Top 4 Myths that Ruin an Iowa Car Accident Case

Top 4 Myths that Ruin an Iowa Car Accident Case

4 Misunderstandings About Iowa Car Accident Claims: What Every Driver Needs to Know

Introduction

Today’s topic: Debunking Iowa Accident Myths. Today we’ll be shedding light on common misconceptions with real stories and advice for drivers and riders alike.

Myths covered in this article

  1. Direct Negotiations with Insurance Adjusters Are Mandatory
  2. The Insurance Adjuster is Your Ally
  3. Piecemeal Settlements (Some Now, Some Later) Are an Option
  4. Hiring a Lawyer is Too Expensive

Every rider and driver in Iowa carries a mental toolkit for handling the unexpected twists and turns of the road. But what if part of that toolkit is flawed? What if the facts that fill the toolkit – the very facts that drivers rely on to make decisions – is filled with myths? 

Misconceptions about accident cases can be as harmful as a loose chain on a motorcycle. They can lead to decisions that compromise your legal and financial future. 

In this essential guide, we dismantle the top four myths about Iowa motorcycle accidents with the precision of a skilled mechanic, replacing them with the solid, reliable tools of real stories and expert advice.


Myth #1: Direct Negotiations with Insurance Adjusters Are Mandatory – You Don’t Need an Iowa Car Accident Lawyer

Two motorcyclists on The Dragon's Tail road

Have you ever ridden The Dragon’s Tail? It’s a beast, but more on that in a second.

We’ve got this buddy. We’ll call him Jack. Jack’s a seasoned rider. He’s put in the miles and has no problem telling you all about how he’s been on more than a few cross-country rides- both solo and in a group. 

Jack decided it was finally time to ride the Dragon’s Tail. For those unfamiliar, it’s an 11-mile stretch of road on US 129. For Riders, it’s a notorious stretch of road known for its sharp turns and steep inclines. 

Sure it’s beautiful, but make no mistake, the attraction is the ride itself, not the scenery. Medical help is no less than thirty to forty-five minutes away and it’s at least an hour from the nearest emergency room. With bears, turkeys, deer, and more than a few trucks (that shouldn’t be there), this ride is not for the inattentive or faint of heart. 

Despite his experience and determination to tame the Dragon’s Tale, Jack was – understandably – a bit apprehensive the night before taking the ride. That’s when he met Alex. 

The Power of Experience

Alex is nothing short of a local riding legend familiar with every twist and turn of the Dragon’s Tail. Some have said he knows his way around the curves of the Dragon’s Tail better than the curves of his wife.

Alex is a biker’s biker. The guy is always willing to stop and help if a rider is broken down on the side of the road or, in Jack’s case, offer to guide him through the challenging road. 

As they embarked on the ride, Alex led the way, signaling upcoming hazards and advising on the best lines to take through the tight curves. With each mile, Jack’s confidence grew, buoyed by Alex’s expertise and support.

The journey that started with trepidation ended with Jack conquering the Dragon’s Tail, a feat he once thought was beyond his reach. 

So, what does that have to do with negotiations with insurance adjusters after an accident? This ride underscored the invaluable benefit of having an expert by your side when facing challenging paths, whether on the road or in life. 

Many people believe that when you are involved in a crash, you have no choice but to talk to and try to negotiate with an insurance adjuster.

Reality check: Just like Jack navigating the Dragon’s Tail, you’d be a fool to go at it alone if you had an expert rider offering guidance. Similarly, dealing with insurance adjusters can be navigated more safely with a legal expert by your side.

You’re entitled to appoint an Iowa car accident attorney to engage and negotiate with insurers on your behalf, ensuring your ride to fair compensation is as smooth as possible.

Injured? Ride with us.


Myth #2: The Insurance Adjuster is Your Ally

Image of a woman with an injured knee after a motorcycle accident

To address this myth, it’s time for a new tale, kind of like Jack’s adventure on the Dragon’s Tail, but with a twist that veers into the realm of legal battles rather than asphalt ones.

This is the story of Sarah. Sarah is an inexperienced rider with only a few years of open road under her belt. Her journey took an unexpected detour after a minor scrape with a sedan in downtown Des Moines. This was her first real collision on a motorcycle, Sarah was freaked out… until the phone rang later that night.

The insurance adjuster, with a voice as smooth as a freshly paved road, assured Sarah that they were there to help her navigate through the aftermath of her accident as quickly and smoothly as possible. Sarah felt a wave of relief. Here was her guide, ready to lead her through the insurance claim’s twists and turns. Or so she thought.

As the process unfolded, Sarah realized that her supposed ally was steering her towards a settlement that barely covered her bike’s repairs, not to mention her medical bills.

You don’t know what you don’t know

It was only when she recounted her tale at a local riders’ hangout that she met Pete Leehey, a veteran biker turned personal injury attorney. Pete, with his intricate knowledge of both the roads and the legal landscape of Iowa, pointed out the hidden pitfalls in the insurance adjuster’s route.

Image of Pete Leehey at a biker bar talking to an injured biker

Under Pete’s guidance, Sarah embarked on a new journey. This time, she was not alone on a treacherous path. With an expert navigator by her side, she managed to secure a settlement that truly reflected her damages and losses.

The road to recovery was long, but with the right support, she reached a destination that once seemed as distant as the end of the Dragon’s Tail.

Reality check: Just like Sarah’s initial trust in the insurance adjuster, many riders believe that these professionals are on their side. However, the truth is that insurance adjusters, much like challenging turns on a notorious road, have their own agenda. They serve the insurance company’s interests, aiming to settle claims for as little as possible. 

This story, like Jack’s, underscores the critical importance of having an expert — in this case, a seasoned Iowa accident lawyer — to guide you through the negotiations, ensuring your rights and recovery are fully protected.

Injured? Ride with us.


Myth #3: Piecemeal Settlements (Some Now, Some Later) Are an Option After an Accident

Scene of a car accident with a deer, motorcycle, and several cars

In the heart of Iowa lives a biker named Lucas. He’s known as an adventurous spirit with a knack for storytelling that could captivate any listener. One crisp autumn day, Lucas decided to take on the winding roads that snake through the Loess Hills, a ride that promised both beauty and challenge in equal measure.

Lucas’s journey was cut short when a sudden deer crossing caused him to swerve, leading to a minor accident with a nearby car. Both parties seemed to be physically unharmed, but Lucas’s beloved motorcycle suffered damage, as did the car. In the moments that followed, amidst the exchange of apologies and insurance details, Lucas found himself facing a decision that seemed as complex as the road he had planned to conquer.

In the weeks that followed, Lucas got a call from the other guy’s insurance adjuster with an offer. Eager to get back on the road and confident in his understanding of insurance claims, Lucas initially considered accepting a quick settlement offer for the immediate damages to his bike. The idea of settling some aspects of the claim now and potentially addressing others later seemed like a way to expedite his return to the open road. He knew he should at least sleep on it, so he told them he’d think about it.

Always consider your options

Lucas’s story took a turn when he was sharing his experience while stopping by Loess Hills Country Corner. If you’ve ever stopped in, you know that the Country Corner is a place where tales of the road were as common as coffee refills. It was here that Lucas met Dan Matzdorff, a seasoned attorney with a love for motorcycles and a deep understanding of the twists and turns of personal injury law.

Image of Dan Matzdorff talking with a biker at a diner

Dan, intrigued by Lucas’s tale, offered a tip that would change his course. He likened Lucas’s quick settlement consideration to taking a sharp turn without fully understanding the road ahead. Just as a biker must anticipate every potential obstacle on their path, Lucas needed to consider the full scope of the impact of the crash, including future repairs, medical expenses, and any unseen complications.

Dan explained how accepting a quick settlement was akin to navigating a blind curve at full speed. The initial offer might cover the immediate damages, but it would leave him unprotected against future costs and complications that could arise. Through Dan’s stories of past clients who had navigated similar roads, Lucas saw the value in a comprehensive approach that considered the entire journey, not just the first few miles.

Inspired by Dan’s wisdom, Lucas decided to pursue a complete settlement that accounted for all potential damages, guided by Dan’s expertise. This decision marked the beginning of a new journey, one that promised a more secure and informed path to recovery.

Reality check: Lucas’s initial inclination to settle part of his claim immediately, with the hope of addressing the rest later, is a common misconception among crash victims. However, once a settlement is reached, additional claims for the same accident are typically not an option. Lucas’s story illustrates the importance of seeking expert legal advice to ensure a settlement fully covers all potential damages, safeguarding the rider’s future just as a helmet protects the head.

With the right guidance, navigating the legal aftermath of a collision can lead to a resolution that truly compensates for the entire journey’s impact, ensuring the road ahead is as clear and smooth as the one behind.

Injured? Ride with us.


Myth #4: Hiring a Lawyer is Too Expensive After an Iowa Car Accident

Image of a woman on the side of the road after a motorcycle crash

In the sprawling landscapes of Iowa, where the horizon stretches endlessly and the roads beckon with promise, there lived a biker named Emma. Her spirit was as free as the wind that rushed past her on her rides, and the blood in her veins pumped in sync with the oil of her motorcycle’s engine. Emma’s passion for the road was matched only by her belief in the camaraderie among those who shared her love for biking.

One evening while riding on a highway just outside of Cedar Rapids, Emma’s life took an unexpected turn. A distracted driver veered into her lane, throwing Emma off her bike and into a ditch on the side of the road.

In the weeks that followed, Emma was struggling. She was hurting from her injuries, couldn’t sleep, her bike was a mess, and she was staring down a pile of bills: for her bike’s repairs, her medical treatment, and more. 

She wished she could call a lawyer. The thought of hiring a lawyer to help navigate the aftermath felt like a pipe dream. “Lawyers are too expensive,” she thought, echoing a myth she’d heard time and again.

Emma decided to meet some friends for lunch at The Chrome Horse Saloon. As she vented about her troubles, the owner pointed to a table where three men in biker cuts sat.

“Sounds like you need a lawyer. Go talk to Pete, he’ll have your back.” 

Image of The Biker Lawyers enjoying lunch at The Chrome Horse Saloon in Cedar Rapids Iowa

Emma introduced herself and began to explain her situation. Pete seemed to understand her situation immediately. He shared stories of the road, of bikers who had navigated the legal twists and turns following accidents, much like Emma’s. He spoke of victories won not just in courtrooms but in the lives of riders who found their way back to the open road, their rights and dignity intact. Emma soon realized that this guy was the real deal – a rider’s lawyer and a staunch advocate for the rights of those on two wheels, and offered Emma a beacon of hope.

Pete listened to Emma’s story, nodding along as she shared her concerns about costs. “I’m sure you’re great at what you do, Pete,” Emma said, “but honestly, I was struggling to make ends meet before the crash. Lawyers are expensive and if you’re half as good as you seem to be, there’s no way I can afford to hire you.”

The truth about hiring a lawyer

That’s when he broke down the myth for her, explaining that not all lawyers charge by the hour or demand a hefty retainer upfront. “In fact,” Pete said, “at The Biker Lawyers, we operate on a contingency fee basis. That means you don’t pay us anything unless we win your case. Our fee? It’s a percentage of the settlement or award we get for you. No win, no fee. It’s that simple.”

Emma’s eyes widened as she fought back tears with realization. Not only could she afford to work with Pete, but she couldn’t afford not to! Pete’s approach to fees with the cases he took on were specifically designed to protect riders like her, ensuring they could seek justice without the fear of upfront costs.

Reality Check: The myth that hiring a lawyer is too expensive prevents many from seeking the help they need. But as Emma learned from Pete Leehey, The Biker Lawyers break down that barrier with their contingency fee approach. This means bikers can get expert legal representation without any upfront cost. The fee is only collected as a percentage of the settlement or award received, making legal support accessible to all riders, regardless of their financial situation.

The contingency fee approach ensures that every biker has the opportunity to fight for their rights and secure the compensation they deserve, with a legal team that rides the same roads and faces the same challenges they do.

Injured? Ride with us.


Conclusion

After cruising through the twists and turns of common myths, we hope the road ahead looks clearer. Just like navigating a challenging route requires the right gear and know-how, tackling the aftermath of an accident demands the right support – legal support that understands the biker’s journey.

At The Biker Lawyers, we don’t just share the road with you; we stand with you in the fight for your rights. Our approach, just like Pete Leehey’s guidance to Emma, is built around the belief that quality legal representation should be accessible to all riders. Operating on a contingency fee basis means our team is your team from the moment you decide to take us on your journey, with no upfront costs. 

We ride together, and we fight together, ensuring you’re not left navigating the aftermath of an accident alone. Injured? Ride with us.

Injured in an Iowa Car Accident and need help?

Click the “Call the Injury Helpline” button on this page to get started, or fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch to ride with you on your road to recovery.

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Tips for Dealing with Winter Storm Road Conditions in Iowa

Tips for Dealing with Winter Storm Road Conditions in Iowa

Introduction: Dealing with Winter Storm Road Conditions

You know dealing with winter storm road conditions is no joke. It’s Monday Night. You saw the weather report. Snow has started to fall. The weather prediction center was saying there’d be a winter storm but you thought to yourself, “How bad could the winter weather get? I’m used to crappy road conditions! I’m taking 80 they always plow 80, I’ll be fine.” You jump in your truck and head for the highway. Before you know it, you find yourself driving through a full-on blizzard on Interstate 80 and you’ve witnessed half a dozen winter storm road emergencies as drivers find themselves in the ditch.

You grip the wheel tighter, leaning forward to see through the sheet of snow ahead. The headlights of your truck hit the falling snow reducing visibility even further, but you push on. Suddenly, the bright red brake lights of the car in front of you force you to instinctively slam your brakes. Your ABS kicks in but it’s too late as you throw your steering wheel to the right and find yourself slamming into a snow bank in the ditch.

Article Roadmap No Stranger to Winter Storm Road Conditions 3 Essential Safety Tips for Winter Driving in Iowa What to Do If You’re Stuck in a Ditch During a Snowstorm 3 Legal Tips to Remember for Multi-Car Pile-Ups Injured? Here’s What to Do Conclusion

No Stranger to Winter Storm Road Conditions

As a seasoned biker and personal injury attorney, I’ve seen firsthand how treacherous Midwest winters can be, especially for motorists in Iowa. According to the Iowa State Patrol, there have already been 3 traffic-related deaths in Iowa, and we’re only a week and a half in.

The recent snowstorm of January 9, 2024, causing multiple pile-ups and treacherous driving conditions serves as a stark reminder of winter’s unpredictability.  With another predicted snowstorm event right around the corner, its obvious that Mother Nature is an untamable beast. Some are even suggesting the next polar vortex could disrupt the Iowa Caucus.

Winter storm road emergencies are ultimately avoidable if you take the right precautions and are vigilant while navigating the roads. This article offers essential safety and legal tips for drivers facing winter road emergencies.

3 Essential Safety Tips for Winter Driving in Iowa

A-snowy-road-with-visible-car-tracks-emphasizing-safety-and-caution-during-winter-conditions.-The-scene-captures-a-typical-winter-road-in-Iowa

  1. Stay Prepared: Before setting out, ensure your vehicle is winter-ready with adequate tire tread, antifreeze levels, and a winter emergency kit including blankets, food, water, and a flashlight. Also, check the road conditions on sites like 511ia.org to make sure you’re up-to-date with what to expect.
  2. Drive Cautiously: Reduce speed significantly and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles. Remember, it’s harder to control or stop your vehicle on icy or snow-covered roads, and your Anti-lock-break system (ABS) can be tricky when it kicks in unexpectedly.
  3. Visibility is Key: Keep your lights on and windshield clear. Make sure you’ve fully scraped off your windshield and headlights before hitting the road. If visibility is severely compromised, find a safe place to pull over.

What to Do If You’re Stuck in a Ditch During a Snowstorm 

Image of a car that has driven off the road during a severe snowstorm in Iowa

  • Stay Calm and Stay Put: If you end up in a ditch, remain in your car unless it’s unsafe. Keep your seatbelt on and turn on your hazard lights.
  • Assess the Situation: Take a moment to make sure that you and your passengers are okay and no one is seriously hurt.
  • Call for Help: Use your phone to call for roadside assistance or emergency services.
  • Conserve Energy: Run your engine and heater sparingly to conserve fuel. I know I recommended staying in your car, but if you expect to be stuck for a while, safely exit the vehicle to ensure the exhaust pipe is clear of snow to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

Download a Free Winter Road Emergency Guide

3 Legal Tips to Remember for Multi-Car Pile-Ups

Drivers exchange insurance and contact information after a multi-car accident due to a snowstorm on I-80 in Iowa

  1. Detailed Documentation:
    • Take Photos: Capture different angles of the accident scene, including vehicle positions, road conditions, and any visible injuries.
    • Note Details: Write down the time, location, weather conditions, and any relevant road signs or signals.
    • Witness Information: If there are any witnesses, politely ask for their contact information.
  2. Exchanging Information Effectively:
    • Essential Details: Exchange names, contact information, insurance details, and vehicle registration numbers.
    • Stay Neutral: No matter how stressful the situation, try to remain calm. Politely exchange information without discussing fault or liability.
  3. Seeking Medical and Legal Attention:
    • Immediate Medical Check: Visit a healthcare professional, even for minor discomforts, as some injuries manifest later.
    • Consult an Attorney: Contact a personal injury attorney, especially if there are injuries or significant vehicle damage. They can guide you through insurance claims and potential legal proceedings.

Free Injury Consultation

Remember, these tips aim to help you navigate the aftermath of a multi-car pile-up more effectively and protect your legal rights, even if you’re not dealing with winter storm road conditions.

Injured? Here’s What to Do

A-highway-scene-during-a-snowstorm-showing-tire-tracks-leading-into-a-snow-bank-in-the-ditch-next-to-the-road after dealing with winter storm road conditions If you’re injured, it’s essential to consult with a personal injury attorney who understands the specific challenges of winter driving accidents. Understand Your Rights: An experienced personal injury lawyer can guide you through the process of claiming compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.

Conclusion

Winter driving in Iowa can be challenging, but being prepared and knowing the right steps to take can make all the difference. Remember, safety is paramount, and legal preparedness is your right. If you’ve been injured in a crash and need legal help, don’t hesitate to fill out the form below or call our free personal injury helpline at (319) 294-4424. At The Biker Lawyers, we’re here to help you ride through the legal storm.

Request a FREE Personal Injury Consultation

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Handle Insurance Adjusters Like a Pro After a Motorcycle Accident

Handle Insurance Adjusters Like a Pro After a Motorcycle Accident

God, I love this time of year, don’t you? Look, we’re going to talk about how to deal with insurance adjusters after a crash in a second but let’s just take a moment to appreaciate how great it is to ride in Minnesota and Iowa in the fall.

Seriously, there’s nothing quite like the freedom of the open road, the wind in your face, the roar of your bike beneath you. The beauty of the changing colors of the trees as autumn sets in… there really isn’t anything like it.

Image of a motorcycle rushing down an open highway in the Autumn

 Unfortunately, not all roads are smooth.

When the unexpected happens, and you find yourself picking up the pieces after a motorcycle crash, all that freedom can feel like it’s been replaced with a mountain of stress and uncertainty. Suddenly, you’re thrust into a world of insurance claims, repair costs, and medical bills. 

watercolor splash representation of a motorcycle accident on a highway. The motorcycle is seen toppled and the fluid strokes and splashes of color spread away from the crash

And as if that’s not enough, you’re now faced with the daunting task of dealing with an insurance adjuster. Sure, they might seem friendly, but remember, their job is to save their company money, not to make your life easier.

It’s a tough situation, especially here in the Midwest where most of us were raised being “Iowa (or Minnesota) Nice.” It can feel like it goes against our nature to not be as helpful as possible, especially in stressful situations.

Yeah, it’s a tricky road, but with the right knowledge and guidance, you can navigate this challenging time and get back on the road where you belong (without accidentally screwing yourself over in the process).

So you’ve been in a crash?

Watercolor splash style paining depicting a motorcycle accident on a highway

It’s time for some straight-talking advice on how to handle insurance adjusters after a motorcycle accident.

Remember, no matter how friendly they may be, the insurance adjuster works for the insurance company, not for you. Their job is to settle your claim for as little as possible. 

6 Essential Tips for Dealing with Insurance Adjusters After a Motorcycle Accident

Watercolor splash image of a greedy insurance executive and a pile of money

1. Don’t Feel Pressured to Give a Statement

After an accident, you might get a call from the other party’s insurance adjuster. Remember, you’re not obliged to give a statement right away. You might still be rattled by the accident, and that’s not the best time to be giving details that could be used against you later. It’s okay to wait until you have a lawyer by your side.

2. Keep It Basic

If you do decide to talk to the insurance adjuster, stick to the basics. Be very accurate and “to the point” in answering questions. Answer their questions, but don’t offer any details beyond what they specifically ask you. Do not tell the adjuster the crash was your fault, even a percentage. Those details could be twisted and used against you when it comes to settling your claim.

3. Stick to the Facts

When you describe the accident, keep it factual. Don’t make assumptions or guesses. Do not make guesses about speed, distance, or time. Guesses of this nature are usually wrong, and can only hurt you.  The more detail you give, the more chance there is for the adjuster to twist your words. Answer their questions truthfully, but don’t embellish or go into more detail than necessary.

4. Don’t Admit Fault

After a crash, it’s easy to say things that might imply you were at fault, especially if you’re confused or finding it hard to express yourself. If that’s the case, it’s best to wait until you’re feeling better before talking to an insurance adjuster. And of course, don’t admit fault for an accident you didn’t cause.

5. Track Your Expenses

Keep a record of all your expenses related to the accident, like medical bills, bike repairs, and lost wages. Provide copies of these documents to the insurance adjuster when they ask for them. These bills will need to be paid, either by you or the person who caused the accident, so make sure they’re part of any settlement.

6. Don’t Sign Anything Without Legal Advice

Do not agree to any settlement or sign any documents or agreements without talking to a lawyer first. Insurance adjusters might try to get you to sign away your right to sue or accept a settlement offer that’s less than you deserve.

Now, let’s dive a bit deeper into the things you need to know.


Understanding Insurance Policies: Terms to Know

Watercolor Splash image of a greedy insurance adjuster sitting in piles of cash

Navigating the world of insurance policies can be tricky, especially when you’re dealing with the aftermath of a motorcycle accident. Insurance companies use lingo every day that the average driver may not fully understand. They can (and often do) use this to their advantage, so let’s level the playing field.

Here’s a quick rundown of some key terms you’re sure to hear and what they really mean:

  • Actual Cash Value (ACV): This is the value of your property, based on the current cost to replace it minus depreciation. In the case of a total loss, the insurance company might pay out the ACV of your motorcycle.
  • Adjuster: An insurance adjuster is a representative of the insurance company who investigates and evaluates insurance claims to determine the extent of the insurance company’s liability.
  • Claim: A request made by the insured to the insurance company to cover an incurred loss. In the context of a motorcycle accident, this could be for damages to the motorcycle, medical expenses, or other costs related to the accident.
  • Coverage: The extent of protection provided by an insurance policy. Coverage can vary greatly from one policy to another, and it’s important to understand exactly what your policy covers.
  • Coverage Limits: This is the maximum amount your insurance company will pay for a covered loss.
  • Deductible: This is the amount you’ll need to pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in.
  • Exclusion: Certain conditions or circumstances for which the insurance company will not provide coverage. Exclusions are detailed in the insurance policy, and it’s important to be aware of them.
  • Liability: This refers to the legal responsibility for one’s actions or omissions. In an insurance context, liability insurance covers the policyholder’s legal liability in the event of damage or injury to another party.
  • Policyholder: The individual or entity who owns the insurance policy. This is the person who holds the contract with the insurance company and pays the premiums.
  • Premium: The amount of money that an individual or business pays for an insurance policy.
  • Replacement Cost: Unlike ACV, replacement cost coverage will pay the cost to repair or replace the damaged property with materials of similar kind and quality, without any deduction for depreciation.
  • Subrogation: This is a term often used in the insurance industry to refer to the right of the insurance company to recover the amount it has paid for a loss from the party that caused the loss.
  • Umbrella Coverage: This is a type of insurance coverage that goes beyond the limits of regular insurance policies, such as homeowners or auto insurance. It provides an additional layer of security to those who are at risk for being sued for damages to other people’s property or injuries caused to others in an accident. It also protects against libel, vandalism, slander, and invasion of privacy.
  • Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage: This type of insurance coverage protects you if you’re involved in an accident with a motorist who does not have sufficient insurance coverage or no insurance at all.

Understanding these terms can help you know what to expect when dealing with insurance companies after an accident.


Documenting the Accident: A Step-by-Step Guide

A step-by-step infographic with information on maximizing a personal injury claim after an accident.

Proper documentation can make a world of difference when it comes to filing an insurance claim. Here’s what you need to do:

Step 1: Call the Police

Image of police at an accident scene with text: "Step 1 Call the cops"

The police are a vital part of the process as they gather information and help generate a timeline of events. Also, as soon as you can, write down everything you remember about the accident. This can be crucial evidence if there’s a dispute about what happened.

Step 2: Take Photos 

Image of a man taking pictures with his phone at the scene of an accident with text: "Step 2 take pics"

Capture images (or video) of the accident scene, your motorcycle, and any injuries you sustained.

Step 3: Gather Information and Medical Records

An infographic showing the sources of medical records

Collect the other party’s contact and insurance information, and note down the details of the accident while they’re still fresh in your mind. Then in the following days, weeks, and months, keep track of (document) every doctor’s visit, physical therapy appointment, testing, or other medically related activity.

The Importance of Immediate Medical Attention

image of a motorcyclist rubbing his neck showing the strain of rider fatigue

Photo Credits – Physio Inq Sutherland

Even if you feel fine after an accident, it’s crucial to seek medical attention immediately. Not only is this important for your health, but it also establishes a record of your injuries, which can be vital when you’re filing an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit.


Why You Should Consider Hiring a Lawyer

A watercolor splash painting of a motorcycle crash with mostly grayscale capturing the somber mood, but red around the motorcycle crash site indicating the physical and mental toll of the crash

Dealing with insurance adjusters can be daunting, especially when you’re recovering from an accident. A lawyer can negotiate on your behalf, ensuring that you’re treated fairly and that you get the compensation you deserve. They can handle the paperwork, deal with the insurance companies, and let you focus on your recovery.


What’s next?

If you’re unsure about how to handle the insurance adjuster or feel you’re not being treated fairly, consider hiring an attorney. An attorney can negotiate on your behalf and help you get the compensation you deserve. 

Don’t navigate this process alone. If you’re dealing with an insurance claim after a motorcycle accident, contact The Biker Lawyers for a free, no-obligation case evaluation. We’re here to help you ride through this tough time. Call today or click here to get started.

Watercolor splash painting of a motorcycle on a highway with the biker lawyers logo and text.

Ride safe, and remember, we’re here for you.

The 2023 Comprehensive Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Motorcycle Helmets

The 2023 Comprehensive Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Motorcycle Helmets

The 2023 Comprehensive Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Motorcycle Helmets

Riding a motorcycle is an exhilarating experience, but safety should always be a top priority. One of the most crucial safety gear for riders is the motorcycle helmet. Let’s dive deep into the world of motorcycle helmets and answer some of the most frequently asked questions.

Required or Not: Motorcycle Helmet Laws by State (as of 2023)

A graphic of the united states with text reading "Helmet Laws By State"

Each state has its own set of laws regarding helmet usage. While some states mandate helmets for all riders, others require them only for specific age groups or under certain conditions. Always check your state’s regulations before hitting the road.

Here is a breakdown of current Motorcycle helmet laws by state, according to The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS):

StateHelmet Law
AlabamaAll riders are required to wear helmets.
AlaskaRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
ArizonaRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
ArkansasRiders 20 and younger are required to wear helmets.
CaliforniaAll riders are required to wear helmets.
ColoradoRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
ConnecticutRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
Delaware18 and younger and passengers 18 and younger; novice riders and their passengers for the first two years after endorsement.
FloridaRiders 20 and younger are required to wear helmets.
GeorgiaAll riders are required to wear helmets.
HawaiiRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
IdahoRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
IllinoisNo helmet law.
IndianaRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
IowaNo helmet law.
KansasRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
KentuckyRiders 20 and younger are required to wear helmets.
LouisianaAll riders are required to wear helmets.
MaineRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
MarylandAll riders are required to wear helmets.
MassachusettsAll riders are required to wear helmets.
MichiganRiders 20 and younger are required to wear helmets.
MinnesotaRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
MississippiAll riders are required to wear helmets.
MissouriRiders 25 and younger are required to wear helmets.
MontanaRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
Nebraska20 and younger are required to wear helmets. In Nebraska,  riders 21 and older will not be required to wear a helmet as long as they have completed a basic certification course provided by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (effective 01/01/2024).
NevadaAll riders are required to wear helmets.
New HampshireNo helmet law.
New JerseyAll riders are required to wear helmets.
New MexicoRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
New YorkAll riders are required to wear helmets.
North CarolinaAll riders are required to wear helmets.
North DakotaRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
OhioRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
OklahomaRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
OregonAll riders are required to wear helmets.
PennsylvaniaRiders 20 and younger are required to wear helmets.
Rhode IslandRiders 20 and younger are required to wear helmets.
South CarolinaRiders 20 and younger are required to wear helmets.
South DakotaRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
TennesseeAll riders are required to wear helmets.
TexasRiders 20 and younger are required to wear helmets.
UtahRiders 20 and younger are required to wear helmets.
VermontAll riders are required to wear helmets.
VirginiaAll riders are required to wear helmets.
WashingtonAll riders are required to wear helmets.
West VirginiaAll riders are required to wear helmets.
WisconsinRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
WyomingRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets. Helmets are mandatory for mopeds defined by the state as having an engine displacement of 50 cc or less, brake horsepower of 2 or less, and maximum speeds of 30 mph.

You may notice that Iowa is one of very few states with no helmet law. This is thanks in large part to organizations like ABATE who fight for the rights and interests of bikers everywhere. The Biker Lawyers are proud members of ABATE and highly recommend you check out this awesome brotherhood!

It’s important to note that while these laws provide a general guideline, there might be specific conditions or exceptions in each state, and laws may change over time.

Always refer to the state’s official regulations or consult with a local attorney for the most accurate and up-to-date information.


Motorcycle Helmet Safety

Image of a man on a motorcycle at an intersection.

Safety should always be the top priority when choosing a helmet. Here’s a more in-depth look at some of the safety aspects:

Certifications 

Helmets undergo testing to meet specific safety standards. The most common certifications are DOT (Department of Transportation), ECE (Economic Commission for Europe), and Snell. Each certification has its testing criteria, but all ensure a helmet provides adequate protection.

Material and Construction

Helmets are typically made from polycarbonate, fiberglass composite, or carbon fiber. Each material offers different levels of protection, weight, and comfort. Multi-layered EPS (expanded polystyrene) liners inside the helmet absorb impact during a crash.

Full-Face vs. Open-Face

image of an open-faced and closed faced helmet with a graphic including letters "vs"

Full-face helmets offer the most protection as they cover the entire head, including the face and jawline. Open-face or half helmets might be more comfortable for some, but they provide less protection.

Retention System

The chin strap keeps the helmet securely on the head. It should be easy to fasten and unfasten, and when secured, the helmet should not move around on the head.

Visor and Face Shield

A good visor or face shield protects the rider from wind, debris, and UV rays. Anti-fog and anti-scratch coatings can enhance visibility in various conditions.

Regular Inspection

Helmets should be inspected regularly for signs of wear, damage, or degradation. The interior padding can compress over time, and the outer shell might get scratched or chipped. Any visible damage is a sign that it’s time for a replacement.

Post-Accident Replacement

Even if there’s no visible damage after an accident, the helmet’s structural integrity might be compromised. It’s always safer to replace a helmet after a significant impact.

Safety is paramount, and while style and comfort are essential, they should never compromise protection. Always prioritize safety features when choosing a helmet and ride with confidence, knowing you’re well-protected.


Motorcycle Helmet Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Close up image of a motorcycle helmet on the ground

What are the Disadvantages of Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet?

To be fair, wearing a helmet has undeniable safety advantages but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. While the advantages of wearing a motorcycle helmet far outweigh the disadvantages, it’s important to consider all factors when deciding if wearing a helmet is right for you. Here are some commonly cited disadvantages of wearing a motorcycle helmet:

  1. Restricted Peripheral Vision: Some riders feel that helmets, especially full-face varieties, can restrict their peripheral vision. This limitation can potentially make it harder to see vehicles or obstacles on the side.
  2. Reduced Hearing: Helmets can muffle sounds, making it harder for riders to hear certain noises from the surroundings, such as horns, sirens, or other vehicles.
  3. Weight: Helmets, especially those made of robust materials, can be heavy. Wearing them for extended periods might cause neck or shoulder strain for some riders.
  4. Heat and Discomfort: In hot climates, wearing a helmet can become uncomfortable due to the accumulation of heat. Even with ventilation systems, a helmet can cause sweating and discomfort during long rides in the sun.
  5. Cost: Quality helmets with advanced safety features can be expensive. For riders on a budget, this can be a significant consideration.
  6. False Sense of Security: Some riders might feel invincible with a helmet on and might indulge in riskier behavior, thinking they’re fully protected. This mindset can be dangerous as helmets are just one aspect of overall road safety.
  7. Communication Difficulties: Conversing with fellow riders at stops or signals can be challenging with a full-face helmet, requiring riders to lift the visor or the entire helmet.
  8. Potential for Fogging: In colder or humid conditions, the visor of a helmet can fog up, reducing visibility. While many modern helmets come with anti-fogging features, it’s still a concern for some riders.

All this said it would be irresponsible of us to not remind you that despite these disadvantages, the safety benefits far outweigh the disadvantages when it comes to wearing a helmet. 

But hey man, in the end, it’s your choice. That’s what freedom is all about!

What are the Benefits of a Half Helmet for Motorcycle Riders?

open-faced motorcycle helmet with goggles sits on the back of a motorcycle

Half helmets, often referred to as “brain buckets,” cover the top of the head. They offer better visibility and more airflow, making them popular in hotter climates. However, they provide less protection compared to full-face helmets.

What are the Best Motorcycle Helmets for Beginners?

close up image of a motorcycle helmet with an open visor

For beginners, venturing into the world of motorcycling can be both thrilling and daunting. One of the first and most crucial decisions a new rider will make is selecting the right helmet. A helmet is not just about protection; it’s about comfort, visibility, and enhancing the overall riding experience.

Here’s a deeper dive into choosing the best helmets for those just starting out:

  • Fit and Comfort: A helmet should fit snugly without causing discomfort. A loose helmet can shift during a ride, obstructing vision and reducing protection. Many brands offer different shell sizes and interior padding options to ensure a perfect fit.
  • Visibility: For beginners, a clear field of vision is essential. Helmets with wide eye ports offer better peripheral vision, helping new riders be more aware of their surroundings.
  • Ventilation: Proper airflow is crucial, especially during longer rides or in warmer climates. Look for helmets with adjustable vents, allowing riders to regulate airflow based on weather conditions.
  • Safety Standards: Ensure the helmet meets or exceeds safety standards like DOT, ECE, or Snell. These certifications indicate that the helmet has undergone rigorous testing.
  • Ease of Use: Features like quick-release straps and integrated sun visors can make the riding experience more enjoyable for beginners.
  • Price: While it’s tempting to go for the most expensive helmet, beginners should look for a balance between cost, comfort, and safety. Brands like HJC, Bell, and Shoei offer helmets that are both affordable and reliable.
  • Reviews and Recommendations: Before making a purchase, beginners should read reviews, ask fellow riders for recommendations, and visit local shops to try on different models.

Remember, the best helmet for one rider might not be the best for another. It’s essential to find a helmet that suits individual needs and preferences.

Is a Motorcycle Helmet Still Safe to Use After an Accident?

close up image of a white helmet at a motorcycle crash scene

No. Even if there’s no visible damage, the helmet’s integrity might be compromised. 

Helmets are designed to absorb impact by dispersing and cushioning the force throughout the helmet’s structure. 

Once a helmet has been subjected to a significant force, such as in a crash, its ability to provide the same level of protection is diminished. The materials inside, especially the EPS liner, are meant for one-time use; they compress upon impact to reduce the force before it reaches the head. 

If the helmet hit anything during the accident, it’s probably best to replace it. Even a mild crash can cause unseen micro-damage, reducing the helmet’s protective capabilities in future impacts. It’s always better to be safe than sorry; your life and well-being are worth more than the cost of a new helmet.

Are Full-Face Motorcycle Helmets Safer?

Absolutely. Full-face helmets stand out as the top choice for riders prioritizing safety. They envelop the entire head, including the face, chin, and neck areas, which are notably susceptible during accidents. 

The continuous shell around the head and face that full-face helmets provide also shields riders from environmental nuisances like wind, rain, debris, and pesky insects. 

While the allure of open-face or half helmets might appeal to some for their style or breezy feel, when it boils down to sheer protective capability, full-face helmets reign supreme.

Is it More Safe to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet or Not Wear One?

Smaller image of Ginger Jansen on a Harley Davidson

The answer is clear-cut: strapping on a helmet is always the safer route.

Helmets are meticulously crafted to absorb and distribute the brunt of an impact, drastically slashing the risk of severe head traumas or fatalities. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), helmets are about 37% effective in warding off fatal injuries to motorcycle enthusiasts. 

Riding without that protective layer leaves one exposed to direct, unforgiving impacts, potentially leading to traumatic brain injuries or worse. 

Beyond the life-saving crash protection, helmets also serve as a barrier against the elements, elevating the overall riding experience. The decision to wear a helmet can spell the difference between a minor scrape and a catastrophic injury.

What Speed Are Motorcycle Helmets Rated For?

Image of a man riding a motorcycle on an empty highway

It might surprise some to learn that most motorcycle helmets undergo impact tests simulating speeds around 13-14 mph. 

While this might seem modest given the velocities motorcycles can reach, it’s pivotal to grasp that these tests mirror the average speed a rider’s head would strike the ground in real-world mishaps, not the motorcycle’s cruising speed. 

In a plethora of accidents, even if the bike is zooming at highway speeds, factors like sliding, tumbling, or the bike’s deceleration can temper the actual head impact speed. With that in mind, it’s always wise to champion safety and steer clear of reckless speeds.

Helmets offer a formidable line of defense, but they aren’t magic barriers. Adopting a responsible riding approach maximizes the protective prowess of any helmet.

Are Expensive Motorcycle Helmets Worth It?

a shelf with four motorcycle helmets for sale

When it comes to helmets, the age-old adage “you get what you pay for” often rings true. 

Pricier helmets tend to offer enhanced comfort, superior ventilation, and cutting-edge features. They might also boast advanced materials and construction techniques that can provide better protection. 

However, it’s crucial to remember that safety standards, such as DOT or ECE, remain consistent across various price points. So, while a high-end helmet might offer additional comforts and features, many mid-range helmets still provide excellent protection.

Should I Buy a Pre-owned Motorcycle Helmet?

two shelves showcasing an extensive motorcycle helmet collection.

Regarding pre-owned helmets: while snagging a deal might be tempting, helmets are one piece of gear you should always buy new. The reason is simple. Even if a used helmet looks pristine, you can’t be certain of its history. It might have been involved in an accident or dropped, which could compromise its structural integrity. Plus, the interior padding of helmets, designed to provide a snug fit, conforms to the shape of the original wearer’s head over time.

A used helmet might not offer the same level of comfort or protection as a new one tailored to your head shape.

Are Most Motorcycle Helmets One Size Fits All?

image of a man and woman strapping on motorcycle helmets

Definitely not. Just as every individual is unique, so is the shape and size of their head. Helmets come in a variety of sizes, from XS to XXL, and many brands even offer different shell sizes and interior padding options to ensure an optimal fit. 

A proper fit is paramount for safety; a helmet that’s too loose or too tight can be a distraction and might not provide the best protection in an accident.

If you’re purchasing your first helmet, visiting a brick-and-mortar store can be invaluable.

three shelves with rows of motorcycle helmets for sale

 Local motorcycle shops or specialty helmet retailers often have knowledgeable salespeople who can guide you through the fitting process. They’ll measure your head, recommend sizes, and let you try on different models. This hands-on approach ensures you get a helmet that fits perfectly, which might be challenging when ordering online without prior experience.

How Does the Sun Visor Work in a Motorcycle Helmet?

Image of a man riding a motorcycle

Integrated sun visors in motorcycle helmets are a game-changer for many riders. These visors can be flipped down to shield the eyes from bright sunlight, eliminating the need for sunglasses and making transitions from light to dark areas smoother.

But beyond mere shading, many of these visors offer UV protection. On average, quality sun visors in helmets can block out up to 99% of harmful UV rays, safeguarding your eyes from potential damage and reducing eye strain during sun-drenched rides.

When shopping for a helmet with a sun visor, it’s a good idea to check the UV protection rating to ensure you’re getting the best protection possible.

How Does it Feel to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet?

Image of a person on a motorcycle at an intersection looking at the camera as if it were another motorist

Slipping on a motorcycle helmet for the first time can be a unique experience. A well-fitted helmet should feel snug around your head, with even pressure distributed throughout, but without any uncomfortable tight spots. The top of the helmet’s eye port should sit just above your eyebrows. 

As you wear it, you’ll notice a reduction in ambient noise and a sense of enclosure. This feeling of being “cocooned” can be reassuring for many, knowing that they’re shielded from potential hazards.

Does it Feel Good to Wear a Full-Sized Motorcycle Helmet?

Full-sized or full-face helmets, while offering the utmost protection, do come with a distinct feel. 

The comprehensive coverage can initially feel a tad claustrophobic to some, especially those transitioning from open-face or half helmets. However, many riders grow to appreciate the serene environment it offers, shielding them from wind blast, noise, and debris.

Over time, as riders get accustomed to the sensation, the benefits of enhanced safety and comfort usually outweigh any initial reservations.

Is it Hot to Wear a Full-Face Motorbike Helmet?

close-up image of a motorcycle rider wearing a helmet

Full-face helmets, due to their comprehensive coverage, can feel warmer than their open-face counterparts. However, advancements in helmet design have led to improved ventilation systems.

Modern full-face helmets come equipped with multiple vents that channel fresh air in and expel hot air out, creating a cooling effect. While they might feel a bit warm when stationary, especially in hot weather, the airflow while riding usually keeps the rider reasonably comfortable.

Do Motorcycle Helmets Get Sweaty?

Yes, especially during warmer days or intense rides, helmets can get sweaty inside. However, modern helmets are designed with this in mind. They often feature moisture-wicking liners that pull sweat away from the skin, keeping you relatively dry.

Additionally, advanced ventilation systems allow for airflow, helping to evaporate sweat and keep the rider cool. For those who ride in particularly hot climates, it might be worth investing in helmets with superior ventilation or removable and washable liners.

Do Motorcycle Helmets Block Sound?

Image of several bikers riding motorcycles- each controlling the space around them

Helmets are designed to reduce certain types of noise, primarily wind noise. A good helmet can significantly cut down on the roar of the wind rushing past, offering a quieter ride.

However, they won’t block out essential sounds like sirens, horns, or the engine’s roar. Some riders, especially those on longer rides or high-speed journeys, opt to wear earplugs to further reduce noise levels, ensuring they can still hear crucial sounds while protecting their hearing.

Do Motorcycle Helmets Loosen Up?

nearly grayscale image of a man riding a motorcycle down a highway

Over time and with regular use, the interior padding of a helmet can compress slightly, leading to a looser fit. This is a natural process as the materials conform to the shape of the rider’s head.

However, a helmet should never become too loose. If it starts to shift or rotate easily while on your head, it’s a sign that you might need a replacement or at least new interior padding. Regularly checking the fit and ensuring it remains snug is crucial for safety.

Is it Hard to Breathe in a Motorcycle Helmet?

For the uninitiated, the notion of a full-face helmet might conjure up concerns about breathability. However, modern helmet designs prioritize the rider’s comfort and safety.

  • Ventilation Systems: Most helmets come equipped with a series of vents, especially around the mouth and nose area. These allow for a steady flow of air, ensuring that the rider can breathe comfortably.
  • Anti-Fogging Features: To combat the issue of visors fogging up due to breath, many helmets have anti-fog treatments or pin-lock systems. This ensures clear vision without compromising breathability.
  • Adjustable Features: Some helmets have adjustable chin curtains or breath guards, allowing riders to customize the airflow based on their comfort.

While it might take a ride or two to get accustomed, most riders find that breathing in a full-face helmet is no more challenging than in any other type.

What is the Most Comfortable Motorcycle Helmet?

close up image of an open visor helmet

Comfort is subjective and can vary from rider to rider. For this reason, it’s a good idea to know exactly what to look in terms of comfort for when choosing the right helmet.

Four Common Factors to Consider for Helmet Comfort

1. Fit 

A helmet that fits well, neither too tight nor too loose, is paramount. It should hug the head without causing pressure points.

2. Lining and Padding 

Helmets with plush, moisture-wicking liners tend to be more comfortable, especially on longer rides. Some helmets even offer customizable padding systems for a tailored fit.

3. Weight

Lighter helmets reduce strain on the neck and shoulders, enhancing comfort during extended rides.

4. Ventilation

A well-ventilated helmet can make a world of difference, especially in warmer climates.

Brands like Shoei, Arai, and Schuberth often receive high marks for comfort, but it’s always a good idea to try on several models to determine the best fit for your unique head shape and preferences.

What Do You Do with Old Motorcycle Helmets?

Image of an old motorcycle helmet that should not be worn

Once a helmet has reached the end of its life, whether due to age, wear, or an accident, it’s essential to retire it responsibly. Here are four solid suggestions:

  1. Recycle: Some areas offer recycling programs for helmets. The outer shell, EPS liner, and other components can sometimes be processed separately.
  2. Donate: Some organizations accept old helmets for display, educational, or artistic purposes. They might use them in crash demonstrations or for art projects.
  3. Repurpose: Get creative! Turn your old helmet into a planter, lamp, or any other DIY project.
  4. Dispose: If you can’t find a recycling or donation option, ensure you dispose of your helmet properly. It’s a good idea to cut the straps off to ensure it doesn’t get reused unsafely.

Remember, an old helmet should never be sold or given away for riding purposes. Its protective capabilities are likely compromised, and it could be dangerous for a new rider.

Should You Customize a Motorcycle Helmet with Bluetooth Audio and Accessories?

motorcycle helmet with a set of bull horns attached to the sides

It’s essential to avoid any alterations that might compromise the helmet’s structural integrity, such as drilling holes. Instead, opt for accessories specifically designed for motorcycle helmets. In the world of biking, safety and functionality should always ride hand in hand.

Customizing a motorcycle helmet with Bluetooth audio and other accessories has become increasingly popular among riders, and it’s easy to see why. Bluetooth systems have revolutionized on-road communication, allowing riders to seamlessly connect with fellow bikers. 

This is especially beneficial during group rides, where coordination and communication can enhance the overall experience. Beyond just chatting, these systems provide the added advantage of real-time navigation instructions, eliminating the need to frequently stop and check maps.

Beyond Practical Application: More Benefits of Helmet Customization

Of course, we can’t forget to mention the entertainment value.

Long rides can sometimes become monotonous, but with Bluetooth audio, you can immerse yourself in your favorite tunes, podcasts, or audiobooks, making the journey as enjoyable as the destination. This fusion of technology and riding brings a modern twist to the age-old thrill of motorcycling.

However, while the allure of customization is strong, safety should always be at the forefront of any modifications. If you choose to customize your helmet, you should be cautious to ensure that your enhancements don’t undermine the helmet’s primary function: protection.

In Conclusion

image of a motorcycle crash scene with a helmet

Motorcycle helmets are a rider’s best friend, offering protection and enhancing the overall riding experience. Remember, safety first! And if you ever find yourself injured in an accident, don’t hesitate. Contact The Biker Lawyers for expert guidance and support.

Motorcycles Vs Cars: Which is Deadlier?

Motorcycles Vs Cars: Which is Deadlier?

How much more likely are you to die on a motorcycle than in a car?

Nowadays, motorcycles have become a popular mode of transportation. Most riders use motorcycles for daily commutes, but riding a motorcycle is also a great passion hobby. Unfortunately, sometimes our passions come at a cost.

Motorcycle Versus Car Fatalities

Technology upgrades have made motorcycles more advanced and powerful. Despite being equipped with several ride-safety features, motorcycles are more prone to accidents than cars. Many accidents on motorcycles are the kind the rider doesn’t walk away from.

Read on to learn how much more likely you are to die on a motorcycle than on a car.

Table of Contents

1. How Much More Likely Are You to Die on a Motorcycle than in a Car?
1.1 Lack of Cabin/Enclosed Space
1.2 Lack of Seatbelts
1.3 Lack of Airbags
1.4 Less Stable
1.5 Difficult to control at high speeds
1.6 Less Visible on the Road
2. Motorcycle Accidents Statistics
3. How to be safe and avoid accidents while riding a motorcycle
4. Advantages of Motorcycles over Cars
5. Conclusion

1.    How Much More Likely Are You to Die on a Motorcycle than in a Car?

Image of a motorcycle crashed into the back of a car

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), per mile traveled, motorcyclists are about 28 times more likely to die in a traffic crash than people in passenger cars.

Although motorcycles account for only a small fraction of total vehicle miles in the U.S., they make up a disproportionately high number of traffic fatalities. This stark difference is largely due to the lack of physical protection that a motorcycle offers compared to a car.

Motorcyclists are directly exposed to the force of impact in the event of a collision, unlike car drivers who have seatbelts, airbags, and the car’s chassis to absorb some of the impact.

Even a minor mistake, either by the motorcyclist or by other drivers, can have severe consequences when on a motorcycle. Factors such as speed, lack of helmet use, and alcohol impairment further increase the risk of fatal crashes for motorcyclists. Therefore, it’s critical for motorcyclists to follow all safety regulations and remain alert on the road to mitigate these risks.

Image of a crashed motorcycle on the side of a road

Let’s break down the facts behind motorcycle versus car fatalities.

1.1 Lack of Cabin/Enclosed Space

Motorcycles do not have enclosed spaces or cabins to cover riders. The enclosed frames in cars provide extra protection to drivers and passengers and take the most impact in case of an accident. Due to the lack of enclosed space in motorcycles, they are not safe to ride in the rain or windy weather.

1.2 Lack of Seatbelts

Motorcycles do not have a seatbelt which makes them less safe than cars. In most motorcycle crashes, motorcyclists are usually thrown off over the handlebars due to the inertia and lack of seatbelt. The same thing can happen to a rider if he/she applies brakes forcefully to stop the motorcycle.

1.3 Lack of Airbags

The first motorcycle to install a standard airbag on a motorcycle was the Honda Gold Wing. Other than the Gold Wing, most motorcycles do not have airbags installed standard (however, Other motorcycles that offer optional airbag systems include the BMW K 1600 GT and Valkyrie).

Airbags can save lives as they avoid severe injuries during an accident. For this reason, some vests for bikers come equipped with airbags that deploy in the event of a crash. These can range in price from around $130 USD to $800 USD.

1.4 Less Stable

Unlike cars, motorcycles are difficult to balance while riding as they have two wheels. If you are riding a motorcycle for the first time, the first challenge would be to balance it and ensure stability. Most beginner riders fail to keep a balance and lose control of their motorcycles while steering and turning corners.

1.5 Difficult to Control at High Speeds

Most motorcycle accidents occur due to speeding. Motorcycles become unstable at high speeds and there are higher chances you will lose control of it. Ride within your abilities, especially while cornering, swerving, and riding on busy roads to avoid accidents.

1.6 Less Visible on the Road

Motorcycles are smaller than cars, making them less visible to car drivers if they do not pay close attention while driving. Most motorcycle accidents occur because distracted drivers fail to notice motorcycles while turning.

Illustration of the concept of the lethal left where a car pulls in front of an oncoming motorcycle

2. Motorcycle Accidents Statistics

A study by the Insurance Information Institute (III) states:

  • In 2020, more than 5,500 motorcycle riders lost their lives.
  • In 2020, almost 83,000 riders got injured.
  • Motorcycle riders are six times more likely to suffer from serious injuries than car drivers and passengers.

Image of a crashed red motorcycle

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

  • In 2020, the percentage of impaired riders who died in motorcycle accidents was higher than car drivers.
  • Motorcycle riders are about 28 times more likely to die in a motorcycle accident than car drivers and passengers.

3. How To Be Safe and Avoid Accidents While Riding a Motorcycle

There are several ways through which you can make your motorcycle riding experience safe and avoid accidents, including:

  • If you are a beginner, take a motorcycle riding course.
  • If you are an intermediate or expert-level rider, take a safety riding course.
  • Follow traffic laws.
  • Do not ride if you are under the influence.
  • Wear a DOT-approved helmet and safety riding gear (leather jacket, pants, and gloves)
  • Ride within your ability, and under control
  • If you are a beginner, only ride beginner-friendly motorcycles.
  • If you want to upgrade yourself from a beginner level, learn specialized riding skills, including leaning, hanging off, cornering, and swerving.
  • Keep your motorcycle maintained.
  • Inspect your motorcycle before you go for a ride.
  • Use side mirrors and turn signals to indicate your intentions before taking a turn
  • Only use full brakes in true panic situations, and when you do, use both front and rear brakes (and practice this type of stop at various speeds before ever needing to use it)
  • Make sure to gently press both front and rear brakes together to stop your motorcycle.
  • Keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you.
  • Do not go for a ride if you are stressed.
  • Ride defensively
  • Check carefully before riding through intersections.

It might be impossible to completely avoid motorcycle crashes. However, you can be safe and avoid severe injuries in a motorcycle accident by following the tips mentioned above. You can also seek help from a personal injury or motorcycle accident lawyer at The Biker Lawyers in the Midwest.

4. Advantages of Motorcycles over Cars

Image of two motorcycles driving towards sunset

Motorcycles are slightly less safe than cars, but they have certain advantages which make them a popular mode of transportation. These advantages include:

  • Riding a motorcycle provides several mental health benefits as it reduces the stress level and increases the dopamine level in your blood.
  • Motorcycles are smaller and take up less space than a car which makes them easy to park.
  • Unlike cars, motorcycles are better to beat heavy traffic and make way to save time.
  • They also consume less fuel than cars due to being lightweight.
  • They have better resale value than cars.
  • They’re arguably way more fun to drive than cars (and you look undeniably cooler).

5. Conclusion

Motorcycles are more prone to accidents than cars and motorcyclists are more likely to suffer severe injuries due to the lack of safety equipment, including airbags, enclosed spaces, and seatbelts. The statistics also reveal that motorcycle riders are 27 times more likely to die in an accident than drivers and passengers in cars.

Despite not being as safe as cars, motorcycles are still a popular mode of transportation and have several advantages over cars. They are smaller and lighter compared to cars, ensuring less fuel consumption, and ease in finding parking. To keep the first-aid kit with you on a motorcycle ride, you can install saddlebags available at Viking Bags.


Special thanks for this guest post by Viking Bags

If you’ve enjoyed this article about motorcycle vs car fatalities, click below to check out the previous article by Viking Bags:

Image of a lone motorcyclist riding his bike down an empty desert highway with a sign that says "Darling I like you but not so fast"

Photo Credits – Wild Triumph