Few states offer the kind of pristine natural beauty that can be readily observed from Utah's network of highways and roads. Motorcycle enthusiasts travel from all over the country to visit Utah's national parks and experience everything else that a ride through the Beehive State has to offer.
But, with the high number of riders out enjoying the countryside, there is a serious risk of being involved in a motorcycle accident. Every motorist should be aware of a few safety essentials that can decrease the risk to themselves and others.
Many motorcycle accidents are caused by inattentive or distracted driving; the most common type of motorcycle accident involves another vehicle violating the rider's right-of-way, usually by pulling out in front of an oncoming motorcyclist at an intersection.
Drivers of passenger vehicles generally have a far wider range of distractions at their fingertips compared to motorcyclists: food and beverages, kids in the backseat, fidgeting with a GPS, audio system or cell phone. When a driver's mind is not focused on the road, especially at intersections, it is easy to miss the smaller visual profile presented by a motorcycle.
Still, not all motorcycle accidents are caused by the "other driver." Motorcycle experts cite two factors as the most common contributors to crashes: excessive speed and inexperience. Both factors play into the second most common type of motorcycle accident, failure to negotiate a curve. By taking any form of training class and slowing down by just a few miles per hour, riders can drastically reduce their odds of encountering disaster while taking a curve or of being involved in any type of crash.
The right equipment can also help avoid a crash or prevent serious injury. Wearing bright colors and reflective clothing helps other drivers see motorcyclists. Thick, high-quality jackets, boots, gloves and pants protect riders in an accident. And, of course, a DOT-approved helmet is a safety essential. Even though Utah does not have a universal helmet law, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that helmets save the lives of over 1,000 motorcyclists every year.
Most motorcycle accidents can be avoided; if motorcyclists are prepared to meet roadway dangers and other drivers stay on the lookout, the roads can be safer for everyone.
If you or a loved one has been injured while riding a motorcycle in Utah or Nevada, contact an attorney to ensure that the responsible motorists are held accountable and you receive the compensation you deserve.