Summer riding season a dangerous time for Nevada motorcycle accidents

A Reno man has died from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident on Highway 20 near Sutter, the Appeal-Democrat reported.

The 54-year-old was riding with a passenger, westbound on Highway 20, when a 39-year-old motorist made a left turn in front of him, according to authorities. The motorcycle crashed into the side of the Chevy Tahoe, killing the biker. His 49-year-old passenger was transported to the hospital by medical helicopter.

The Tahoe driver could face manslaughter charges, depending on the outcome of the investigation. A 48-year-old rider was killed in a motorcycle accident at the same intersection last spring.

Nationwide, 5,290 riders were killed and more than 96,000 were injured in motorcycle accidents in 2008, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Fifty-nine riders were killed in Nevada motorcycle accidents, while California led the nation with 537 fatalities.

The summer months are the deadliest time of year for motorcycle accidents; the majority of serious and fatal riding accidents occur between Memorial Day and the end of September or shall we say, the end of the Street Vibrations motorcycle rally. This 16th annual event is the 6th largest in the nation and attracts motorcycle riders and enthusiasts by the tens of thousands to the Reno/Tahoe area.

The following information is adapted from the Motorcycle safety Foundation’s 10 things every car and truck driver should know about motorcycles:

  • Look for motorcycles: There are a lot more cars and trucks than motorcycles on the road and riders are easy to miss. Check carefully, especially at intersections.
  • Appearances can be deceiving: A motorcycle’s small size often makes it appear farther away than it is and can make judging speed difficult. Predict a motorcycle is closer than it appears, and, if in doubt, wait for it to pass.
  • Beware of blind spots: Motorcycles can be easily hidden by a vehicle’s blind spots or masked by outside obstacles, such as trees, vegetation, traffic or parked cars. Check thoroughly before proceeding.
  • Speed: Because of their small size, motorcycles often appear to be traveling fast. Don’t assume a motorcycle is speeding.
  • Brake lights: Riders often slow down by rolling out of the throttle — not by using the brake. So brake lights are a poor indication of a rider’s intentions. Allow extra room when following a motorcycle and predict that it may slow without warning.
  • Turn signals: Turn signals on motorcycles often do not shut off on their own. Don’t rely on a turn signal to determine a rider’s intentions.
  • No crowding: Motorcycles often adjust positions within a lane to obtain a better view of the road or to avoid small road defects that would not bother a passenger car. Motorcycles are entitled to their own lane. Do not crowd them.
  • Maneuverability: Is one of a motorcycle’s best characteristics. But don’t expect it to always be able to dodge out of the way.
  • Stopping distance: Motorcycles require about the same distance for stopping as cars — slippery roads can make stopping especially difficult. Allow more room when following a motorcycle and don’t assume it can always stop on a dime.
  • Vulnerability: View a motorcycle in motion as a person on the road. They are just as vulnerable.

Street Vibrations can be a fun, but dangerous time. If you or loved one is injured in a motorcycle accident, you need a personal injury attorney who will help you answer those 3 important questions: Who is fixing me? Who is fixing my bike? How do I get paid?

Call Joey Gilbert Law today for a free confidential consultation. Never a fee unless we win your case! (775) 574-4774. Se Habla Español.


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