Motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in a crash than those in other vehicles, based on recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The increased vulnerability of riders makes it all the more imperative for them to follow the best safety practices, such as wearing a helmet, abiding the speed limit and remaining sober.
Recently, a motorcycle accident in Spokane drove home this point, as it resulted in devastating personal injuries.
According to The Spokesman-Review, a motorcyclist narrowly survived a hit-and-run crash on Southeast Boulevard near 11th Avenue one recent Sunday evening. He was reportedly struck by a hit-and-run driver (as of this writing, police were still searching for the motorist). A local dentist happened upon the scene and took charge, grabbing his belt and that of a bystander and wrapping it tightly around the victim's wound, using it as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding from his artery. The motorcyclist was in shock while people around were described as "hysterical." The dentist later said it not only his medical background but his training as a Boy Scout that helped him remain calm and treat the patient.
Doctors later said if the dentist hadn't been there and acted as he did, the motorcyclist likely would have died. Instead, the motorcyclist, a retired U.S. Army veteran, father and volunteer at a local homeless shelter, suffered amputation of his leg.
But not every motorcyclist has the good fortune of someone with medical training happening on the scene. Motorcyclists are also especially prone to hit-and-run crashes, which can further delay emergency response. To minimize the risk of a Spokane motorcycle accident, operators are encouraged by Consumer Reports to do the following:
- Be wary of taking on more bike than you can handle. This is especially true if you're either taking up riding for the first time or the first time in a while. Many current models are smaller and more powerful than even just a decade or two ago. Find a bike that fits, one that you'll be easily able to handle.
- Take a riding safety course. It never hurts to hone your skills, especially if you're out of practice. Keep in mind vehicle technology is ever-changing, and driver distraction is more of a problem than ever before. Learning how to ride defensively could safe your life.
- Wear a helmet. It's an emotional topic for a lot of people, and generally, your decision won't affect whether you'll be able to collect damages if you're injured. But you can significantly minimize the damage you suffer when you wear one. Riders without a helmet are 40 percent more likely to suffer a deadly traumatic brain injury than those with, according to government research. States that have repealed helmet laws saw a 20-to-30-percent spike in the number of motorcycle accident deaths.
- Be mindful of bad weather. Other motorists have a responsibility to watch their speed and drive responsibly in inclement weather. However, they don't always do this, and bad weather can make it even tougher to see motorcyclists. Plus, those on two wheels may find a reduced margin of error if the road is slippery. Better not to take chances.
If you are injured in a Spokane motorcycle accident, we can help you explore your legal options and obtain the compensation you deserve.