Articles Posted in Traffic Safety News

Over the past few years, the advent of self-driving cars has brought much controversy and conversation regarding the safety of the technology. While early versions of self-driving technology have presented some challenges, it is expected that self-driving technology will continue to improve. However, the widespread use of self-driving technology presents both legal and practical questions.

Yellow MotorcycleThe primary concern with self-driving technology is the safety of those on the road, including motorcyclists. Currently, motorcyclists are disproportionately represented in statistics recording fatal accidents. While motorcyclists account for only 1% of the population of drivers, they account for 14% of all traffic deaths. However, according to one industry news report, as the self-driving technology becomes more popular in newer models of vehicles, the dangers for motorcyclists may decrease.

The article uses left-turn accidents as an example. Left-turn accidents currently account for roughly 1,000 motorcyclist deaths per year, but these accidents rarely involve any fault on the part of the motorcyclist. In fact, most of these accidents are due to a driver either failing to see the motorcycle or failing to properly judge the speed at which the motorcycle is approaching. However, with self-driving technology, it will be possible for the two vehicles to “communicate” with each other, eliminating the chance that the car’s operator is unaware of an approaching motorcycle. Additionally, sophisticated algorithms will determine the speed at which an oncoming vehicle is approaching and prevent a motorist from pulling in front of a motorcycle, decreasing the risk of an accident.

Continue Reading

While motorcyclists only account for a small number of the vehicles on the roads, the number of serious or fatal accidents involving motorcycles is fairly high. While some motorcycle accidents are caused by rider error, many of the fatal motorcycle accidents we see each year are caused by other motorists and their inexperience with sharing the road with motorcyclists. In fact, one of the major causes of serious and fatal motorcycle accidents is another motorist’s failure to see a motorcyclist.

Black MotorcycleWhether a motorist drives a car, truck, or motorcycle, they have a duty to those with whom they share the road. This duty requires that the motorist operate their vehicle in a manner that is safe and responsible. Of course, this also includes refraining from distracted or intoxicated driving. When a motorist violates this duty and creates a danger on the road, he or she can be held liable for the damages that result through a Maryland motorcycle accident lawsuit.

Injured motorcyclists should be prepared for a fight, however. Routinely, at-fault drivers and their insurance companies try and shift the blame onto the motorcyclist. For example, if a motorcyclist is injured while not wearing a helmet, an at-fault driver may attempt to use that fact against the motorcyclist. However, the fact remains that without the at-fault driver’s negligence, there would have been no accident in the first place.

Continue Reading

In a recent study cited in a Bloomberg Business report, a group of researchers claims that the most common cause of motorcycle accidents is the driver’s loss of control over the bike. The article, which was released just a few weeks ago, claims that motorcyclists are 3.5 times as likely to get into a single-vehicle accident as they are to get into an accident involving one or more other cars or trucks.

oldster-162902-mNot surprisingly, the most common cause of single-vehicle accidents, the article claims, is speed. Another common occurrence of single-vehicle accidents is alcohol. The article advises that all motorcycle riders take motorcycle safety classes that are available through the State’s Motor Vehicle Association. However, no matter how cautious and educated a rider is, there is always the possibility for a freak accident to occur with another driver who may not see the motorcyclist.

Motorcycle Accident Victims Have an Uphill Battle

This article is good evidence of what the general public mistakenly believes to be the case in most motorcycle accidents:  that the riders themselves are at fault and should be prevented from any financial recovery. Indeed, it cannot be denied that there are cases where a negligent motorcyclist is driving while intoxicated and gets into a single-vehicle accident, severely injuring him or herself. However, this is not always—or even often—the case.

Continue Reading

Spring has arrived, and though it could be a little early for every motorcycle rider to dust off his mount, the warmer days are on their way. But from a public safety standpoint, we can’t help but wonder if we will be looking at some more passenger car-bike and truck-motorcycle accidents as the season progresses. Most anyone who follows the news here in Baltimore and other urban areas has heard for the potentially dangerous groups of dirt bike riders playing havoc with motorists and others in town.

As Maryland personal injury lawyers, I and my legal staff have helped bikers injured in bad traffic collisions. A serious roadway collision can turn out to be a life-threatening event for almost anyone, but for motorcyclists the risks can be even greater. And, while most conscientious riders obey our traffic laws and respect other motorists’ rights as well, there are bad apples among them.

As we write this, we are thinking specifically about the dangerous trend of urban dirt bike riding by mostly unlicensed and, some would say, reckless youth. While not involving the more thoughtful riders out there, this trend has continued much to local police departments’ dismay. Based on a news article published not long ago, we have to ask ourselves if Baltimore and other areas of the state are in for another round of dangerous dirt bike riding exploits.

Continue Reading

The economy has been a real driver, over these past several years, in purchases of motorcycles, scooters and even bicycles for commuting and general travel. While two-wheeled transportation may have been a pastime or hobby for most, now we are finding a growing percentage of the motoring population using these modes of transportation for more than just enjoyment or relaxation. As Maryland personal injury attorneys, the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen is dedicated to assisting victims of motorcycle, automobile and commercial trucking-related roadway collisions.

Certainly, for many in the motorcycle community the growth of bikes for use more as transportation has contributed to a greater number of these machines on Maryland highways and in the city streets of Bowie, Rockville, Columbia and the District. Hardly a bad thing, the added numbers of motorcycle riders on Maryland roads adds to a presence that helps to keep car and truck drivers aware that they are sharing the roadways with bikers. Still the dangers abound for riders of Honda, Harley, Kawasaki and Ducati motorcycles, not to mention Vespa scooters and among many others.

Based on nationwide data, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported that motorcycle riders are five times more likely to be injured in a traffic accident than occupants of larger passenger vehicles. On top of that, the NHTSA also has determined that bikers are up to 25 times more apt to be killed in a car crash, truck collision or other type of roadway wreck. One of the biggest causes is drivers of automobiles or commercial trucks who are simply not paying attention to whether there is a motorcycle in their area.

Continue Reading

As Baltimore personal injury attorneys, I and my staff of experienced legal professional know the law and understand its implications for the citizens of this state. Having represented many people who have been victimized by others through negligence, inattentiveness, thoughtlessness and even outright aggression, we know the pain and anger that these victims can feel after such a tragic event as a motorcycle, car or trucking-related highway accident.

Not only does an accident victim have to suffer through the pain and potentially long-term effects of the physical collision, there are also medical bills, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs, all of which come out of that one, momentary lapse of judgment on another person’s part. Quite often the resentment is palpable. As auto accident attorneys, however, our job is to see that our clients’ rights are recognized in a court of law, and that justice is served on those who caused the injuries to or death of the victim.

Our traffic laws help to keep people safe on the road, though words and the threat of punishment is not always a deterrent for those either too unconcerned or unthinking to worry about the others he leaves in his wake. Take, for instance, aggressive driving, which has become a big problem on our roadways and a cause of many traffic accidents, both here in Maryland as well as throughout the county. Over the past few years, Baltimore and other cities have experienced a rise in unlicensed ATVs and motorcycles being involved in incidents that can only be categorized as aggressive in nature.

Continue Reading

Motorcycle riders have a tough job. Not only must they pilot a powerful, two-wheeled machine around traffic, over varying road surfaces and through poor weather, they must also be prepared for the unexpected. For most bikers, this often comes in the form of distracted parents in minivans filled to the gunwales with screaming kids, teenage drivers with one eye on their smartphone screen and the other on their friends, or the random drunken driver who rolls through a stop sign at just the wrong moment.

With all the dangers on the road conspiring to kill or seriously injure Maryland motorcyclists, it’s amazing riders don’t die simply from fright. Of course, we’re being sarcastic, but the fact remains that many riders, even experienced bikers, are hurt every month in traffic accidents in places like Bowie, the Disctrict, Gaithersburg and Annapolis. As Baltimore personal injury lawyers, we have spoken to riders who have sustained terrible injuries resulting from roadway collisions caused by negligent or thoughtless motorists.

Being hit by a passenger car, or worse, colliding with a commercial delivery truck is something that every motorcycle rider must prepare himself for. It may never happen, but if the situation arises, being ready for the unexpected could help to save that riders life. And while passenger car drivers may have the same worries about being involved in a bad trucking-related traffic wreck or having a drunk driver make a left-hand turn directly in front of one’s vehicle, keep in mind that bikers also have to watch out for things that a four-wheel driver hardly considers a danger.

Continue Reading

This far into the summer it may appear all too obvious that it’s perfect motorcycling weather here in Baltimore and throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. Whether your passion is standards, cruisers, customs or sport bikes, the two-wheelers are out in force enjoying the sunny days and warm evenings. One could argue that we’re past the dangerous season, now that drivers of passenger cars and commercial delivery trucks are more used to seeing bikers on Harleys, Hondas, Yamahas and Kawasakis, but complacency has led to more than one traffic accident in the past.

As Maryland personal injury attorneys, I and my legal staff know better than some that motorcycle crashes and passenger car accidents kill way too many people every year. No matter if you ride for pleasure or as a daily commuter, staying on top of the nearby traffic action is one of the best ways to staying alive. Experience and training are also keys to survival, as is the proper equipment and bike maintenance.

More than one motorcycle rider has been killed due to improper or lack of vehicle upkeep. Tires that are too old, hardened rubber or cracked sidewalls, shallow or non-existent tread, under- or over-inflation; one or all of these could lead to trouble down the road. And tire failures can happen just when you need them the most, such as during an emergency maneuver to avoid a serious collision with another vehicle or pedestrian.

Continue Reading

Back in the halcyon days of the automobile, it’s safe to say that many people were more concerned about making way for the new horseless carriages and less worried for the pedestrians who were quickly becoming outnumbered by those new “motor vehicles.” With few vehicles on the roads, traffic accidents were also an infrequent occurrence, though occasionally just as deadly as today’s car, bus and commercial trucking wrecks.

As Maryland personal injury attorneys, we understand how circumstances can place a pedestrian, cyclist or passenger car occupant in a serious traffic accident. While persons who are riding in a vehicle have a relatively good chance of surviving a roadway collision, those on foot or riding a bicycle have the odds stacked against them. Road accidents take many innocent lives every year in cities like Annapolis, Gaithersburg and the District. All we can do is advise caution at all times whenever you are in or near motor vehicle traffic.

For a while now, the planners for Baltimore County have been working on better and safer access for joggers, runners, bicyclists and all other pedestrians who share the road with cars and trucks. With input from numerous private citizens and other concerned parties, the county has been drafting the Western Baltimore County Pedestrian and Bicycle Access Plan.

Continue Reading

For most of us, it likely that we cannot see a day, too soon, that will spell an end to our driving a car to get around. Even for those in there 50s and 60s, we can imagine another couple decades of “automotive independence” ahead of us. But despite eternal optimism, some individuals who are driving today may find themselves with a challenge before long; that challenge may come in the form of a family member sitting down and talking frankly about giving up one’s driver’s license voluntarily.

This discussion is not hypothetical, it happens every day to many people across this country who have reached the point of being unable, either physically or mentally, to control a motor vehicle safely — at least in the eyes of their family; others, who either do not have caring family member living nearby, or through some type of serious traffic mishap, may be forced by the state to relinquish their driver’s license.

For many drivers, it must be said that losing one’s license due to incapacity may be one of the more difficult chapters in the aging process. The term between Maryland driver’s license renewals is what one might call a sweet spot — a time when, as long as we cause no serious car accidents or receive too many citations for traffic infractions — each of us can relax and not worry about being retested until our next operator’s license renewal.

Continue Reading

Contact Information