Motorcyclist Rights: What You Need to Know Before You Go

Basic Tips for North Carolina Motorcyclists On and Off the Road

When you finally buy your first bike, chances are that you just can’t wait to take it out for a spin. But there are a few important things you should know before you go full throttle. I urge you to take a North Carolina motorcycle safety course.  You have several options to choose from:

North Carolina Motorcycle Safety Education Program administered through the North Carolina Community College System

BikeSafe NC sponsored by the Governor’s Highway Safety Program

Harley-Davidson Riding Academy through your local dealer

MotoMark 1 – Professional Level Motorcycle Training Company

In addition to mastering traffic rules, which you may have already done when studying for your motorcycle license, all first-time riders should get familiar with their rights on the road and in emergency situations. While joining the American Motorcyclist Association is a good start for learning the more advanced details about rider rights, the basics below are a good place to start.

Safety First and Your Rights Behind the Handlebars
Like car drivers, you have a right to space. Since motorcycles are more compact than cars, drivers don’t always respect that rule, but that doesn’t mean you should let it slide. Remember that it’s your safety that’s in question, so you should always try to maintain adequate space between you and other vehicles. If you feel like you’re being followed too closely, let the driver behind you pass or move into a different lane. When you pass other vehicles, give them plenty of space and offer them the same courtesy you’d wish upon yourself.

Speaking of passing, you should be given the same respect as everyone else when drivers pass you on the highway and when you’re crossing intersections. Unfortunately, even the best drivers may sometimes fail to see a motorcycle near them, which is how many collisions occur. Since motorcyclists are at a higher risk for serious injuries, it’s up to you to protect yourself from becoming a victim of someone else’s mistake.

When Accidents Happen
While many motorcycle accidents can be prevented by better awareness of the road, other motorists and weather conditions, there are times when there is nothing a motorcyclist can do to avoid a collision caused by the negligence of the driver of a car or truck. If you find yourself at the scene of an accident, do everything possible to document what happened, such as asking witnesses for contact information and taking detailed pictures with your phone. In personal injury claims, proper evidence can make or break the case.

If you are involved in a motorcycle accident due to the fault of another driver, you have legal rights. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost income, and your injuries.  In addition, you have rights regarding how the insurance company will handle the damage to your motorcycle.

Want to know more about what to do in case of an accident? Visit the Gary Poole Law Office online or contact our law firm directly.

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