Motorcycle Riding Season Is Upon Us; Be Careful
We are well into the middle of motorcycle riding season in Phoenix, and safety is paramount for every rider no matter their level of experience. With so many dangers out there for motorcycle riders, it can be stressful to run errands, go to work, or enjoy all that Mother Nature has to offer when you simply want to go for a relaxing ride.
A motorcycle accident on August 9 took the life of a 26-year-old man in Phoenix. The crash occurred at North 43rd and West Olive avenues around 10 a.m. and involved the motorcycle and a pickup truck. Police are still investigating the crash, but said that the motorcycle operator died from his injuries at the crash scene.
If you plan on taking your motorcycle out of the garage or out of storage for a quick ride, be sure to practice as many safety procedures as possible to ensure your safe return to your Phoenix home.
Arizona motorcycle accident statistics
Motorcycle accidents occur at any point of the day or night and most often without warning. The Arizona Department of Transportation provided the following motorcycle accident statistics:
- 2,317 motorcycle accidents happened in Arizona in 2020
- 1,810 people suffered injuries
- There were 161 fatalities in 2020 Arizona motorcycle accidents
- 13% of all accidents occurred in an urban area
- 1,309 crashes involved a collision with another vehicle
- 455 accidents involved a collision with a fixed object (a 56% increase in the last 4 years)
- 1,533 accidents occurred during the day
- 532 accidents involved a rider exceeding the speed limit
Even though motorcyclists are threatened by the weather, road debris, improper lighting, and other dangers; the biggest threat to them are other motorists no matter the time of day.
Protecting yourself while riding a motorcycle through Phoenix
Using your motorcycle as a main mode of transportation or as a weekend warrior does not mean you can relax when it comes to safety. No matter how often you ride the motorcycle, you should practice the strictest safety procedures possible to prevent being injured in an accident. Motorcycle safety includes the following:
- Avoid riding at night
- Wear bright, reflective clothing
- Wear a helmet and goggles
- Avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing
- Wear close-toed shoes
- Check the motorcycle for damage, broken parts, and other issues prior to each use
- Perform a tune up at least twice per year
- Avoid driving in the blind spots of cars, trucks, and SUVs
- Use turn signals, head lights, and other warning devices
- Avoid lane splitting at all costs
- Maintain speeds that are within posted limits
- Avoid riding during inclement weather
Above all else, do not trust other motorists. Even though drivers are taught to “look twice, save a life,” they rarely do. Motorcycles are difficult to see whether the road is wide open or there is a lot of congestion. Do not assume that other motorists can see you when you approach them. Do everything possible to make yourself visible to all motorists at all times.
Steps to take if injured in a Phoenix motorcycle accident
The days following a motorcycle crash are hectic and stressful. Whether you are sitting in a hospital bed recovering from surgery, or relaxing at home, you need to protect your rights as a motorcycle accident victim. The most important phone call you can make after dialing 911 is to a Phoenix motorcycle accident attorney.
You should also do the following after a motorcycle crash:
- Provide a statement to your motorcycle accident attorney about the crash
- Provide your attorney with as much evidence as possible from the crash (pictures, videos, contact information of witnesses)
- Give your attorney the contact information of your insurance company (do not speak to an adjuster without your attorney present)
- Avoid posting on social media about the crash
- When speaking to anyone about the accident, never mention you might have played a role in the crash or tell anyone you are ‘sorry’ that the accident happened
It is important that you only communicate with your motorcycle accident attorney about the crash and no one else. Your social media posts and words can be used to have your injuries questioned and the claim dismissed.
The statute of limitations to file a claim in Arizona
Arizona law provides you with two years from the date of the motorcycle accident to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. In some circumstances, the deadline to file a claim can be as short as 180 days, depending upon the circumstances of your particular crash. For this reason alone, it is in your best interest to speak to a Phoenix motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. If you miss the window to file a claim, you could lose out on the chance to recover compensation for your injuries.
There are exceptions to the two-year filing window where an extension can be granted. This is what is known as tolling the statute of limitations. If you or your loved one were incapacitated when the deadline passed, the statute of limitations can be tolled. The same goes for the age of the motorcycle accident victim. If you were riding with a minor child (under 18 at the time of the accident), the statute of limitations can be tolled to their 18th birthday. This means that the clock will not begin ticking until they reach the age of 18.
Were you injured in a motorcycle accident? Did you suffer the unthinkable loss of a loved one in a motorcycle crash? You deserve to be compensated for your injuries, missed time at work, or the funeral expenses of your loved one. Call the Phoenix motorcycle accident attorneys at Plattner Verderame, P.C., at 602-266-2002, or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation today. We maintain offices in Phoenix and Tempe to better serve our clients.
Nick is a member of the State Bar of Arizona, the Arizona Association for Justice (formerly the Arizona Trial Lawyers Association) and the American Association for Justice (AAJ). He currently serves on the AAJ’s Political Action Task Force and its Oversight Committee, and on the Board of Governors for Revitalization in Arizona.
Read more about Nick Verderame