With the pandemic easing and summer on the way, Baltimore men and women are looking forward to warm weather rides on their motorcycles.
There is some good news on the Baltimore motorcycle accident front — the number of motorcyclists killed in crashes nationwide has been trending downward. In 2018, 4,985 motorcyclists died, 5,172 died in 2017 and that was down from the 5,337 reported in 2016.
However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) motorcycle riders are still overrepresented in traffic fatalities. Motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in a motor vehicle accident than are passengers in automobiles and six times as likely to be severely injured, based on 2014 fatal crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Many people assume that motor vehicles have the right of way – this is not true. A lot of people are also unaware that motorcycles have the same rights as the cars and trucks that use Baltimore and Ocean City’s roads and highways.
NHTSA has urged motorcyclists to use common sense safety tips. Baltimore and Ocean City motorcycle enthusiasts should make themselves visible, wear study clothing, use DOT-compliant motorcycle helmets and always ride sober. Twenty-six percent of motorcyclists killed in 2018 were drunk, NHTSA says.
Arms and legs should be completely covered when riding a motorcycle, ideally by wearing leather or heavy denim, NHTSA recommends. It only took one motorcycle accident and several months of getting gravel out of his skin before one Baltimore motorcyclist realized that he would never get on a bike unless he was properly clothed for the activity.
Boots or shoes should be high enough to cover the ankles, while gloves allow for a better grip and help protect hands in the event of a crash. Wearing brightly colored clothing with reflective material makes Maryland motorcyclists more visible to other vehicle drivers.
Wearing the right motorcycle helmet can mean the difference between life and death. It is possible to find a safe helmet that is also comfortable, NHTSA says. The organization has lots of information on its website on how to find a safe helmet that is also a good fit.
Don’t leave your helmet behind on short trips because it could be a deadly mistake, NHTSA says. Some motorcycle helmets, in addition to offering protection to your head in a crash, include plastic face shields that offer protection from wind, rain, insects, dust, and stones thrown up from cars.
If the helmet doesn’t have a face shield, be sure to wear goggles because eyeglasses won’t keep your eyes from watering and can easily fall off, NHTSA says.
The Law Office of Thomas J. Maronick is open during the pandemic and will continue to meet your Glen Burnie, Annapolis, Baltimore, Essex, Ocean City, Towson, White Marsh motorcycle accident needs. If you have suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident in Baltimore or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed as a result of a Maryland motorcycle collision, you may be able to recover the money needed to pay for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages by making a claim against the other party involved in the accident or your insurance company. The consultation is free.
We can meet with you remotely if you have access to Zoom. You can contact Thomas Maronick on his cellphone at 202.288.0167, the law office at 410.885.1775 or through the website for a free consultation.