Memphis Personal Injury Law Blog

3 Motorcycle Safety Tips

For motorcyclists in Tennessee, there is nothing better than being on the open road. However, along with this feeling of fun and adventure is a serious risk of injury. That’s why it’s crucial for all motorcyclists to take the proper precautions to prevent serious accidents and injuries from occurring. Consumer Reports offers the following tips, which can be helpful to new riders as well as seasoned pros.

Wear a Helmet

Is texting while driving impossible for people to resist?

Texting while driving might be compulsion

Most of us know the feeling: You’re driving somewhere and you hear that ping or little tune from your smart phone telling you that a new text message or social media update has come in. You almost can’t resist checking it. You know it’s dangerous while driving, yet there’s something compelling you to check anyway.

Understanding Uber's liability insurance policies

Rideshare services are a fairly new phenomenon in Shelby. The introduction of ridesharing to a market also brings with it the onset of ridesharing liability issues. Uber and Lyft drivers often have the same driving tendencies as other motorists (one might even argue that they pose a greater threat than most commercial vehicle operators, given that they do not have to undergo rigorous training before getting behind the wheel). 

As the most prominent ridesharing service in operation, Uber is often looked to as the standard bearer for the industry. It has adopted a liability policy to cover its drivers while operating under its name. Per Uber's website, it's drivers are covered under its insurance policy when they have the app on and are waiting for a request. This coverage extends to third party liability and sets limits at $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident in bodily damage coverage, and $25,000 in property damage. 

How Can I Safely Share the Road With Bicyclists?

As a Memphis motorist, you no doubt want to preserve safety for both yourself as well others. This is especially important when sharing the road with bicyclists. What might be a minor accident for passenger vehicles could be deadly to bicyclists, which is why Edmunds.com recommend the following advice to ensure everyone remains safe and sound on the road.

Be Aware of the Law

Fiery wreck halts motorcycle convoy in Fall Branch

One of the primary dangers that motorcyclists in Shelby face is not being seen by others on the road. In most motorcycle accidents there is never any malicious intent involved, but rather a simple failure to do one's due diligence in ensuring that no one is traveling in the lane that they want to turn or merge into. It is easy for entire cars to disappear into another vehicle's blind spot; imagine, then, how much more difficult it may be for one to not see a motorcycle driving in the same area. Should one proceed to make a maneuver on the road with a motorcycle traveling in said blind spot, it may be easy to assume who would get the worst of were the two vehicles to collide. 

That assumption was proven to be true in a recent accident that occurred on Interstate 81 in Fall Branch. Several members of a convoy of motorcycles were injured following a collision with a tractor-trailer. One in particular was dragged underneath the trailer after colliding with it. That motorcyclist's bike ended up setting the trailer on fire, after which the others collisions happened. the extent of the injuries suffered by the motorcyclists involved was not reported; the truck driver was not hurt. 

Truck Drivers Working Too Many Hours

We all see trucks on the roads and highways throughout Tennessee. In most cases, we assume the drivers are professionals who are well trained and careful not to put others’ lives at risk. And in most cases, we’re right to make those assumptions.

However, we don’t know who’s behind the wheel of a given truck, we don’t know what they’re like or what their last few days have been like. Most importantly, we don’t know how long they have been behind the wheel.

Reviewing Tennessee's helmet law

There may be many motorcyclists in Shelby who would rather ride their bikes around unencumbered by a helmet. Riding a motorcycle offers a unique feeling of freedom, so it may be understandable why some would view the helmet as hindering that freedom. Yet according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Tennessee ranks among the 19 states that require all riders to wear helmets. Taking the legal aspect of the argument out of the conversation, however, one can still at least two major reasons why one would want to wear a helmet while traveling on his or her bike: safety and liability. 

It may go without saying that a motorcyclist wearing a helmet is better protected in the event of a motorcycle accident. A common reply that those who would rather not have to wear helmets while on their motorcycles might be that the helmet only protects the head, and thus does not drastically reduce their chances of dying due to other injuries. While there may be a nugget of logic in that assertion, it ignores one very troublesome possibility: the potential of sustaining a head injury. Traumatic head injuries can leave those who survive the accidents that cause them needing lifelong care, which can potentially cause expenses even greater than those typically associated with death. Thus, if one is going to be in a motorcycle accident, the one area of the body that he or she should want protected is the head. 

What is negligent entrustment?

Car accidents are certainly not an uncommon occurrence in Shelby. Yet they also are not a risk that you and other motorists should simply be expected to accept. If you have been involved in a car accident, you have every right to want to know the circumstances that contributed to it. Oftentimes it may be revealed that the driver that hit you likely shouldn't have been behind the wheel (e.g., he or she had been proven to be a careless driver or was driving with a suspended license). When this happens, your frustration may be equally split between the driver and whomever allowed him or her to drive. 

The question then becomes whether you are allowed to hold the latter party responsible. The legal doctrine of negligent entrustment says you can. This is important to know because Tennessee is not a no-fault insurance state (meaning that auto accident compensation must come from the responsible party). You will often find that those drivers who should not be driving rarely have insurance, and often lack the financial resources to be relied upon for compensation. Those who entrusted them with their vehicles may. 

How do you know if the car you’re about to buy is safe?

Everyone wants their car or truck to be safe. Especially car buyers who have children, there are many reasons to make every effort to ensure the vehicle you’re about to purchase is safe for you and your family.

However, most people enter into their vehicle purchases relatively blind. After all, how can you know whether your car is safe? It is important to know where to look and what to look for when considering your next vehicle purchase.

Who is at fault in automated car accidents?

Autonomous cars are right on the verge of becoming commonplace in most metropolitan areas throughout the country. In fact, many major cities already have autonomous car testing in place now.

However, the law has not caught up with the science regarding autonomous, self-driving cars. Especially when it comes to accident claims, there is nothing close to settled law. Who is liable for accidents caused by autonomous cars? Are these negligence claims, products liability claims or what?

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