As any resident of the state knows, motorcycles are popular in Nevada. They save their riders money on gas and provide a fun way of touring the vast wild expanses of the state. However, according to the Nevada Department of Transportation, 1 out of every 5 traffic fatalities in Nevada in 2015 was a motorcyclist. In fact, motorcyclists are 27 times more likely than automobile drivers to die in crashes. Over the course of five years (2011-2015), 238 motorcyclists died in the state of Nevada, and 968 more were seriously injured.
Because of motorcyclists' vulnerability and exposure to outside forces, injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents are generally much more severe. Moreover, even minor accidents can have catastrophic consequences under certain conditions. Injuries most commonly associated with motorcycle accidents include broken bones, abrasions or “road rash,” traumatic brain injuries, disfigurement, and neck or spinal injuries.
Most motorcycle fatalities result from crashes between motorcycles and automobiles or trucks. Certain factors or situations can contribute to this kind of accident, including
- A car or truck driver turning left or making a U-turn onto a road without checking specifically for motorcycles, which can be less visible
- Vehicle drivers failing to check their blind spots thoroughly before merging
- Drivers misjudging the speed of motorcyclists
- Drivers using high powered headlights at night, which can blind motorcyclists
Motorcyclists are also more severely affected by debris or obstacles in the road such as oil spills, gravel, and potholes. They are more likely to lose control of their vehicle when they hit such objects.
Laws and Safety Tips for Nevada Motorcyclists
In addition to increased awareness of motorcyclists on the road by car and truck drivers, there are a few things that riders can do to protect themselves. Some laws are already in place to monitor motorcycles and to increase their safety. For example, since 1972 motorcyclists have been required to wear helmets in the state of Nevada. Furthermore, unlike some other states, in Nevada, motorcyclists must obtain a special “Class M” driver's license to add to their standard ones. To do this, motorcyclists can enroll in a state-approved course or pass both a written and skills test at the DMV.
In addition to these and other regulations, it is best practice for motorcyclists to
- Never operate a motorcycle under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Follow all traffic laws that apply to other motor vehicles
- Consider wearing protective gear such as leather jackets, protective boots, and reinforced long pants
- Obey the speed limit; going significantly faster than the flow of traffic greatly increases your chance of accident and injury
Las Vegas Attorney for Motorcycle Accident Victims
If you have been injured or a loved one has died in a motorcycle accident, no monetary compensation will truly relieve your suffering; however, financial support can help you through a difficult time by allowing you to support yourself and your dependents while you heal. To explore your legal options, call attorney David Jacks, a Las Vegas native with extensive experience in personal injury law. Contact The Jacks Law Group online today or call us at (702) 834-6300.