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March 15, 2023
Clarke Speaks

The Most Common Causes of a Wilmington Motorcycle Accident

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There's something about the feeling of the wind in your hair and the freedom of the open road that comes with riding a motorcycle. As a motorcyclist, you understand the unique joys that come with riding, but you're also concerned about the increasing number of accidents that occur on the road. In Wilmington, motorcycle accidents are all too common, and they can have serious consequences.

As Wilmington motorcycle accident lawyers, we don't want to discourage anyone from enjoying the thrill of the ride, but we believe it's critical to take steps to stay safe on the road. In this blog post, we'll share some of Wilmington's most common causes of motorcycle accidents and offer tips to protect yourself when you take to the road.

If you’ve been in a Wilmington motorcycle accident, call (910) 341-7570 to schedule your FREE case review with our experienced legal team so we can assess your personal injury case. Who speaks for you? We do.

Wilmington Motorcycle Accidents

According to available data, motorcycle accidents in Wilmington are unfortunately not uncommon. Several recent incidents involving motorcycles resulted in injuries and even a fatality. A few of these accidents are shared below:

  • In July 2022, Wilmington saw a fatal accident involving a motorcycle on Market Street.
  • Another incident in December 2022 resulted in non-life-threatening injuries for the motorcyclist after colliding with a car on Shipyard Blvd.
  • Additionally, a driver was charged with DWI following an accident involving a motorcycle and pickup truck on N. Kerr Avenue and Morris Road in January 2023. The motorcyclist was seriously injured due to the driver’s negligence.

Next, let’s look at some common causes that contribute to motorcycle accidents, such as the accidents mentioned above.

Driver Negligence

One of Wilmington's most common causes of motorcycle accidents is driver negligence. This includes distracted drivers, speeding, or drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

When drivers fail to pay attention to their surroundings or follow traffic laws, they put everyone on the road at risk.

Poor Road Conditions

Another common cause of motorcycle accidents in Wilmington is poor road conditions. Potholes, uneven pavement, and debris in the road can all cause a motorcyclist to lose control and crash.

Riders must know their surroundings and adjust their speed accordingly when encountering less-than-ideal road conditions.

Lane Splitting

Lane splitting occurs when a motorcyclist rides between two lanes of traffic that are moving in the same direction. Lane splitting is not specifically outlawed in North Carolina, but it is also not explicitly legal. This means that there is no law that prohibits lane splitting, but it is still discouraged and can lead to inconsistent outcomes in court regarding accidents and injuries.

Motorcyclists must exercise caution and be aware of their surroundings if they choose to lane split. While it may seem like a convenient way to navigate through traffic, it can also be very dangerous if not done properly.

Inexperienced Riders

Inexperienced riders are also at risk for motorcycle accidents in Wilmington as they may not have the skills or knowledge needed to safely operate a motorcycle. Lack of training, overconfidence, and poor decision-making can contribute to accidents.

Inexperienced riders need to recognize their limitations and take the necessary steps to gain experience and training before hitting the road. This can include taking a motorcycle safety course, practicing in safe and controlled environments, and always wearing proper protective gear.

Lack of Protective Gear

Finally, a lack of protective gear can contribute to motorcycle accidents in Wilmington. Helmets, gloves, boots, and other protective gear can help prevent serious injuries if an accident does occur.

The importance of wearing a helmet cannot be overstated. A recent study showed that wearing a DOT-approved helmet reduces the risk of head injury by 69% and the risk of death by 42%.

Tips for Safe Motorcycle Riding

Be proactive and protective yourself when you take to the road by following these tips:

  1. Wear Protective Gear: Wear a helmet, gloves, and protective clothing while riding. This can help protect you from injuries in the event of an accident.
  2. Be Visible: Wear bright and reflective clothing so other drivers can see you on the road. Make sure that your motorcycle's lights are working correctly and are turned on at all times.
  3. Follow Traffic Rules: Obey traffic signals, signs, and speed limits. Avoid lane splitting and other dangerous maneuvers that can put you at risk.
  4. Stay Alert: Keep your eyes on the road and know your surroundings. Look out for other vehicles, pedestrians, and road hazards that could cause an accident.
  5. Avoid Distractions: Avoid distractions and put away cell phones and music players while riding.
  6. Maintain Your Bike: Regularly check your motorcycle to ensure it’s in good working order.
  7. Take a Motorcycle Safety Course: Consider taking a motorcycle safety course to learn valuable skills and techniques for riding safely on the road.
  8. Do Not Drink and Ride: According to the most recent statistics, motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes had higher percentages of alcohol impairment than drivers of any other motor vehicle type (27% for motorcycles, 23% for passenger cars, 19% for light trucks, and 3% for trucks).

What to Do If You’ve Been in a Motorcycle Accident?

If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident in North Carolina, there are several steps you need to take to protect your health and legal rights. Here's what we advise:

Seek medical attention

The first and most important step after a motorcycle accident is to seek medical attention. Even if you feel fine, getting checked out by a doctor is critical to ensure you have no underlying injuries that may not be immediately apparent.

Contact the police

Contact the police and report the accident. Having an official accident record, including a police report, can be beneficial when you file an insurance claim.

Gather information

Collect as much information as possible at the scene of the accident. This includes the name, contact information, and insurance information of the other driver(s) involved in the accident and any witnesses who may have seen what happened.

Take pictures

Take pictures of the accident scene, including any damage to your motorcycle, the other vehicle(s) involved, and any injuries you may have sustained. These photos can be valuable evidence if you need to file a claim.

Contact your insurance company

Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident. Your insurance company will guide you through the process of filing a claim.

Consult with a personal injury lawyer

Consult a Wilmington personal injury lawyer if you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident. A lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and guide you as you pursue compensation for your injuries.

Most personal injury attorneys offer free consultations and work on a contingency basis. This means they only get paid if you win your case. If you’re wondering if it’s worth getting a personal injury lawyer after an accident, read a blog we wrote here.

By taking the above steps, you can ensure you receive the medical care you need and protect your legal rights after a motorcycle accident. Don't hesitate to seek help and support during this challenging time.

North Carolina Motorcycle Safety Campaigns

In recognition of the rise in motorcycle accidents throughout the state, North Carolina has several motorcycle safety campaigns to promote awareness and reduce road accidents.

One such campaign is the NC Motorcycle Safety & Awareness Program, also known as LookTwiceNC. This program is taught for free to high schools and groups across the state, thanks to House Bill 200 and the CBA.

In addition, initiatives like BikeSafe NC and Watch For Me NC focus on motorcycle safety. The North Carolina Governor's Highway Safety Program also partners with other organizations to promote safety on popular routes like Tail of the Dragon.

Injured in a Motorcycle Accident in Wilmington? Call Speaks Law Firm to Schedule Your FREE Case Review

If you’ve suffered an injury in a Wilmington motorcycle accident, contact the North Carolina motorcycle accident attorneys at Speaks Law Firm. We help folks in the Wilmington, North Carolina community when they need it most.

Our firm is recognized by national organizations for our experience, professionalism, and results. We help good people injured in accidents recover fair compensation for their injuries. Who speaks for you? We do.

Call us today at (910) 341-7570 or complete our online form to schedule your FREE case review.

Copyright © 2024. Speaks Law Firm. All Rights Reserved.
The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
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