Motorcycle Mishaps: Be Safe, Be Seen

How, despite being a smaller population than car drivers, do motorcycles account for a disproportionately high number of serious injury and fatal collision statistics each year? Motorcycles account for 1% of all road users, but they account for nearly 10% of all major accident reports each year. The straightforward answer is size. Motorcycles are one-third the width of a car, making them more difficult to be seen on the highway for both these operators. However, “Sorry mate, I didn’t see you!” is not an acceptable reason for colliding with a defenseless motorcyclist, and while it is the responsibility of other road users to be aware of everyone on the road, it is also the responsibility of motorcyclists to make themselves as noticeable as possible.

 This season, high-visibility is the new black…

While black leather is the typical motorcycle clothing of choice, it does nothing to improve a rider’s visibility, especially at night. High visibility jackets or belts may not be fashionable, and they can also make a significant difference in keeping you safe at all times.

Even on a bright day, riding with your dipped headlight on is the simplest way to make yourself visible to other drivers. Brightly colored equipment can also make a significant difference in whether or not a driver sees you in the mirror or at a junction. The bright yellow of a high-viz jacket, on the other hand, makes a difficult-to-see motorcyclist stand out. A high-vis jacket may be one of the most critical components of motorcycle clothing you ever invest there for the sake of just a few pounds.

But what if the worst-case scenario still occurs?

Even if you’ve taken every measure to protect your visibility on the road, the worst-case scenario is still possible. A split second of inattention or distraction can cause another road user to make a dangerous misjudgment, resulting in a road traffic accident. And without the protection of a steel cage, it is always the motorcyclist who suffers the most. Because of a motorcyclist’s security vulnerabilities, the wounds inflicted are frequently far more serious, and it is at this point that the services of an experienced expert injury solicitor can come in handy.

Specialist solicitors consider the specific elements of a motorcycle accident in detail than the average high street solicitor because they are used to dealing with major accident claims. They’ve seen a lot of cases where the main defense is, “I just didn’t see him/her.” This could be interpreted as an admission of guilt, but it is the motorcyclist’s solicitor’s responsibility to demonstrate that this is the situation and that their client did everything possible to make themselves visible to other road users. Because the only rules regulating motorcycle clothing are that a safety helmet must be worn to ride legally on UK roads, this can be a very grey area.

All else is open to interpretation, and there are no statutory requirements for motorcycle riders to wear bright motorcycle clothing, high-visibility jackets, or belts.

So, if you or a loved one has been involved in a major motorcycle accident, consult with a specialist solicitor who not only understands the law but has also dealt with similar cases. Their expert knowledge could mean the difference between the victims receiving the compensatory damages they deserve, regardless of what they were going to wear at the time of the accident.