Bad Riders or Just Misunderstood?
Motorcyclists often have undeserved reputations as "outlaw types." However, the vast majority are upstanding, law-abiding citizens who must develop the exceptional precision and skill it takes to ride a motorcycle, and to simultaneously deal with other vehicles and road hazards. Motorcycle riders face particular road challenges that may lead to a lopsided number of fatalities and severe injuries.
Some dangers specific to motorcycles include:
- Vulnerability — Wet roads, uneven surfaces and debris can pose particular challenges to motorcycles. These conditions can cause comparatively worse damage in motorcycle crashes. A motorcycle’s smaller size can disguise it from other drivers, particularly those in trucks or SUVs who view the road from a higher elevation. When bikers are changing lanes or left turns, they can be even more unnoticeable
- Unsteadiness — Four-wheeled vehicles are generally more stable than two-wheeled vehicles. The front wheels of two-wheeled vehicles can wobble at high speeds, or when a biker is required to abruptly use his or her emergency brake or turn sharply to avoid contacting another vehicle
- Exposure — Motorcycles shield their drivers less than cars or trucks. This matters greatly in a crash with a road median or another vehicle. Helmets can certainly help prevent fatalities, but they do not fully compensate for the shielding provided by a closed vehicle.
In an Oklahoma motorcycle accident, you are subject to comparative negligence law. This means if your negligence — your lack of due care under the circumstances — is comparatively greater (more than 50%) than any other parties' that caused your accident, you may be precluded from receiving any compensation.
In 2011, nearly 25% of national fatalities involved bikers who were not properly trained or licensed, and thus less skilled. Motorcyclists can increase their understanding of the limitations of other vehicles and the limitations of their own, through training programs. Participation in training programs can help you can avoid tragic accidents and give you a leg-up to overcome the societal misperceptions about bikers you might otherwise face in court.
If you were injured in an Oklahoma motorcycle accident, contact The Barkett Law Firm in Tulsa for a free consultation.