Arlington, MA Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Riding a motorcycle in Arlington can be an incredible adventure. However, some drivers do not pay attention to riders, which can lead to some of the most severe injuries one can experience.

Motorcycle accidents can be caused by other drivers in various ways. If you have been in an accident, we can help you seek legal action to cover your expenses. However, these cases can be difficult because motorcyclists are often unfairly blamed for causing accidents. This can have a significant impact on your case, especially since comparative negligence rules apply in the state. Nevertheless, we recognize that most motorcycle riders are not responsible for their injuries and are entitled to fair compensation.

Call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407 for a free review of your case with our motorcycle accident attorneys.

How to Avoid a Motorcycle Accident in Arlington, MA

As a motorcycle rider, it is crucial to prioritize safety and responsibility to minimize the risk of accidents. Defensive riding is an effective way to achieve this goal. Defensive riding involves being prepared, communicating well with other road users, and exercising caution at all times. It is essential to remain vigilant on the road since you cannot be sure that other drivers are aware of your presence.

By adopting a defensive riding style, you will be better equipped to anticipate and respond to potential hazards on the road, thereby reducing the risk of accidents and injuries. However, our motorcycle accident attorneys will be ready to help you if you are the victim of another driver’s negligence. The following recommendations are the best ways to avoid a devastating motorcycle accident in Arlington:

Be Visible

When it comes to accidents involving motorcycles, it is common for drivers of motor vehicles to attribute them to the rider’s lack of visibility. Compared to other vehicles on the road, motorcycles have a much smaller outline, making them harder to spot from both the front and rear. Even if a driver does see a motorcycle, it does not necessarily guarantee the rider’s safety.

Moreover, it is easy for drivers to misjudge the distance and speed of a rider because of the smaller size of motorcycles, which can appear farther away and slower than they actually are. To prevent such accidents, riders must take measures to increase their visibility to other drivers on the road.

Communicate Your Intentions

As a motorcycle rider, it is crucial to use signals to communicate your intentions to other road users. These signals are similar to those used by operators of motor vehicles, but they hold even greater significance since riders are more vulnerable.

In addition to electronic signals, riders should also be familiar with hand signals and incorporate them into their riding strategy. By doing so, they can ensure greater safety on the road and minimize the risk of accidents.

Keep Your Distance

Maintaining an adequate cushion of space between vehicles is of utmost importance for motorcycle riders. It is imperative to increase the distance between vehicles as it provides the rider with additional time to safely avoid any traffic hazard. Experienced riders are well aware that a larger cushion of space acts as the best protection against serious injuries or fatalities in case of a motor vehicle accident.

If the traffic and road conditions are unfavorable for the rider, then a larger cushion of space might be needed. For instance, in unfamiliar areas, heavily congested roads, or if the pavement is slippery, it is highly recommended that riders subscribe to a “four-second” (or more) distance rule. This extra cushion of distance can prove to be valuable and might even be necessary given the traffic conflict or hazard that the rider might face.

It is a common observation among many motorcycle riders that vehicles tend to travel too close behind. In such a tailgating situation, the rider should increase the stopping distance between the vehicles ahead to ensure that a proper space cushion exists in case of an emergency or traffic hazard. If the opportunity presents itself, the rider should change vehicle lanes, allowing the motorist’s vehicle to safely pass.

Scan Ahead

Riding a motorcycle can be a thrilling experience, but it also comes with its fair share of risks. Despite taking all necessary precautions, there is always a possibility that other motorists on the road might not see you, making it crucial to be a safe and responsible rider.

One of the key strategies for staying safe while riding is to adopt a defensive approach that involves constantly scanning the surroundings for potential hazards and taking proactive measures to avoid them. This includes maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles to create a buffer zone that allows for quick responses if necessary.

Additionally, it is essential to anticipate and plan ahead for any potential hazards that might arise, assessing factors such as the distance, speed, and direction of the hazard and formulating a strategy to safely navigate around it. A responsible rider also takes into account how their actions might impact other motorists and makes informed decisions accordingly. By being vigilant and proactive in this way, riders can significantly reduce the risk of serious injury or death in the event of an accident.

Helmet Laws for Motorcycle Riders in Arlington, MA

As a responsible motorcyclist in Arlington, wearing a helmet not only ensures your safety but is also legally required. Statistics show that wearing a helmet greatly reduces the risk of severe head injuries in the event of an accident.

If you happen to be involved in a motorcycle accident and were not wearing a helmet, it could be used against you as a defense, making you partially liable for the accident and reducing the compensation you receive. Therefore, it is crucial to always wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle to stay safe and avoid any legal complications.

In Arlington and throughout Massachusetts, a modified comparative negligence standard is set forth under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 231 § 85. Under this standard, if a rider’s negligence is greater than the combined negligence of all defendants, the rider is not entitled to recover damages.

However, if the rider’s negligence is 50% or less, they might still recover damages, but the amount awarded will be reduced proportionally to the percentage of negligence attributed to the rider. This means that riders must be cautious and take reasonable care while on the road to avoid accidents, as their own negligence could impact their ability to recover damages in the event of an accident.

Lane Splitting Laws for Motorcyclists in Arlington, MA

Lane splitting refers to the act of a motorcyclist riding between two lanes of traffic that are moving in the same direction. Although lane splitting is permitted in certain states in the United States, it is deemed illegal in Massachusetts under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 89 § 49A.

The ban on lane splitting in Massachusetts is because of safety concerns for both the motorcyclists and the other commuters on the road. Riding between lanes can be dangerous for motorcyclists as they are exposed to the risk of collisions with other vehicles, and it can also surprise other drivers who might not anticipate a motorcycle passing by between lanes.

Our Arlington, MA Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Can Help Protect Your Rights

For a free case analysis with our motorcycle accident lawyers, contact the Law Office of John J. Sheehan today at (617) 925-6407.