Is it Safe To Ride a Motorcycle Around Las Vegas?
Las Vegas is a great place for motorcycle enthusiasts. In the fall of 2018, the city hosted the American International Motorcycle Exposition (AIMExpo) — North America’s largest motorcycle trade show and powersports event. In addition, Las Vegas regularly offers a number of other great events and activities for riders. You can go on motorcycle tours, rent a bike for a weekend, or simply enjoy the dry weather while cruising the city’s streets.
Unfortunately, riding a motorcycle can also be dangerous. Similar to other cities, motorcyclists in Las Vegas are disproportionately likely to be involved in serious accidents. According to the State of Nevada Office of Traffic Safety Annual Report, an average of 59 motorcyclists are killed and hundreds more are severely injured in crashes each year. Approximately 70 percent of all motorcycle accident fatalities in the state happen in Clark County. The last thing any rider wants is to be injured in a motorcycle accident. The good news is that with proper safety precautions, motorcyclists can dramatically decrease their risk of being involved in a serious wreck.
Five Ways to Ensure Motorcycle Safety in Las Vegas
1. Always Wear a Motorcycle Helmet
1. Always Wear a Motorcycle Helmet
First and foremost, motorcyclists — and their passengers — should always wear a DOT-approved safety helmet. It is a well-established fact: motorcycle helmets save lives. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 1,800 lives were saved by motorcycle helmets in 2016 alone. The agency notes that, with full compliance, hundreds of more lives could be saved every year.
A well-regarded scientific study on the topic found that motorcycle helmets reduce the risk of a serious brain injury by as much as 70 percent. To be clear, motorcycle helmets are not optional in Nevada. Under state statute (NRS 468.231), motorcycle riders and their passengers must wear protective headgear that meets the safety standards set forth by the United States Department of Transportation whenever on public roads.
2. Make Sure Your Motorcycle Equipment is Properly Maintained
The last thing you want is to end up in a serious motorcycle accident because of a problem with your bike. It is crucial that motorcyclists keep their equipment in proper working condition. A motorcycle that is running well is both more fun and more safe than one that is giving a biker serious problems.
As riders are inherently exposed to danger, even a seemingly minor equipment malfunction could potentially result in a catastrophic accident. Before getting on the road in Las Vegas, bikers should be sure that their motorcycle is in full compliance with all of Nevada’s equipment regulations. In the event that you need a motorcycle repair or motorcycle maintenance, there are a number of excellent options in Las Vegas.
3. Know the Local Laws and Safety Regulations
All motorcyclists should have a basic understanding of Nevada motorcycle laws. Obeying the local laws is crucial not merely to avoid traffic tickets, but, more importantly, to protect the health and safety of the rider. As was mentioned, all motorcyclists in Nevada should wear the proper protective headgear. Additionally, riders should avoid lane-splitting. In contrast to some other states, motorcycle lane-splitting is not legal in Nevada. You can be ticketed for lane-splitting. Further, Las Vegas drivers are not especially likely to be watching out for lane-splitting motorcycles. Do not put yourself at risk of an accident.
4. Defensive Riding is Safe Riding
One of the cardinal rules of motorcycle safety is that defensive riding is safe riding. This is surely something learned when taking a motorcycle certification course and/or passing the required tests to gain a motorcycle license in Nevada. Defensive driving requires honing a set of skills that allows a motorcyclist to protect their health and safety despite potentially reckless or careless conduct by other parties. You cannot control what other drivers do, but you can take steps to help yourself avoid facing the consequences of their mistake.
Defensive driving is a good habit for everyone on the road. Of course, as motorcyclists are more vulnerable, safe and defensive driving is even more important. If you want to improve your motorcycle skills, it is never too late to take a motorcycle safety course. On our motorcycle resource map, you will find three of the primary motorcycle safety schools in Las Vegas: The College of Southern Nevada, Harley Davidson Riding Academy, and D&M Cycle School.
5. Know How to Anticipate Common Driver Errors
Finally, motorcyclists can protect themselves by improving their ability to recognize and anticipate some of the most common driving errors made by other motorists. While motorcycle collisions can occur for a wide range of different reasons, these types of accidents tend to share some common characteristics. Often, multi-vehicle motorcycle accidents are caused by negligent drivers, not by a negligent motorcyclist. In these cases, drivers tend to make some of the same mistakes over and over again. Specifically, three of the most common driver errors that lead to motorcycle wrecks in Las Vegas include:
Changing a lane without recognizing the presence of a motorcycle;
Making a left turn directly in front of an oncoming motorcycle; and
Following a motorcycle too closely, thereby causing a rear-end collision.
By understanding other motorists’ propensity to commit these common errors, motorcyclists can often anticipate some dangers before they actually happen. As a motorcyclist, it is highly recommended that you also do whatever you can to make yourself visible to other drivers. If you believe that a driver is not operating their vehicle in a safe manner, the best thing you can do is to stay as far away as possible. It is always an advisable practice to slow down and to take extra care.
Were You Injured in a Motorcycle Accident in Las Vegas? Professional Legal Support is Available
Injured motorcyclists need access to medical care and financial resources. At Ladah Law Firm, PLLC, we are committed to advocating for the rights and interests of injured motorcyclists. If you or your family member was hurt in a motorcycle crash in Southern Nevada, you should call a Las Vegas personal injury lawyer who has the knowledge and background needed to handle your case. Feel free to visit us online today at https://www.ladahlaw.com/las-vegas-motorcycle-accident-lawyer.