So called “blind spots” can be very dangerous when changing lanes in a car. They are usually deadly when changing lanes in a motorcycle. Riders on cruisers, who usually wear open helmets (or none at all) can’t hear a vehicle in the lane next to them because of the surrounding noise. Similarly, those who ride sport bikes while wearing closed helmets can’t hear most noises (specially if they’re listening to music from an Ipod or similar device) and on top, their lateral visibility is blocked by the helmet. These are factors that may contribute to crashes that happen when riders change lanes without noticing a vehicle in their blind spots. Therefore, we all (drivers and specially riders) need to turn our heads and make sure there are no vehicles in those spots before attempting to change lanes.
New Technology to the Rescue
Finally, new safety technology that is being made available for cars, may soon be made available for bikes. A recent B.B.C. article, talks about new safety technology that would not only alert riders of vehicles in their blind spots, but can also warn them when they are traveling to fast before they reach an upcoming curve.
Bikes Can be Dangerous
A 10 year (1998-2008) statistical analysis by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (N.H.T.S.A.), shows that 5290 motorcyclists were killed and 96,000 were injured in traffic accidents during 2008. This report also shows that while motorcycles accounted for nearly 3 percent of all registered vehicles in the United States in 2007, they added only 0.4 percent to all the vehicle miles traveled in the country. However, the report states, motorcyclists were 37 times more likely than car occupants to get killed per vehicle mile traveled. Similarly, they were 9 times more likely to get injured in a traffic accident than those traveling in cars.
Such statistics are what make these new safety features so important. While some of the features will be part of the bikes themselves, others will be contained within the motorcyclists’ helmets.
Very Important to Wear a Helmet
According to the N.H.T.S.A. report above, helmets saved the lives of 1829 riders during 2008. It similarly states that another 823 lives may have been saved if all riders had been wearing helmets. No doubt that wearing a helmet is important. And, I would add, wearing a helmet with the new technology described in the B.B.C. article would be of paramount importance. Think about it, how much safer would it be to wear a helmet that not only protects the rider when a crash occurs but that, additionally, may all together prevent the accident from happening by letting the rider know that there is a vehicle within his or her blind spot or that they are approaching an upcoming curve too fast…
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, we urge you to contact a law firm with experience handling motorcycle accident cases. The Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at the Law Offices of Greenberg Stone and Urbano have handled many of these cases throughout more than 60 years of combined experience and can assist you in recovering the financial compensation you may be owed. Please visit our website to learn more about our firm and contact us today.