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The Most Common Mistakes to Make on a Motorcycle

Wisconsin is one of the top destinations for motorcyclists in the Midwest. Although Wisconsin is one of the safer states to ride in, motorcycles are inherently dangerous, especially compared to other forms of transport.

Motorcycles offer no protection in an accident, often leading to severe injuries, costly medical bills, and long recovery times. Many accidents are caused by other drivers who fail to notice motorcyclists on the road.

Unfortunately, riders often face bias in insurance and legal cases, making it challenging to receive damages for their losses. If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, your first step is to contact a skilled Fox Cities motorcycle accident attorney at Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers.

Common Mistakes Made by Motorcyclists

Many motorists fall into bad habits behind the wheel. After spending thousands of hours in traffic, drivers can become less attentive to their surroundings. This puts motorcyclists at risk because they are more challenging to see on the road than cars or trucks.

Since they often face liability bias from insurance adjusters, motorcyclists must take every precaution on the road. It’s no longer enough to ride safely within the legal limits. Riders must operate under the assumption that other road users drive dangerously. Here are three common mistakes motorcyclists make:

  1. Not Wearing Appropriate Safety Gear

Wisconsin does not mandate the use of helmets for motorcyclists over 18. However, the Department of Transport (DOT) strongly recommends that riders wear a full-face helmet, heavy-duty protective clothing that leaves no skin exposed, motorcycle gloves, and ankle-high boots.

Even a fall at a moderate speed can cause life-changing injuries if you’re not wearing appropriate safety gear. According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigation in 2017, approximately 37% of riders killed in accidents could have survived if they had been wearing protective headgear.

Insurance companies often think that all motorcyclists are reckless. A lack of safety equipment may support this perception and influence the amount of compensation you’re offered after an accident.

  1. Assuming Motorists Check Their Blind Spots

Many drivers are programmed to check their side and rear mirrors before changing lanes. However, motorists often make routine maneuvers without scanning their blind spots for motorcycles.

Most beginner riders are taught to assume other road users cannot see them. This advice is crucial when overtaking or driving alongside other vehicles. Avoid staying in blind spots and be vigilant of signs that other cars are about to overtake or change lanes.

Another common mistake made by motorcyclists is lane snaking. Although it’s common to weave or filter between lanes of halted vehicles in traffic, lane splitting is illegal in Wisconsin. Even if another road user initiates contact with your motorcycle, you will likely be held responsible for the accident.

  1. Riding Next to Tailgaters

Tailgating is a common cause of road accidents and can lead to severe injuries for motorcyclists, even when they’re not at fault. Although you may not be guilty of tailgating, proving negligence against another driver can be difficult, especially when accounting for motorcycle bias.

A typical response to a tailgater is to increase speed to create distance. However, this can be dangerous and may cause you to make a traffic violation, which could harm your claim. Instead, use your brake lights and turn signals to communicate your intentions to adjust your lane position and allow the tailgater to pass safely.

Seek Experienced Legal Representation After an Accident

Motorcyclists face an unjust stereotype that they are risk takers responsible for any accident they’re involved in. This bias not only results in a presumption of liability among insurance adjusters, police, and a jury, but it can also lead to lowball settlement offers or denial of damages.

At Brian Hodgkiss Lawyers, our experience in motorcycle accident claims helps you build a strong, evidence-based claim, so you can recover the damages and expenses you deserve. We work on a contingency-fee basis, so you don’t pay until we earn you compensation. If your claim is denied or you receive an unfair settlement offer, we will fight to protect your rights in court. 

Contact us to schedule your no-risk free consultation and case review. This complimentary initial consultation allows us to discuss the circumstances of your motorcycle accident and answer questions you may have about pursuing a claim.   

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