are not protected from injury like people in a car are. No matter how many safety precautions are taken, or how much investment a bike owner makes in protective wear, people on motorcycles are several times more likely to be injured, or killed, in an accident than are people in a car accident.
New York, N.Y. (PRWEB) July 13, 2009
Summer has arrived on Long Island, and according to the New York personal injury law firm of Rappaport, Glass, Greene and Levine, the incidents of motorcycle accident injuries is already on the rise and will get worse as a result of the ritual exodus by train, bus, car and, motorcycle by the hundreds-of-thousands of people who flock each day to any one of the island's many tranquil beaches and seaside towns, turning its already densely populated north and south shores into one of the 25 most congested tourist destinations in the country.
Along with this mass influx of city-dwellers who flood the bridges, tunnels, parkways, expressways, and even quiet country roads in route to sun, sand, surf and summer houses, comes a strong warning from Michael Levine, a firm partner and its lead motorcycle accident lawyer, who stresses the need for riders to avoid risky behaviors such as speeding and drinking and driving at all times, but especially during the summer months, when drivers of bigger four wheel vehicles tend to be more aggressive in heavy traffic and less willing to share the right of way with motorcyclists.
Levine recommends that if bikers are involved in an accident, they follow these important steps:
- Always make sure the police are involved; make sure you tell them if you saw the other driver on a cell phone; and make sure the police record your description of the accident.
- If possible, take numerous photos of the scene and the car(s) involved in the accident, paying particular attention to documenting the position of the car(s) in the roadway. If taking pictures is impossible, draw a diagram.
- Always get the names and contact information of any witnesses.
- Contact your insurance company immediately and get a claim number assigned to you.
- Always seek medical attention first, before contacting a lawyer.
"Motorcycles are fun to drive for recreation," Levine said. "But because of the heavy traffic on Long Island in the summer, and higher gas prices, motorcycles have become an increasingly popular mode of transportation for residents and tourists alike."
As a result, Levine, a resident of Suffolk Country, L.I., said he always sees a sharp increase in the number of people riding motorcycles on the island right after Memorial Day.
"And, with the increase in bikers," he explained, "comes a frightening increase in the number of motorcycle accidents, especially during the months of July and August, when the beach and ocean temperatures really start to warm up and more people are out riding."
Levine, who is an avid motorcyclist himself and rides a Harley Davidson Road King, acknowledges that riding a motorcycle in heavy traffic puts the rider at a much higher risk of serious injury.
"People riding a motorcycle," Levine said, "are not protected from injury like people in a car are. No matter how many safety precautions are taken, or how much investment a bike owner makes in protective wear, people on motorcycles are several times more likely to be injured, or killed, in an accident than are people in a car accident."
According to safety experts, there has been a noted rise in motorcycle accidents, and deaths in the U.S. since 1998, after years of decline.
"This is particularly true of younger riders between the ages of 18-24," Levine explained. "Accident experts long have known that young adult motorcyclists make up the largest group of those who perish in accidents. Further, more than 95% of motorcyclist fatalities are male."
Levine said he also is very concerned by what he sees as a disturbing increase in the use of cell phones, and text messaging, by people behind the wheel of a car.
"I think one of the biggest dangers facing anyone on the road today is the use of cell phones, and text messaging, while driving," Levine exclaimed. "Drivers of four-wheel vehicles are more distracted then ever and pay a lot less attention to the road. This puts bikers at much greater risk of injury and death.
"I'm beginning to believe," he added, "that cell phone use and text messaging is a significant factor in many, many motorcycle accidents that involve cars."
While the increased use of cell phones and text messaging is a very dangerous, and growing trend, Levine said his biggest concern while riding his bike has always been cars that don't see him, and cars that make left turns in front of him.
"Bikers," he warned, "need to keep their hand on the brake when they see cars approaching from side streets or parking lots. They need to assume these drivers don't see them. Bikers also need to make their motorcycles as visible as possible, with extra lights and brake lights that pulse when the brake is applied."
Contact: Rich Jachetti, 914-318-4656