Bad weather conditions can cause motorcycle accidents by impairing visibility and creating slick surfaces. Motorcyclists are especially vulnerable to hazards on the road. Motorcycle riders have very few safety protections and no steel structure encasing them if they are involved in an accident. Motorcyclists and their passengers are exposed to the dangers of bad weather conditions far more than those riding in a closed vehicle.
Nearly 5,000 motorcyclists were killed in crashes in 2018, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The causes of these crashes vary depending on the circumstances. Bad weather conditions can cause motorcycle accidents, especially in Indiana.
How Bad Weather Contributes to Motorcycle Accidents
Snow, ice, sleet, and rain can all make driving conditions hazardous on our roads. Any driver should take certain precautions when heading out in bad weather. When a driver’s unsafe or negligent actions make matters worse during a storm or blizzard, it can end in a devastating accident with serious injuries.
According to a 2018 report published by the Indiana University Public Policy Institute (IUPUI), many vehicle crashes in Indiana involving a motorcyclist and another driver could be blamed on an unsafe action taken by one of those drivers.
Some of these include:
- Going too fast (in bad weather conditions)
- Tailgating or following too closely
- Unsafe lane changes
- Improper passing
- Driver distraction
When a driver commits any of these actions during inclement weather conditions, the chances of causing an accident increase. The report goes on to say when an unsafe action was to blame for the accident, the driver of the other vehicle was at fault 58 percent of the time, while the motorcyclist was at fault 40 percent of the time.
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Safety Precautions for Riding in Bad Weather
Sometimes you cannot predict when a sudden storm will occur or when the snow starts to fall. However, motorcycle riders can take certain precautions to ensure they are as safe as possible before heading out on the road.
Practice Makes Perfect
Take the time to learn how to properly operate your motorcycle. Every bike handles differently, and it is critical you feel comfortable whether you are riding on a dirt road or a busy highway. Knowing how to handle your bike in various conditions, especially in dangerous weather or on slick roads, can prevent accidents from happening.
Before you ride, you will want to do a thorough safety check of your motorcycle, so your bike will perform at its best in bad weather. That means checking the tire pressure and tread depth and making sure the hand and foot brakes are working. Also, check all fluid levels and make sure the headlights and signal indicators are in proper working order.
You cannot always prevent an accident from happening, but knowing how to operate your motorcycle and keeping it in good working order can help, especially in bad weather conditions.
Recoverable Losses in a Motorcycle Accident
If you suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident with another vehicle and the accident was not your fault (or was brought on by bad weather conditions), you could be entitled to seek compensation. You may be eligible to recover both economic and non-economic damages based on the facts of your case.
This could include your past, current, and future medical expenses. You may require a lengthy hospital stay, multiple surgeries, and long-term rehabilitation. You may also be eligible for lost income due to missed work as a result of your injuries. Filing a personal injury claim and holding the at-fault driver accountable can help you recoup your damages and losses.
In addition, you could seek financial awards for your pain and suffering, mental anguish, and any scarring or disfigurement the accident caused.
Keep in mind that insurance adjusters are trained to try to get you to settle, and may offer you a low settlement amount. This is where hiring a personal injury attorney to represent you can help. They know how to negotiate with the insurance company and pursue the fair compensation you deserve.
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Contact the Lawyer Who Rides
At Sevenish Law Firm, P.C., you can work with an attorney who understands what you are going through. Randy Sevenish is a fellow rider who knows the joys and risks of riding. He can help by investigating your case, determining the value of your losses, filing a claim, and standing by your side if the case goes to trial.
Call (317) 636-7777 to speak to a member of our team today for a free consultation regarding your case.