13, 2018 - Articles

Seeing, But Not Perceiving: Why Other Drivers Don’t See Motorcycles- an Injury Lawyer Perspective

As a personal injury lawyer serving residents in and around Allentown, Doylestown, Bethlehem, Easton and Stroudsburg, with warmer weather upon us, we see motorcyclists getting back out on the road again. Unfortunately, with this increase, comes an increase in calls from motorcycle riders who were seriously injured; or from family members who have suffered the devastating loss of a loved one — all due to another motor vehicle operator’s negligence. As a motorcycle accident lawyer, when we review police reports, we frequently read that the other driver told the investigating police officer, “I never saw him.” Sometimes, the insinuation is that because the other driver never observed the motorcycle, the motorcyclist “must” have been speeding. The reality is that the operator of the car or truck “saw” the motorcycle and its operator, but the human eye failed to “perceive” the motorcyclist. In his interesting article in Road and Track magazine entitled, “Why You Don’t ‘See’ Motorcycles on the Road”, cyclist and author, Jack Baruth, explores the biological workings of the human eye, relative to the phenomena of failing to observe motorcycles and their riders. Baruth asserts that when things are small enough and move quickly enough, our mind does not always “perceive” them, even though our eyes “see” them. In particular, since our eyes are only looking at a relatively small area, a motorcycle approaching head-on from a distance, occupies a very small part of a driver’s vision. If you don’t expect to see a motorcycle and you are only “looking” for cars, your […]

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Sep 22, 2016 - Motorcycle Accidents

GOOD TIPS FOR SHARING ROADS WITH MOTORCYCLES

On behalf of Jeremy D. Puglia, of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Motorcycle Accidents on Thursday, September 22, 2016. Hopefully, you are asking this because you are a concerned Pennsylvania driver who does not want to place motorcyclists in danger. Whatever your reason, it is an excellent question and one that every motorist should be thinking about. As people are going about the business of the day, it is all too easy to overlook motorcycles. They are smaller than cars, they are often unobtrusive and they can slip into blind spots virtually unseen. Whether you’re traveling to and from work or are simply out for a leisurely drive, road safety is everyone’s responsibility. Below are a few valuable tips to keep you and other motorists safe. Know your blind spots: Utilize all of your mirrors and your signals to make sure the path you are choosing is clear. Motorcycles can disappear from view before you even know they are there. Give cyclists space: Instead of relying solely on a motorcycle’s braking lights, give the cycle plenty of room to turn and stop. This also applies with turn signals. Wait a moment to make sure you know what the cyclist is about to do. No lane hogging: A motorcycle is a vehicle just like yours. As such, their spot in the lane belongs to them. Don’t crowd or pass inside the cycle’s space. Commercial vehicles, beware: The size of large commercial vehicles often dwarfs motorcycles. As such, drivers of these […]

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Jul 14, 2016 - Motorcycle Accidents

OLDER MOTORCYCLISTS MAY BE IN MORE DANGER

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted inMotorcycle Accidents on Thursday, July 14, 2016. People often think of young riders racing bikes when thinking about people who are in danger of being killed in motorcycle accidents. While this assumption makes sense on some levels — considering the inexperience of the riders, for example, or the raw power of the bikes — the stats show just the opposite. For example, the 2013 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that 55 percent of those who died in motorcycle accidents were over 40. The stats also show that this age is trending up. In 2004, just 46 percent of the riders who died were over 40, while 54 percent were at least in their 30s. The overall numbers have also been increasing. Between 2004 and 2013, the total number of bikers who passed away in accidents who were at least 40 years old went up by a staggering 39 percent. Fatalities were also up for motorcyclists overall, but just by 16 percent. Clearly, older riders were in far more danger in this study. When looking at the average ages of riders who die in crashes, one can see that the average in 2004 was 38. By 2013, it had jumped up four years, all the way to 42. There could be many reasons for this trend, such as a potential change in the age group that tends to ride the most or the fact that […]

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Apr 8, 2016 - Motorcycle Accidents

THE 3 LEVELS OF ROAD RASH

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Motorcycle Accidents on Friday, April 8, 2016. Not all types of road rash are the same, and the level that you experience during a motorcycle accident has a lot to do with how painful it will be, how long it will take to heal, and how much it’s going to cost for the treatment. Generally speaking, the different levels are referred to as degrees—the same way that burn injuries are rated. If you just have first-degree road rash, it’s a relatively minor issue. Your skin will be slightly red and could be a bit painful to the touch. This can often be treated at home and will heal completely. With second-degree road rash, the first layer of your skin is actually going to be torn or broken. This can be much more painful and will take longer to heal, as the skin needs to regenerate. There are typically not significant scars, but there can be some scarring. Finally, if you get third-degree road rash, the skin will have been torn right off and the tissue below will be exposed. This is the most painful and requires the most treatment—and the longest healing time. Scarring is likely. In many cases, those who are injured actually need to have skin grafts so that they can heal properly. This is a extensive procedure that can take a long time and be very costly. If you’ve been injured in an accident that […]

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Feb 25, 2016 - Motorcycle Accidents

RELATIVELY SPEAKING, MOTORCYCLE DEATHS ARE VERY HIGH

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Motorcycle Accidents on Thursday, February 25, 2016. When looking at the raw stats, it appears that motorcycle deaths make up just a small portion of all traffic deaths—just 14 percent. That leaves another 86 percent to be divided among categories like drivers, passengers and pedestrians. However, the key thing to remember is that there are far fewer motorcycles on the road, so the total percentage is naturally going to be smaller. When you factor this in, it becomes apparent that motorcycle accident death rates are actually quite high. On the whole, motorcycles accounted for less than a single percent of all of the total vehicle miles traveled in the United States. This statistic is actually more important than looking at the amount of motorcycles and contrasting it with the amount of cars. Many people who own motorcycles do not use them very frequently. They don’t use them as daily drivers and they park them in the garage for the winter, for example. Because of this, the amount of vehicle miles traveled gives a more accurate picture of how common motorcycles are. If they led to just as many deaths as other vehicles, they’d also come in with less than one percent of the total deaths. The fact that they come in at 14 percent shows a stark difference between the two. The statistics used to reach these numbers came from studies of accident death rates between 2008 and […]

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Jan 11, 2016 - Motorcycle Accidents

BLUETOOTH MOTORCYCLE HELMET AIMS TO REDUCE DISTRACTIONS

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Motorcycle Accidents on Monday, January 11, 2016. Experts have noted that the distractions of electronic devices can be just as hazardous for motorcyclists as they can be for drivers who are behind the wheels of cars and trucks. Riders still want to be connected, taking phone calls and keeping in touch with people. They still want to use the GPS to find out where they’re going. They want to listen to music on the go. All of this can be a distraction in a car, but the risk on a motorcycle can be even greater because it not only takes a rider’s eyes off of the road, but it also takes his or her hands off of the handlebars. This can send the bike out of control and cause an accident, especially at high speeds. One solution that has been offered up is a helmet with Bluetooth connectivity. This type of system has been used in automobiles for a while, and it allows things like phones to be connected in a wireless fashion to a vehicle. The same technology can connect the phone right to the helmet so that riders can take a call or change tracks while listening to music, all without picking up the phone. The helmet is also designed to keep the speakers off of the rider’s ears. They’re a slight distance away so that, while riders can hear the devices, they can also still […]

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Dec 30, 2015 - Motorcycle Accidents

IS A FULL-FACE HELMET SAFER THAN AN OPEN-FACE HELMET?

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Motorcycle Accidents on Wednesday, December 30, 2015. There are two basic choices when looking at motorcycle helmets. First, you can wear an open-faced helmet, which surrounds your head and leaves the face exposed, often for a pair of sunglasses or goggles. Second, you can wear a full-face helmet that has a bar going around your chin. There are other specialty helmets that don’t perfectly fit into these classes, but they are the main two. So, which one is safer? It’s hard to argue that the open-face helmet could ever be safer. This does not mean it is unsafe, but it simply can’t compete with the full-face design, which puts more helmet and structure right where a rider needs it the most. That extra bar gives the helmet more stability and durability in a crash, whereas the open-face design could still allow a rider’s face to connect directly with another object—like a car—during a wreck. In fact, some people have gone so far as to write out percentages showing what the odds are that different parts of a person’s face will hit a car in an accident. For the crown of the head, it’s only 1.8 percent. For the back of the head, it’s 6.5 percent. For the forehead, the percentage comes in at 8.2. For that chin bar, though, the stats show that there is a 19.4 percent chance that it will hit something. It’s clearly the area […]

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Dec 16, 2015 - Motorcycle Accidents

IN AN ACCIDENT, DOES A MOTORCYCLE HAVE ANY ADVANTAGES?

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Motorcycle Accidents on Wednesday, December 16, 2015. The disadvantages that a motorcycle has when compared to a car are well known. The sheer weight of the motorcycle is lower, for instance, so it will fair poorly in an accident with a larger vehicle. A motorcycle also lacks safety features like airbags or a cage to protect the riders. However, are there any advantages that it enjoys? In fact, there are a few. For one thing, because of its small size and weight, a motorcycle is pretty agile. If the rider is paying attention, he or she may be able to avoid an accident that a larger vehicle—like a semi-truck—could never avoid. Another advantage is that a motorcycle can stop in a hurry. This doesn’t mean that the accident will always be avoided, but it can be altered. For example, if a car pulls out in front of a motorcycle, the driver may be able to lay the bike down on its side and slide, stopping without impacting the car, whereas another car would have slammed into it head-on. A motorcycle is also maneuverable and it can quickly swerve out of the way of an accident. The rider may be able to completely avoid the wreck. This ability is enhanced by the small size. A motorcycle rider could swerve into a small bike lane on the side of a road, for example. Even if an alert driver swerved a […]

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Nov 13, 2015 - Motorcycle Accidents

WOMEN ARE RIDING MOTORCYCLES MORE AND MORE OFTEN

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Motorcycle Accidents on Friday, November 13, 2015. While men are often stereotyped as being the only ones to want to ride motorcycles, the reality is that women are riding them more and more often. A full 12 percent of all of the people who own motorcycles in the United States are women. In the five year period from 2009 to 2014 alone, that means motorcycle ownership by women went up by 28 percent. Women are even more involved with motorcycles when you consider those who are passengers, rather than drivers. When both groups are considered together, roughly 25 percent of people on motorcycles are women. So, why are women turning to motorcycles? Many of them cite similar reasons to men, including freedom, independence, adventure, community and the ability to defeat their own fears. For many, the community aspect is huge specifically because there are more female riders every year. This is a growing community, and they enjoy being part of it as it thrives. Riding also has a positive impact on many of them. A survey was done back in 2013, and it talked to over 1,000 women who rode bikes and over 1,000 who did not. It found that those who rode were more likely to feel happy all the time (37 percent to 16 percent), more likely to feel confident (35 percent to 18 percent) and more likely to be happy with the way they communicated […]

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Sep 27, 2015 - Motorcycle Accidents

FAULT CAN GO BOTH WAYS IN LEFT-TURN MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Motorcycle Accidents on Thursday, September 17, 2015. A lot of people assume that motorcyclists are not at fault when they are driving straight and drivers turn left, cutting them off and causing accidents. While it’s true that this is one of the leading causes of motorcycle wrecks in Pennsylvania, and that motorcyclists are often not at fault, it’s important to know that they sometimes can be blamed. This is why establishing fault, officially, is so important. The thing to keep in mind is that the biker also has some obligation to try to avoid the crash if possible. In many cases, it all happens so fast that the biker can’t get out of the way, but this is not always the case. If a car turned left 50 feet in front of a bike, for instance, and the biker made no attempt to slow down or stop, he or she could also be blamed. It’s been said that most bikers can stop in about 40 feet in an emergency, and they should definitely try to do so. Additionally, bikers can be blamed if they are speeding. Someone driving 60 mph in a 45 mph zone may not have hit a left-turning car if he or she was going at the proper speed. In fact, some drivers say that they thought it was safe to turn because they assumed the bike was going slower than it actually was. All […]

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