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Outsized vulnerability: risks posed for Maryland motorcyclists

Roadways spanning Maryland are varied and often complex.

Residents know that, of course. Motorists often operate in traffic on transportation corridors that are as busy and frenetic as those anywhere else in the country.

In fact, multiple state freeways and interstate highways liberally mark Maryland’s landscape.

Coupled with the sheer pulse and constant flow of all that traffic is this tacked-on reality for drivers: They are often surrounded – and at speed – by vehicles of virtually every description. A snapshot image of a Maryland highway taken at any time can easily reveal a traffic mixture spanning everything from miniature passenger cars to mammoth-sized commercial vehicles.

And motorcycles.

The obvious and notable challenges that motorcyclists face

If you’re a Maryland motorcyclist, you sometimes feel vulnerable, right? Many bikers readily concede that they do, and for good reason.

For starters, they are comparatively unprotected. A legal overview addressing motorcycle safety and injury catalysts/outcomes notes obvious concerns linked with that. It states that, “Because of the lack of safety features or equipment, motorcyclists are more likely to suffer catastrophic injuries due to an accident.”

Motorcycle adherents well appreciate that. Consequently, bikers as a motoring demographic are comparatively well trained and strongly focused on safe driving behaviors.

It’s often the other guys who present the bigger concern. Although drivers in passenger vehicles and large conveyances offer up a litany of excuses to explain why they struck a motorcyclist, negligence is often the real culprit.

“By raising motorists’ awareness,” states a motorcycle accident report authored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “both drivers and riders will be safer sharing the road.”

Some relevant – and sobering – motorcycle crash/injury statistics

The NHTSA gets straight to the point concerning the subject matter cited in the above header. It notes this relevant to a recently measured year:

  • Nearly 5,000 motorcyclists killed in crashes (fatalities in the double digits on average every day of the year)
  • Material overrepresentation in fatal crashes (bikers comprising a mere 3% of motorists, but accounting for 14% of vehicle-linked deaths)
  • Death rate for motorcyclists a stunning 28 times higher than for passenger vehicle occupants

What legal recourse does a motorcycle accident victim have?

Motorcycle crash victims (drivers and passengers) should know that they can respond strongly to third-party negligence by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Doing so can promote many key objectives, ranging from the importance of fostering personal empowerment to assigning accountability to wrongdoers.

And there is this, too: A legal recovery may secure maximum compensation that can be applied toward medical expenses, lost wages, any required rehabilitation/therapy, as well as a host of other broad-based needs.

Motorcyclists are full-fledged roadway participants, with the same entitlements that are extended to other drivers.

They should not hesitate to exercise their rights when necessary.