Driving brings with it many dangers. Weather, construction, and road conditions add to the unknown and unfamiliar factors often involved in Las Vegas traffic accidents. But the most prevalent factor contributing to vehicular accidents is drivers — people.
According to the Nevada Highway Patrol Southern Command, which includes Las Vegas, in 2019, officers responded to 65 fatal traffic crashes resulting in 70 deaths. The NHP also reports that the causes of deadly crashes tend to be evenly split between speed, impairment, and not using the seatbelt. Each of these “causes” is person specific—the person controlling the vehicle controlled the cause of the crash.
You can do little to nothing to affect another driver’s behavior when operating a vehicle. You only control your preparation and reactions to events around you. This warning is valid for all drivers. But it is especially so for motorcyclists.
The Need for Vigilance When Riding a Motorcycle
Riding a motorcycle presents certain risks. Because motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to die in traffic crashes, riders must train themselves to be more aware of their fellow travelers than fellow travelers may be of motorcycle riders. Some common causes of Las Vegas traffic accidents involving other drivers include:
- Sudden Lane Changes: When car drivers change lanes without seeing the motorcycle occupying that lane.
- Opening a Car Door into a Traffic Lane: When car drivers do not check their rearview mirrors before exiting the vehicle.
- Left Turns: When car drivers turn left in front of oncoming traffic and fail to see a motorcycle approaching.
- Breaking Traffic Laws: When car drivers speed, drive recklessly or violate other traffic laws endangering other drivers.
Although a motorcyclist cannot read the minds of other drivers, there are safety measures they can take to help them anticipate what other drivers might do.
Understand Nevada Motorcycle Laws
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) publishes a manual of vital information for all motorcycle riders. Motorcyclists:
- Must wear helmets in Nevada
- May not pass or ride next to another vehicle in the same lane
- May ride two abreast but staggering your bikes is safer
- Must outfit their motorcyclists with all proper equipment
- And more
Steering a motorcycle is more involved than driving a car. Motorcycling requires balance, awareness, and knowing where you are relative to other vehicles on the roadway.
A motorcycle responds faster than a car but is also more susceptible to outside forces, like road conditions or wind. A bike has a narrower profile than a car and can be less visible to other drivers.
Being more exposed to other traffic and the elements makes it imperative that motorcyclists thoroughly know their machines and Nevada motorcycle laws.
Mistakes Motorcyclists Make That Can Cause Accidents
Although the driver of the passenger vehicle causes the majority of collisions involving a motorcycle and a passenger vehicle, that is little consolation when the motorcyclist is seriously injured. Avoiding collisions can often be accomplished by motorcyclists by eliminating these mistakes:
- Inexperience: Know your bike and practice riding it in familiar settings. Only by gaining experience riding your machine will you gain the confidence necessary to react quickly and wisely to emergencies on the road.
- Careless Driving: Hotshot riders make hot messes on roadways. Driving erratically or too fast are recipes for disaster.
- Proper Maintenance: Riding a well-maintained machine enhances the experience and reduces stress. Regular motorcycle maintenance isn’t just about keeping an engine running smoothly. It’s also about safety.
- And more
Always check your motorcycle manual first for a recommended maintenance schedule.
What Motorcyclists Can Do to Avoid Crashes
A significant way motorcycle riders can help avoid collisions is by not using alcohol or drugs when riding. In 2017, when almost 5,000 motorcycle riders died in crashes, 28 percent were alcohol-impaired. Motorcyclists will also help evade collision by practicing some simple defensive driving practices, such as:
- Be aware of your surroundings: Know where all other vehicles close to you are located. Stay in the safest lane on a multi-laned road and be mindful of traffic that might merge from your right.
- Anticipate: Pay close attention to the movement of cars ahead of you. Anticipating means predicting and imagining what might go wrong in any upcoming situation and planning your reaction ahead of time.
- Be confident but not aggressive: Don’t assume other drivers know what they are doing. Drive as if everyone else is an idiot or impaired.
- Wear protective gear: Beyond the required helmet, dress in an outfit that covers your body, including boots and gloves.
- And more
By practicing defensive driving skills, by knowing Nevada motorcycle laws, by understanding the mistakes you should avoid not to be involved in a motorcycle accident in Las Vegas, you can enjoy the thrill of riding and reap the many benefits of riding, such as:
- An improved and positive outlook from releasing endorphins, those “feel good” hormones.
- Increased cognitive function by as much as 50%.
- Developing core and neck strength.
- And more
Call or Click Today
For more information about The Schnitzer Law Firm, go to https://theschnitzerlawfirm.com/ or call (702) 960-4050. We hope you never have a motorcycle accident in Las Vegas. But if you do, call for a FREE consultation to see what we’ll do for you.