Las Vegas is One of the Most Common U.S. Cities for Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents can occur anywhere—and they often prove devastating. Motorcycle riders have little protection from the road or from the vehicles around them. In an accident, many riders end up with catastrophic injuries, including spinal cord injury, broken bones, and severe road rash. Even with proper helmet use, victims can suffer traumatic brain injury.
Las Vegas is one of the most dangerous cities in the US for motorcycles. According to a 2017 study, Nevada ranks #1 in motorcycle accident fatalities. Many of those accidents occur in the Las Vegas area. In 2016, 49 motorcycle riders died in the Las Vegas area, up from 32 in 2015.
The Factors that Contribute to Las Vegas Motorcycle Accidents
Multiple factors can contribute to Las Vegas motorcycle accidents. These may include:
Las Vegas drivers are often in the city to cut loose and have some fun. As a result, they become more likely to engage in dangerous, risky behaviors that can lead to serious accidents: speeding, cutting between other vehicles, or even riding the center line. More accidents occur in younger riders riding sport bikes than in other drivers, which suggests that the risk-taking mentality may substantially increase the risk of accidents across the Las Vegas area.
Drunk driving has been on the rise in Nevada since 2012. Inebriated motorcycle riders may struggle to control their bikes or make impulsive driving decisions that prove difficult for other drivers to keep up with. Inebriated drivers of other vehicles might engage in riskier behaviors of their own, or might never notice the presence of a motorcycle.
Las Vegas certainly offers plenty of distractions. With flashing lights everywhere and things to look at on every corner, it can prove incredibly difficult to keep attention where it belongs: on the road. Unfortunately, accidents can occur in an instant. Drivers must keep track of their surroundings and keep their eyes on the road, especially when operating a smaller vehicle, like a motorcycle.
What Can You Do to Decrease Your Risks?
Motorcycle riders cannot avoid every potential accident, especially since they cannot control the other drivers around them. They can, however, take several steps to help reduce risks and keep themselves safer on the road.
1. Always wear appropriate protective gear.
Riders who do not wear a helmet, but who do suffer a serious crash, are 40% more likely to suffer serious head injury. Make sure that you not only have and wear a helmet, but that you take the time to get properly fitted so that you have a helmet that fits your specific needs. You may also want to consider protective gloves, a suit, or other gear that can help reduce your risk of road rash and other serious injury in an accident. While protective gear will not eliminate your risks entirely, it can keep you much safer in an accident.
2. Never drive inebriated.
You headed out with friends, planning to have “just one drink,” or perhaps “just a couple of drinks.” Unfortunately, your “couple of drinks” suddenly turned into more than intended.
Las Vegas has plenty of options that can provide you with a safe ride home, from taxis to Uber or Lyft. You can also walk many places in the city. You should never get on your motorcycle while inebriated. Driving drunk can decrease your reflexes, poorly influence your decision-making skills, and even interfere with your vision. Instead, leave your vehicle where it is and come back and get it the next day, once you have a chance to sober up. It may prove inconvenient in the moment, but an accident can cause far more damage and inconvenience.
3. Keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the controls.
Do not take your attention off the road while driving, no matter how tempting it might grow to look at your surroundings. When riding a motorcycle, you must pay attention to everything going on around you. You cannot guarantee that other drivers will look out for you, especially with the high risk of drunk drivers on Las Vegas roads.
Pay particular attention in heavy traffic, especially if you notice traffic slowing or you do not have adequate room around other vehicles. When possible, leave yourself room to maneuver so that you can get out of tight situations quickly if needed. Pay particular attention to any hazards that could increase your risk of an accident, including poor weather conditions, upcoming construction, or road hazards.
4. Always obey the laws of the road.
Riding a motorcycle can make it extremely tempting to ignore the rules of the road, especially if you get stuck in traffic. You can speed up faster than an ordinary vehicle. You can fit into tighter spaces. In fact, you can fit your vehicle down the center line between two larger vehicles, allowing you to slip through tight traffic.
Unfortunately, those behaviors can also quickly increase your risk of an accident.
Instead of courting danger, follow the rules of the road. Keep your motorcycle in its assigned lane and, when possible, stay near the middle of the lane. Follow the speed limit, even when you’re in a hurry. Follow posted street signs, including construction warnings. Simply following the rules of the road can help keep you and everyone else around you safer. While risk-taking may seem fun in the moment, it proves much less fun when an accident occurs.
5. Avoid other drivers behaving dangerously.
Drunk drivers can pose a substantial danger on the streets of Las Vegas. If you notice another vehicle moving erratically or the driver behaving dangerously in any way, avoid that vehicle. Pull off the road if needed, or take another route to reach your destination. Often, this simple step can substantially reduce your risk of suffering serious injuries in a severe accident.
If you do suffer injuries in a Las Vegas motorcycle accident, an attorney can help you understand and seek the compensation you deserve. Contact Gina Corena & Associates today at 702-680-1111 to learn more about your legal rights following an accident.