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5 ways to avoid a motorcycle crash

Regardless of who is at fault for any given motorcycle collision, approximately 80 percent of motorcycle crashes reported to authorities involve death or injuries according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Perhaps the most distressing part of this statistic, however, is the fact that most of these fatal or injurious accidents could have been avoided if either the motorcyclist or the vehicle driver involved in the crash had taken specific precautions.

Here are a few precautions that motorcyclists can take in order to prevent injuries in an accident:

  • Use recommended and legally required safety gear: Motorcyclists who use riding pants, gloves and jackets have a better chance of escaping catastrophic injuries in the event of a collision. For that matter, a helmet and eye protection are essential to preventing serious head injuries.
  • Wear bright colors and increase your visibility: Visibility is essential when trying to prevent a crash. When you wear bright colors and reflective gear, cars are better able to see you and more likely to avoid hitting you. Also, don't be afraid to use your horn to make yourself more noticeable on the road when necessary.
  • Wear a helmet with full face protection: Half-helmets without chin or face protection are virtually worthless for preventing injuries. Considering that the most vulnerable area in a crash is the chin and face, a helmet that only covers the top of the head doesn't do the full job, and motorcyclists are twice as likely to have a traumatic brain injury.
  • Never drink: A drunk motorcyclist is less capable of avoiding a collision. Even a small amount of alcohol can reduce your reaction time, so the best policy is to never get on your bike after even the smallest amount of alcohol.

4 things never to do after a car crash

The first time you're in a car accident, you may feel at a loss for what to do. It's overwhelming and chaotic. You have no experience to lean on. You also desperately don't want to make a mistake that will make your situation worse.

To help, here are four things you should not do:

  1. Leave the crash scene. Even if you think the crash is minor, talk to the other driver. Make sure everyone is all right. Exchange contact information and insurance information. Wait for the police to arrive if necessary.
  2. Fail to make a police report. People often do this when they don't want to get the authorities and insurance companies involved. The other driver may offer to write you a check, for instance, to cover the damage. Don't give in; it's a common scam. Always file a police report and officially get the crash on record.
  3. Get angry. Yes, the other driver may have caused the crash. You may be angry that he or she did something so negligent and hurt you in the process. Try to keep your cool. Focus on understanding your legal rights to compensation and use them to make things right.
  4. Put off filing reports and insurance claims. Paperwork can be a hassle. Some people aren't sure where to start, so they do nothing. Don't let either issue hold you back. File those reports and claims as soon as you can.

Does that property have an easement?

Before a real estate transaction is complete, one of the key questions you want to ask is simple: Does the property have an easement? Most of the time, the answer is no. However, if it does, it's important to understand what it means.

The right to use the property

2017 saw a record number of pedestrian deaths: Why?

The vulnerability of a pedestrian in the event that he or she is struck by a motor vehicle is obvious. A driver in a car is protected by thousands of pounds of metal and safety equipment, and a pedestrian's body is completely exposed to injury. Add the fact that vehicles are usually traveling at high speeds and you can see why many pedestrians are killed after being struck by a car.

One might believe that in the modern day – after numerous technological advances, education campaigns, diligent enforcement of traffic laws and the redesign of roads to help pedestrians stay safe – pedestrian fatalities would be on the decline. However, as recent motor vehicle accident statistics from 2016 indicate, pedestrian fatalities are at record levels. In fact, the last time pedestrian deaths reached the current levels was 1983.

Drunk driving crashes: Is the intoxicated driver always liable?

You might think -- if you were injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by a drunk driver -- that the intoxicated driver should be liable to pay for your medical care. However, although it's likely that this will the case, personal injury lawsuits following a DUI crash are more complicated than this.

Let's take a look at the factors that need to be present in order for an injured person to hold another driver financially liable following an accident:

  • Duty: The at-fault driver needs to have had a duty to follow the rules of the road, yield to others when appropriate, avoid hazards and respect the safety of other people. In the case of a drunk driver, the duty would have been to follow the law and respect others' safety by refraining from drinking and driving.
  • Breach of duty: The at-fault driver needs to have breached the above-referenced duty that he or she held. In other words, he or she drove drunk.
  • Cause in fact: The violation of the duty, or the drunk driving, needs to have caused the actual injuries. For example, cause in fact would not be entirely clear and straightforward if the drunk driving caused the crash, but the injuries were caused by a malfunctioning airbag in the injured party's vehicle.
  • Proximate cause: The severity of damages needs to be in the scope of what someone could have expected as a potential consequence of driving drunk. For example, a drunk driver causing a five-car pile-up and multiple catastrophic injuries could potentially be expected. On the other hand, a drunk driver colliding with a building and causing a fire that killed hundreds of people is likely outside the scope of proximate cause.
  • Damages: Finally, actual damages need to have occurred -- usually due to the costs associated with medical care, property damage, lost income, pain and suffering and other damages.

2 automakers warn consumers not to drive certain vehicles

Ford has issued a warning to drivers who own 2006 Ford Ranger pickup trucks. Don't drive the car, an airbag recall issue, has been resolved. The problem relates the potentially deadly Takata Airbags installed in the vehicles. In the event of a collision, there's the chance of the airbag inflator detonating with an explosion. These explosions have killed drivers and passengers around the world. Because of the dangers, Ford recommends that drivers of 2006 Ford Rangers do not operate their vehicles until after a dealership has fixed the problem.

Ford is not the only dealer to issue a do not drive warning over defective 2006 pickup trucks. Mazda also issued a warning regarding similarly-equipped B-Series pickups. All of the pickups included in these warnings have already been subject to previous recalls. However, numerous drivers have yet to take their pickups into the local dealership for the repair. Fearful that these drivers could be endangering themselves and others, Ford and Mazda have ramped up their warnings.

Bikers: Boost your visibility on a motorcycle

When it comes to motorcycle safety, there is only so much a helmet and armored jacket can do to prevent injuries. Ultimately, you'll want to avoid getting into a crash at all costs, and one way to do that is to increase your visibility. The more visible you are, the more likely cars will see you ahead of time so that they can avoid hitting you.

Here are some ideas for increasing visibility while riding a motorcycle:

  • Don't ride in blind spots: Be aware of whether cars and trucks can see you. Always give them plenty of space, don't tailgate and be careful to avoid blind spots.
  • Tap your brakes before stopping: This will momentarily light up your brake lights to give cars behind you fair warning that you're slowing down.
  • Use high beams during the day: This will increase your daytime visibility immensely and the contrast of daylight will ensure that no one gets blinded.
  • Buy a brightly colored bike: It might not be as cool as a jet black "stealth-looking" bike, but a brightly colored bike will boost your visibility exponentially.
  • Wear high visibility clothing and gear: Buy a helmet that has bright colors on it and select clothing and gear that is made to be more visible. Some are even equipped with reflective materials.
  • Put reflective tape wherever you can: Put reflective tape on your helmet, and on the most visible parts of your bike, like the fork and the side areas.

Did you suffer from a head or back injury from a car accident?

The head and back are some of the most vulnerable areas of the body in a motor vehicle accident. They are also essential parts of the body for proper function and mobility. For this reason, injuries to the head and back tend to come with the most severe and protracted consequences for car accident victims.

As for head injuries, it's common for passengers and drivers involved in auto accidents to strike their heads against windows, dashboards and other areas of the car. Even if the head doesn't directly strike an object, however, a brain injury can occur due to the severe gravitational forces involved. Car accident victims might suffer from a minor traumatic brain injury that results in a temporary concussion, or a severe one that results in a coma. Lasting cognitive problems, emotional issues, loss of motor skills, vision impairment, hearing loss, skull fractures, facial injuries and other life-altering systems may be associated with a catastrophic injury to the head or brain.

Self-balancing motorcycle could help prevent crashes

You've heard of self-driving cars, but what about a self-balancing motorcycle. Numerous motorcyclists get injured because they lose control of their bikes, or their bikes end up laying over on their sides. In its most recent technological invention, Honda hopes to change and reduce these dangers with its self-balancing motorcycle.

Honda's bike will keep the motorcycle in balance at high speeds, and it will also keep it balancing as the rider drivers slowly through a parking lot -- or even while the driver is stopped at a red light. Motorcyclists with Honda's self-balancing technology don't even need to put their feet down to balance their bikes.

Should Ford's 'Do Not Drive' warning pertain to more vehicles?

Ford Motor Company issued a 'Do Not Drive' directive pertaining to approximately 2,900 of its 2006 Ranger pickups. The warning relates to a problem with defective Takata Airbags that were installed in the vehicles. According to Ford, the airbags could explode and shoot hot metal shrapnel into the vehicle compartments -- potentially killing the occupants inside. Even worse, according to Ford, the airbags could explode at any moment.

Ford issued this warning last week, and now two U.S. senators have asked the Department of Transportation why the 'Do Not Drive' directive doesn't pertain to more vehicles. Don't other Fords contain the same Takata Airbags? Why is the danger so urgent for these specific vehicles alone?

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