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Motorcycle safety and fatalities
The number of motorcycle-related road traffic fatalities is on the rise, with motorcyclists accounting for 14.8 percent of all roadway deaths in 2012. Andrew Davick, partner in the Rochester, Minnesota law firm Meshbesher & Spence, recently spoke to radio station KROC-AM about the importance of motorcycle safety
Why are motorcycle fatalities higher in the summertime months? The warm weather brings motorcycles out, as riders take road trips to enjoy the nice summer air. As more motorcycles hit the roadways, it’s important for all drivers to be on the lookout for cyclists. Additionally, motorcyclists need to make sure they have the right coverage for the injuries they’re likely to sustain.
What type of coverage does a motorcycle owner need? The thing about motorcycles is that if an accident does occur, the injuries are going to be pretty significant. I advise people to make sure they have coverage adequate enough to cover medical bills in the event that an accident happens, including no-fault coverage, which is an option for motorcycle coverage. That will ensure you’ll be able to get that $20,000 in medical coverage or $20,000 in wage loss.
What about my auto coverage? Won’t it cover me if I’m on a motorcycle? No. Your automobile insurance won’t cover an accident if you’re operating a motorcycle when the accident occurs. You’ll have to turn to your motorcycle policy if you have it, and many motorcycle policies are sold at a 30/60 or 25/50 Uninsured Motorist Coverage. This means if you’re hit by an uninsured driver, you’ll be paying a portion of all of your medical bills relating to that accident.
What can a motorcyclist do to protect himself on the road? It isn’t as easy as people think. I can advise people to practice defensive driving, but it isn’t as easy as it is in an automobile. I have a client who was in a motorcycle accident a month ago. He was simply driving down the road when a car pulled directly in front of him. There wasn’t enough time for him to stop, so he hit him and suffered very serious injuries.
What can motorists do to make things safer for motorcyclists? The best thing drivers can do is be hyper-vigilant. It’s ultimately up to all of the drivers on the road to help keep motorcycle deaths down. Get off your cell phones. Don’t eat and drive. Try to avoid anything that distracts you as a driver. If you’re a motorcyclist, definitely stay off your cell phone while you’re on the road.
What should motorcyclists do to make sure they have adequate insurance? The first step is to make sure you have a separate insurance policy for your motorcycle. Review the coverages with your insurance agent and make sure everything is in place to protect you if you’re in an accident. If you’re driving a moped or a similar vehicle that doesn’t require a motorcycle license, you should make sure you have coverage for that on your homeowner’s insurance. You’ll likely have to add it on as a separate policy.
For more information on motorcycle safety and the laws surrounding motorcycle insurance, contact Meshbesher & Spence at 1-888-728-9866.
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