Every year, the roads of Arkansas are the site of many fatal motorcycle accidents, affecting not just individuals but entire communities. When a rider is injured in an accident, he or she has legal rights which must be protected. Family members of riders who are killed in motorcycle accidents may also have legal rights in a wrongful death claim.
The Arkansas Code has general provisions for rider safety in Title 27, Chapter 20. These include guidelines for number of passengers, lane use, headlight use, and handlebar height. These basic rules of the road are not, however, entirely sufficient to prevent fatal motorcycle accidents.
Features Which Save Lives
New motorcycle safety technologies are improving and expanding in ways that save lives. FairWarning reports that anti-lock braking is quickly becoming a standard feature of motorcycles. All new motorcycles sold in Europe must now include ABS. Japan, India and Brazil are all requiring ABS for motorcycles on a phased-in schedule. Despite support from NHTSA and other powerful advocates, ABS is not yet required in the United States. It is still a widely-available feature, however, and consumers are wise to access its protection. It is also interesting to note that both the California Highway Patrol and New York City Police Department require all motorcycles in their fleets to carry ABS.
Other intriguing safety options are in various stages of research and development. Airbag vests and jackets; safer helmets with GPS and backup cameras; LED and adaptive headlights; gloves with Bluetooth connectivity; system monitoring and diagnostic warnings; electronic stability control; and many other such innovations may soon become widely available to consumers. With so many options, it can be difficult to know what safety features are most important. Motorcycle buyers should carefully research all options and identify those which best suit their riding needs.
Of course, no amount of vehicle safety features can compensate for attentive, defensive driving behaviors. The best way to avoid injuries is to prevent a collision altogether. Follow these safety tips to ensure that your ride is as safe as possible:
- Make sure you and your motorcycle can be seen. Smaller vehicles can be more difficult for other drivers to see and avoid. Use your horn and headlight as necessary to make your presence known.
- Always keep your attention on the road. Navigation systems, entertainment systems, and the ever-present smart phones offer a host of distractions on a level which drivers have never before experienced. Such distractions are particularly dangerous when driving a motorcycle, as this requires greater physical control than driving a passenger vehicle.
- Never drive faster than is safe for present conditions. Motorcycles are especially susceptible to slippery roadways. Poor visibility, construction and school zones, and heavy traffic also require decreased speed in order to react to changing road conditions.
- Always wear a helmet. Data over many decades has consistently shown that motorcycle helmets save lives.
If you or a loved on has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you have legal rights which must be protected. Contact an experienced Jonesboro motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible.