Our Attorneys Advocate For Motorcycle Safety
We stand up for injured bikers, demand compensation and justice
Motorcycle riders are some of the most vulnerable people on Oklahoma roads. That's why, by and large, they're so conscious of safety. They realize they need to follow the rules of the road and take precautions to stay safe.
Despite the stereotype of bikers as irresponsible thrill-seekers, the Oklahoma lawyers at Lawter & Associates, PLLC know that most are safe and responsible operators who want to share the road appropriately. It’s other drivers who often cause motorcycle accidents. We know this because we've been working with injured motorcyclists in Oklahoma for more than 40 years.
What can motorcyclists do to stay safe?
Motorcyclists have a responsibility to prevent motorcycle accidents. It’s the reason why many motorcyclists take motorcycle safety courses in Oklahoma as part of the motorcycle endorsement process (obtaining a motorcycle driver’s license) in Oklahoma.
Bikers can stay safe on the road by doing the following:
- Wear safety equipment. That includes helmets, goggles, ear protection and heavy clothing such as leather or denim, which can prevent road rash.
- Keep your bike well-maintained. Check the tires, brakes, fluids, lights and other important systems every time you ride.
- Don't split lanes. It's the law, and it's also important for safety. A motorcycle is a vehicle and should occupy a full lane, just like a car.
- Be careful around parked cars. "Doorings" are one of the more common causes of serious injuries in motorcycle accidents. Give yourself plenty of space.
- Stay awake and alert. If you're tired, pull over at a rest stop to take a break. Likewise, don't ride when you're distracted or under the influence.
What can drivers do to avoid a motorcycle crash?
Drivers have a responsibility to avoid causing a collision with motorcyclists, especially since bikers have much less protection that motorists. Here are some ways motorists can drive safely around bikers:
- Avoid distracted driving. Motorcycle riders are often victims of distracted driving accidents because their smaller vehicles are easy for drivers to overlook.
- Check twice at intersections. Many motorcycle accidents involve a car turning left in front of the motorcycle. Remember, you need to yield to an oncoming bike just as you'd yield to an oncoming car.
- Don't trust the turn signal. Unlike most cars, many motorcycles do not have self-canceling turn signals. Don't assume a biker is going to turn until you see the bike actually move into the turn.
- Maintain a safe following distance. Motorcycles have a much shorter stopping distance than cars, and they often need to slow down or change position in a lane. Leave plenty of space to avoid rear-ending a bike.
- Check your blind spots. Because motorcycles are much smaller than cars, it's very easy for a bike to slip into your blind spots. Double-check before changing lanes.
- Be alert on sunny days. There are more motorcycles on the road, generally speaking, in good weather. Be aware of this and adjust accordingly.
Are motorcycle helmets required in Oklahoma?
Title 47 O.S § 12-609 states that no person under 18 shall operate or ride a motorcycle unless they're properly wearing a crash helmet of a type which complies with standards established by 49 C.F.R., Section 571.218.
Click here to download a printable version.
In our experience, when there's a collision between a car and a motorcycle, it's usually the driver of the car who was at fault - and it's usually the motorcyclist who sustains serious injuries. However, convincing insurance companies this is what happened can often be very challenging.
That's why it's so important to contact an experienced attorney who knows how to overcome jury biases, negotiate with insurance companies and get fair compensation for injured bikers. If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident in Oklahoma, we can help. Call Lawter & Associates, PLLC today to schedule your free consultation.