Motorcycle Safety, Bicycle Accident Prevention Spring Goals in Maine

As we recently reported on our Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. As riders hit the road each spring, they face the highest risks of the year. And already this month, we have reports of a slew of serious and fatal motorcycle accidents throughout the state, including the death of a 24-year-old Portland man and a motorcycle crash in Acton that resulted in serious head injuries for a Barrington couple involved in a Saturday evening crash.

Our Maine motorcycle accident lawyers also note safety advocates are focused on the other two-wheel riders hitting the roads this spring. Like motorcycle accidents, the number of serious and fatal bicycle accidents in Maine spikes each year as the last of the snow melts. Coastal Journal reports the City of Bath will be among those promoting Bike to Work Week on May 14-18, which culminates in Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 18. Fitness advocates and environmentalists continue to promote cycling as a means of physical activity that offers environmental benefits and cost savings of up to $8,000 a year for those who regularly bike to work.

Maine Bicycle Accidents:  Men at Risk

Meanwhile, Maine continues to work to increase rider safety at the legislative level. Maine’s right-hook law (ME-29-A MRS § 2060) passed several years ago, and it prohibits motorists from turning right in front of riders traveling in the same direction unless the turn can be made without interfering with the legal and safe operation of the cyclist.

Still, the Maine Department of Transportation reports more than 200 fatal bicycle accidents occur annually.

When we think of bicycle accidents, people often think of after-school accidents or weekend incidents involving children or teenagers. But the popularity of cycling continues to pull the average age of victims well into middle age. Today, the 40-something male is the most likely to be seriously injured or killed in a cycling accident. In fact, they have garnered the nickname MAMIL (middle-aged men in Lycra). These accidents typically involve a family’s primary wage earner and can result in significant financial hardship.

Bicycle Accident Injury Claims

Lack of respect continues to increase the risks for riders statewide. This is both because motorists are less likely to recognize the rights of riders on the road and because law enforcement and investigators may be less likely to give riders the benefit of the doubt. To collect damages in a personal injury lawsuit, a rider will be required to prove the at-fault driver acted in a negligent manner, and that negligence led to an accident that resulted in compensable injuries or damages.

Hiring a Maine law firm with significant experience in handling serious and fatal bicycle accidents offers the best chance to achieve a recovery. In some cases, even riders found partially at fault may still collect damages. Title 14 §156 is Maine’s law on comparative negligence, which permits riders to obtain damages as long as the rider is found 49 percent or less at fault.

If you’ve been injured, contact Peter Thompson & Associates at 1-800-804-2004 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

Additional Resources:

Midcoast cyclists prepare for Bike to Work Week, May 7, 2018, Coastal Journal

More Blog Entries:

Worst Intersections for Portland Bicycle Accidents Mapped, Oct. 7, 2016, Peter Thompson & Associates

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