Protecting the Invisible Motorists: Maryland, D.C., and Virginia Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Serving You

Motorcyclists are some of the most vulnerable motorists on the road. Even for our readers who may not drive a motorcycle or know a person who does, each one of us has probably had that moment where we glance at our rearview mirror to switch lanes on the highway and at the last minute realize that there is a motorcyclist in our blind spot.

For motorcyclists, this moment happens all too frequently. Unfortunately, too few drivers have the moment of realization that the motorcyclist is there. Unlike car accidents, even a small tap at a low speed from a larger vehicle can end in serious injury (or even death) for motorcyclists.

While it hardly seems fair, this huge disadvantage puts a lot of the responsibility on motorcyclists to keep themselves safe from harm’s way on the roads and highways of Maryland and Virginia. While one can hope that other drivers will be vigilant, motorcyclists can be proactive in taking charge of their own safety by following these simple guidelines for avoiding Washington, D.C. motorcycle accidents:

  • Always wear a helmet. While it is the law to wear a safety helmet in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., many people forego a helmet for the freedom of feeling the wind in their hair on a leisurely country ride. The most common cause of motorcycle fatalities, however, is traumatic brain injury, so wear a crash helmet on every ride.
  • Protect your eyes. The Capital District only requires separate eye protection be worn if your motorcycle does not have a windscreen, but eye protection—in the form of goggles, shatter-proof glasses, or a face shield can help you ensure that your vision is never compromised.
  • Use your helmet speakers or headphones for communication purposes only. Keeping in touch with the motorcyclists around you can help you stay safe and coordinated, but adopting a rule similar to pilots’ “sterile cockpit” rule—meaning no unnecessary chatter, music, etc.—can help keep you audibly aware of your surrounding traffic.
  • Wear visible, tough clothing: There are not specific laws about what motorcyclists in our area must wear, but a good rule of thumb is to wear leathers (or similarly protective material) with bright colors or reflective areas as well as sturdy, heeled shoes.
  • Be bright. Always ride with your lights on—even during the day, it can help you be even more visible to other cars.

Even if you are the most responsible biker and take every precaution, you cannot prevent another driver’s negligence. If you have been injured in a District area bike crash, contact the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. motorcycle accident attorneys at Lewis & Tompkins today at 202.296.0666 for a free consultation. Our team is standing by to help you regain your life and start moving forward.

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