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Category: Motorcycle Accidents

Lane Splitting is Prohibited in Alabama

Sep 28, 2018 - Motorcycle Accidents by

Motorcyclists often take advantage of lane splitting — moving between lanes — to avoid getting stuck in the sort of traffic that plagues larger vehicles.  During times of heavy traffic, it is not uncommon to see a motorcycle (or other two-wheeler) splitting lanes and weaving through the endless parade of stopping-starting vehicles. In Alabama — given its relatively warm weather year-round — motorcycles are a regular feature on roadways.  If you are a motorcyclist who has sustained injuries in an accident, then you may be entitled to damages under Alabama law.  It’s worth noting, however, that your ability to recover may be significantly impacted by your engagement in certain prohibited activities, such as lane splitting. Lane Splitting is Illegal It’s important to note that Alabama law prohibits lane splitting.  Motorcyclists may not lane split and are only entitled to do so in a sudden emergency.  As such, you should avoid the practice of lane splitting, even if you are used to doing so (particularly as other states may allow for lane splitting). What Happens if You’re Injured While Lane Splitting? If you’re injured in an accident that occurred while you were splitting two lanes, then your ability to sue and recover damages will almost certainly be affected.  In fact, Alabama is a pure contributory negligence state, which means that injured plaintiffs may not be entitled to compensation if they are partially at-fault for their injuries — if the court finds that your negligent actions (i.e., lane splitting) contributed even to […]

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Auto Blind Spot Monitors Provide Little Protection for Motorcyclists

Feb 12, 2016 - Motorcycle Accidents by

When buying a new vehicle, few consumers pay close attention to blind spots during the test drive. Of course, all cars have blind spots that often prevent drivers from being aware of other cars driving right next to them — or even unseen bicycles and pedestrians. Mirrors help reduce the problem to some extent, but in the interest of increased safety, some vehicle manufacturers now offer blind spot monitors. Our Tuscaloosa accident attorneys applaud the introduction of a device that provides electronic detection assistance to help reduce the blind spot issue. Still, drivers with these devices still need to use their eyes. Just as important, motorcyclists should feel no safer on the road. Many Blind Spot Detectors Sense Larger Vehicles Better than Smaller Ones Even if riders knew for certain that every vehicle sharing the road was equipped with a blind spot detection device, they still need to avoid riding in blind spots. RideApart, a portal that serves the power sports industry, cites AAA findings that show that the abilities of one device over another can vary widely. In addition to potentially having detection ranges that are too short to provide ample warning for any driver, the devices do not always detect motorcycles because: The devices that may effectively detect larger vehicles are 26 percent slower at identifying nearby motorcycles. They detect slower-moving vehicles better than they pick up faster-moving vehicles, often notifying drivers too late to help avoid motorcycles. They provide auto drivers with a false sense of security, […]

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Complying With Universal Helmet Laws is Just One Step Towards Motorcycle Safety

Jan 9, 2015 - Motorcycle Accidents by

In 1967, Alabama was among the first four states to implement universal helmet laws that require all individuals who ride motorcycles to use helmets. To be sure, enactment of the law has helped to save lives. Still, most accident lawyers believe motorcyclists and their passengers should take additional preventive actions to further protect themselves from the risk of potentially devastating injuries. Studies Show that the Move to Universal Helmet Laws Has Improved Rider Safety Motorcycles offer little protection, so most people can clearly see why the use of good-quality helmets is so important. Still, individuals who like to feel the wind in their hair may need more evidence. The Community Preventive Task Force offers the following median statistics for states that switched from partial helmet laws or no laws to  universal helmet laws: The total number of deaths decreased by 37 percent. Fatalities related to head injuries went down by 44 percent. The total number of non-fatal injuries decreased by 32 percent. The total number of non-fatal head injuries went down by 51 percent. On the other end, states that repealed universal helmet laws completely or reduced the laws saw similar increases in the median value of these same statistics. Bikers Can Do More to Protect Themselves Helmets represent an essential first step in biker protection, but riders can do much more to protect as many body parts as possible. Our Tuscaloosa attorneys recommend that every biker download a copy of Personal Protective Gear For the Motorcyclist. This two-page brochure, […]

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Alabama Motorcycle Accidents

May 12, 2014 - Motorcycle Accidents by

The Governors Highway Safety Association reports that motorcycle deaths were down 22 percent last year in Alabama and more than 7 percent nationwide. Although any reduction in fatalities is good news, those figures may be more of a fluke than a trend. As much as safety advocates want to tout 2013 as the start of a downward trajectory, it’s more of a stabilization of the statistics, following a big spike in motorcycle deaths in 2012. Birmingham motorcycle injury lawyers note the primary factors in the 2012 increase had to do with a warmer-than-usual riding season and higher-than-average gas prices. Better weather is more conducive to riding, and rising gas prices prompts people to choose a cheaper alternative to cars and sport utility vehicles.

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Alabama Amputation Risk Higher in Certain Jobs

Sep 23, 2013 - Amputation by

Amputation injuries in the U.S. have been on the rise over the past decade, as numerous veterans returning from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are survivors who have lost limbs in the course of their service. But our Alabama personal injury lawyers know that veterans aren’t the only ones who have been at high risk. Those involved in certain types of motor vehicle accidents (particularly motorcycle wrecks) have had to endure such injury, as have those who have suffered on-the-job injuries – particularly in fields that require the routine use of industrialized, mechanical equipment. For example, recently in Missouri a glass manufacturing firm was cited by inspectors with the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration after an employee suffered a finger amputation while repairing a machine. Investigators would later learn that the incident stemmed from the employer’s failure to shut off power to certain energy sources before the maintenance was initiated. OSHA called the oversight “unacceptable,” and fined the firm $137,000.

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Fewer Alabama Motorcycle Injuries Possible With Anti-lock Brake Systems

Jun 21, 2013 - Motorcycle Accidents by

Earlier this month on Highway 119 in Birmingham, three people died tragically in a crash involving two motorcycles and a truck, according to Jefferson County investigators. Our Birmingham motorcycle accident lawyers understand that two motorcycle passengers, a man and a woman in their 40s, as well as the 19-year-old driver of the truck, were pronounced dead at the scene. The truck driver reportedly lost control of his vehicle for unknown reasons, sliding into one of the motorcycles, causing both vehicles to go airborne over a guardrail and into a ditch. A second motorcyclist was forced to swerve and lay down his bicycle to avoid the crash, causing both himself and his passenger to suffer head injuries. While all of the details in this case are still under investigation, it would be interesting to find out whether the second motorcycle was equipped with an anti-lock braking system (ABS), in light of a new study by the Highway Loss Data Institute. The research shows that motorcycles that have ABS are about 30 percent less likely to be involved in fatal crashes, as compared to those motorcycles that aren’t equipped with ABS.

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Alabama Motorcycle Crashes Likely to Increase With Older Riders

Feb 15, 2013 - Motorcycle Accidents by

Just days ago, a man was sentenced to 12 years in prison for the summer 2011 motorcycle crash in Fairhope that claimed the life of a 59-year-old Tennessee man. The rider died at the scene, and authorities later determined the driver of the other vehicle had consumed marijuana shortly before the crash.  Tragic as such incidents are, our Alabama motorcycle injury attorneys understand they are likely to become more common, per a new study by researchers at Brown University in Rhode Island, published in this month’s edition of the Injury Prevention journal. For starters, the Baby Boomer generation has a great affinity for motorcycles, and they show no sign of giving up those two wheels, even as they continue riding into their 60s and beyond. The researchers discovered that in 1990, roughly 10 percent of all motorcycle riders were over the age of 50. As of 2003, that figure had more than doubled to about 25 percent.

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Motorcycling Accidents in Tuscaloosa and Elsewhere Targeted by Safety Awareness Month

May 4, 2012 - Car Accidents by

Roughly 80 percent of the time, motorcyclists are faced with serious risks of injury and even death in the event of an auto accident. The occupants of motor vehicles suffer from severe injury or death only 20 percent of the time. Because of the risks that motorcyclists face on our roadways, the entire month of May is dedicated as Motorcycle Awareness Safety Month, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Safe driving advocates are calling on the help of motorists to remember riders as the spring and summer riding season begins. Our Tuscaloosa motorcycle accident lawyers understand that motorcyclists are oftentimes overlooked by the drivers of passenger vehicles. The Alabama Motorcycle Safety Program was designed to help our two-wheeled friends to defend themselves on our roadways. This program offers some serious motorcycle riding courses for riders in an attempt to teach them how to navigate our roadways as safely as possible. In 2009, there were nearly 100 motorcyclist fatalities in the state of Alabama. Most of these motorcycle accidents occurred in Tuscaloosa, Jefferson, Mobil and Baldwin counties.

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More Fatal Car Accidents in Alabama in 2010 than Previous Year

Dec 20, 2011 - Car Accidents by

The holidays are right around the corner and our risks for car accidents in Birmingham have skyrocketed. From 2009 to 2010, Alabama actually saw an increase in the number of fatalities resulting from traffic accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) just put out the new 2010 Motor Vehicle Crashes Overview. These are the full stats regarding traffic accidents that occurred throughout the year. They’re also the most recent traffic statistics available. The overall report says that there was a decrease in the total number of traffic accidents fatalities from 2009 to 2010 throughout the country. The report also says that we experienced the fewest fatalities on U.S. roadways since 1949. While this news may be good, there is some bad that comes with it. While the total number decreased, a few categories of fatal accidents saw a significant increase, including fatalities among large truck occupants, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians. And the overall number of fatal traffic accidents increased in 20 states as the economy continues to recover. Our Birmingham car accident lawyers note that while the numbers were relatively low throughout the year, they started to increase as the year progressed. This leads officials to believe the risks for car accidents will rise as our economy recovers because travelers will feel more comfortable splurging on road trips. Despite the decreased number, motorists are asked to remain cautious and alert at the wheel.

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Officer Faces Serious Injuries after Hit and Run Motorcycle Accident in Alabama

May 27, 2011 - Car Accidents by

An arrest has finally been made in the hit and run Alabama motorcycle accident that resulted in serious injuries to a Prattville motorcycle officer. A 47-year-old driver has been arrested by the Prattville Police Department and charged with a felony count of leaving the scene of an accident, and 1st degree assault, according to CBS 8. Our Alabama personal injury attorneys understand the risks our law enforcement officers face each day. However, all riders are at high risk of a Tuscaloosa motorcycle accident during the spring and summer riding season.

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