Motorcyclist Safety

Stay Safe on the Roads of Austin, Choose the Right Motorcycle Gear

By King Law Firm on June 13, 2013 - Comments off

No motorcyclist goes out on the roads of Austin believing that today is the day that he or she will be involved in a crash. However, with thousands of riders being involved in both serious injury and fatal accidents every year throughout the country, it is important that you are always prepared.

Austin motorcyclist injury lawyer Ray King has helped countless individuals recover from their losses and will help hold those at fault for the crash responsible for the trauma they have caused. After having seen so many accidents and the many different injuries that can result, Ray King wants everyone to know the importance of various types of safety gear.

  • Helmets: The most vital piece of gear for every rider, a helmet protects the brain and face of a motorcyclist in the event of a crash. Full-face helmets provide the most protection since they guard the lower jaw.
  • Spinal Protector: This will fit snugly over the back of a motorcyclist and keep his or her spine in place and guarded so that it is not hit, twisted, or otherwise harmed in a crash.
  • Jacket: The best ones will be made from leather, Kevlar, ballistic nylon, or cordura, which will withstand high-speed skids across the road and protect the skin of a rider.
  • Boots: With reinforced soles, toes, and ankles, these will prevent feet from being twisted and torn in the midst of a violent crash.
  • Gloves: These can be made from leather, cordura, or Kevlar and offer knuckle, wrist, and palm protection and reinforcement. This way, hands can be protected from skidding on asphalt and bones will not be broken in a collision.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by another person’s negligent actions, call the King Law Firm at (512) 637-1000. Through a free consultation on your case, you can learn more about your legal rights and options in pursuing compensation for your losses. With the help of Ray King, you can protect the wellbeing of you and your loved ones.

Motorcycle Safety Foundation Publishes Newest IBook

By King Law Firm on June 11, 2013 - Comments off

Motorcycle Accident InjuryThe Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s (MSF) newest iBook is designed to help increase motorists’ awareness of motorcyclists. According to msf-usa.org, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation iBook titled “Intersection: Sharing the Road,” is the MSF’s latest effort at promoting safer habits for current motorcyclists, prospective motorcyclists, and motorists. This latest MSF book is available in 32 countries exclusively for iPads. The book is 32 pages in length and costs only 99 cents. It was created using the iBooks author app. The book has a beautiful design and is filled with interactive videos, pictures, and diagrams. iPad users simply tap on an image in order to read captions, watch videos, or browse photo galleries.

Highlights, bookmarks, notes, etc. are synced wirelessly with other devices, and when a reader leaves the iBook to return to later, the app remembers where he or she left the text. Tim Buche, president of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, expressed the organization’s pride in “Intersection: Sharing the Road.” He said that the goal of the iBook’s publication was to reduce the number of motorcycle crashes. Motorists are to blame for more than 35 percent of motorcycle accidents. The goal of this project was to increase motorists’ awareness of motorcycles.

The theme of the iBook is that motorists, no matter what type of vehicle they drive, must be aware of motorcycles on U.S. highways. The iBook is intended to illustrate the importance of sharing the road.

This project is the second such effort to improve motorcyclists’ safety. The first was a guide for anyone with an interest in leading group discussions about motorcycle safety. Its title is “Intersection: Leader’s Guide.”

Austin motorcycle accident attorney Ray King applauds the Motorcycle Safety Foundation for its efforts to promote motorcyclists’ safety through education and rider training. The King Law Firm handles motorcycle accident cases. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence or carelessness, we will work hard to help you recover compensation you are entitled to. Please call us at (512) 637-1000 or complete our online contact form for a free consultation.

Safety Tips for Older New Motorcyclists in Austin

By King Law Firm on May 30, 2013 - Comments off

Texas Motorcyclist SafetyCourtesy of ConsumerReports.org, older riders are taking up riding motorcycles in increasing numbers.  Seniors are reliving their youth in some cases, but in others they are new to motorcycling and discovering that riding is not only fun but money-saving thanks to the price of gas these days.  Unfortunately, with age come poorer vision, more brittle bones, and slower reflexes.  Motorcyclists age 60 and over are three times more likely after a motorcycle accident to require hospitalization according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).  Still, it is possible to enjoy a lifetime of riding without an accident.

The following safety tips are offered for older riders but apply to most:

  • Avoid excessive speed.  According to the IIHS, in 2010, 48 percent of deaths in motorcycle accidents involved excessive speed.
  • Purchase a bike you can handle safely.  Many first-time riders are shocked at the performance of today’s motorcycles.  Also, the bike must fit you.  Both feet should rest comfortably flat on the ground when you are seated.
  • Buy a motorcycle equipped with anti-lock brakes.  Bikes with ABS were 37 percent less likely to be involved in fatal crashes according to IIHS data.
  • Enroll in a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) safety riding course.  You will learn advanced techniques and emergency maneuvers.
  • Wear a helmet.  Helmets save lives in motorcycle accidents by helping to prevent potential trauma to the brain.
  • Wear gear designed to protect you in case you go down.
  • Ride defensively.  Drivers of automobiles were at fault in 60 percent of crashes between cars and motorcycles according to a recent study by the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida.
  • Do not ride in bad weather and be alert for road hazards.

These tips were brought to you by Ray King, “The Motorcycle Attorney,” at the King Law Firm.  If you become involved in an injury accident that was caused by another’s negligence, contact Austin motorcycle accident attorney Ray King.  Please call (512) 637-1000 for a free consultation.

The Benefits to Owning a Motorcycle in Austin

By King Law Firm on May 15, 2013 - Comments off

Texas Motorcyclist BenefitsIf you have always wondered why so many motorcycles are on Austin’s roadways, stop to realize the benefits of motorcycle ownership — especially in today’s world as opposed to your father’s generation.  Your father likely paid less than $2.00 for a gallon of gas and around $10,000 for a new automobile. 

Times have changed.

The King Law Firm and Austin attorney Ray King, “The Motorcycle Attorney,” wants you to take the time to consider the following benefits of owning a motorcycle.  If you ride already, you know many of these pertain to the wallet, but a few you may never have considered:

  • Motorcycles are more affordable.  Motorcycles, on average, are less than half the cost of a new car or truck.
  • Motorcycles have better fuel efficiency.  Many get double the miles per gallon of trucks and SUVs.
  • If you have a safe driving record, the cost of motorcycle insurance is much less than car insurance.  The average cost is around $200 per year as opposed to the average cost for car insurance — more than $1,000 per year.
  • Tolls are cheaper on a motorcycle.
  • Locating a place to park is easier.
  • Maintaining a motorcycle is less daunting than maintaining a car.  You may want to do some of the maintenance yourself.
  • Motorcyclists experience increased awareness on the highway.  Falling asleep is virtually impossible with the wind in your face.
  • Motorcycles are far friendlier to the environment.  They create less carbon emissions.

Finally, something every motorcyclist knows, riding a bike is simply fun.  Snuggle on your bike with your loved one, enjoy the natural scenery, join in group rides/activities, etc.

Austin motorcycle accident attorney Ray King’s entire legal practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of motorcyclists.  If you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident, or if someone you love has lost his or her life due to the carelessness/negligence of another, contact the King Law Firm today.  Call (512) 637-1000 for a free case evaluation.

Tips for Selecting the Right Motorcycle for You

By King Law Firm on May 9, 2013 - Comments off

Texas Motorcyclist TipsThe choices available on today’s market for motorcycles can be overwhelming.  Bikes come in so many different models and configurations.  From simple scooters to heavy touring motorcycles capable of taking you across the country, choices abound.  However, don’t be overly influenced by the colorful, slick brochures available at dealerships.

Use Common Sense

Use your common sense when making a selection of the bike that is right for you.  Consider your purpose — what do you plan to do with your motorcycle?  Will you be off-roading, doing only weekend riding, or spending hours cruising on the highway?  What should you be looking for in a motorcycle best suited for you?

Consider the Size That Is Right for You

  • The weight of the bike is important.  You need to be able to handle the motorcycle and keep it safely balanced.
  • Seat height is also an important consideration.  Never purchase a bike that you cannot sit on with both feet flat on the ground.
  • The largest available motorcycle engine is in the 650cc range.  Never purchase a motorcycle that is far too powerful for your riding experience and skills.
  • One of the most recommended engine sizes for the beginning motorcyclist is the 250cc model.  These bikes offer enough power, handle well, and enable most riders to plant both feet on the ground.

Consider Buying Used

Especially if this will be your first motorcycle, consider buying a used one.  Purchasing a bike that has already been depreciated can save you a great deal of money.  Bikes, like automobiles, lose much of their value during that first year.  If your bike goes down, it will be less expensive to repair.  Many riders sell their bikes when they want to upgrade, making them generally in good condition.

This advice was brought to you by Austin motorcycle attorney and motorcycle enthusiast Ray King at the Ray King Law Firm.  Call “The Motorcycle Attorney” at (512) 637-1000 if you become injured in a motorcycle crash that was the fault of another for a free case evaluation.

TxDOT Announces Widening of Highway Project in Killeen to Improve Traffic Safety

By King Law Firm on April 25, 2013 - Comments off

Texas Motorcycle SafetyAs reported in the Killeen Daily Herald, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) broke ground recently for a construction project that will widen a stretch of highway between W.S. Young Drive and Fort Hood’s Main gate.

According to Kevin Dickey, who is the director of transportation planning for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), this is part of the $47 million U.S. 190 Copperas Cove Bypass project that began in 2011 and is now close to completion.  Dickey said that TxDOT expects traffic congestion on 190 to be relieved thereby making all motorists and motorcyclists safer.

Killeen’s part of the highway construction project will add one lane in each direction.  Also between the main gate at Fort Hood and W.S. Young Drive, bridges will be upgraded as will frontage roads.

Spokesman for TxDOT, Ken Roberts, said that the construction will improve traffic safety as well as increase the flow of traffic.  The recent growth in the Fort Hood area has placed a greater demand on existing transportation infrastructure and necessitating the improvements.  Roberts added that on some sections of U.S. 190 near Fort Hood there is just as much traffic as on Interstate 35.

This project coincides with Killeen’s Rosewood Overpass project, which was funded by what is called “Pass through Financing,” a program in which Killeen pays for the work.  TxDOT then refunds most of the money.

Ray King, “The Motorcycle Attorney,” at the Ray King Law Firm in Austin, applauds efforts on the part of the city of Killeen and the Texas Department of Transportation to improve the safety of military men and women, their families, and the entire Killeen community while they are driving on Texas highways.  If you are hurt in a motorcycle accident that was caused by the negligence of another, contact “The Motorcycle Attorney,” Ray King at the Ray King Law Firm.  Call (512) 637-1000 to discuss the details of your case free of charge.

Spring is the Perfect Time to Renew Motorcycle Safety Practices

By King Law Firm on April 18, 2013 - Comments off

Texas Motorcycle Safety PracticeSpring is here, and motorcyclists are getting ready to ride.  But before you ride, you should make sure your gear, your bike, and your skills are in shape, a reminder courtesy of Kirtland Air Force Base and kirtland.af.mil.  First think about the easy parts—your personal gear and your motorcycle.

Make sure your personal gear is in good shape and not worn excessively.  This includes the following:

  • ADOT-approved helmet
  • Leather protective outerwear
  • Leather gloves and boots
  • Eye protection

Use the TCLOCS method to jog your memory and make sure your bike is in good condition for that first spring ride.  TCLOCS refers to tires, controls, lights and the electrical system, oil and other fluids, chassis, and stand.  Inspect them all, make an honest evaluation, and then tell your mechanic what is needed to get your bike back in shape and ready to ride.

If you are one of many who take the winter off from riding your bike, you may need to remove the rust from your skills.  If it has been three or more years since your last Motorcycle Safety Foundation course, sign up for a course to refresh your abilities.  Another important acronym to help you stay alert, is SEE—search, evaluate, and execute.  This will help you remember the importance of being alert in order to manage the risks on the road.

Motorcyclists must evaluate traffic and road conditions and anticipate the unexpected—loose gravel in the road, a deer crossing in front of you, a truck losing part of its load, etc.  Remember how important it is to ride defensively as you head out for your first spring ride. If you become injured in a motorcycle accident that was the fault of another’s carelessness or negligence, contact Ray King, “The Motorcycle Attorney,” at Ray King Law Firm in Austin.  Call (512) 637-1000 for a free consultation regarding your case.

Motorcycle Mentorship Ride Helps Troops Stay Alive

By King Law Firm on March 29, 2013 - Comments off

As reported by Sergeant 1st Class Joe Armas 1st ACB, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs and published in the Fort Hood Sentinel, the Army is making an effort to place emphasis on motorcycle safety.  The goal is to lower the number of accidents and related injuries and deaths that military personnel who ride suffer.

According to the Army Safety Guide for Motorcycles, over 30,000 U.S. Army soldiers are registered motorcycle riders.  More than 200 soldiers participate in mentorship rides each year.  During last fall’s ride, organized by Sergeant 1st Class Michael Holliday motorcycle mentor and the brigade’s senior safety non-commissioned officer, participants were joined by two professional motorcycle stunt riders, Ernie Vigil and Nick Brocha.

Sergeant Holliday said the group ride was all about motorcycle safety and why it should be a priority for Army personnel as well as for all riders.  The event’s goal was to promote the importance of protective equipment, being alert and aware on the highway, and knowing how to maneuver to avoid a crash or to survive in the event of a crash.  The most important goal is to stay alive while enjoying the incredible feeling of freedom riding a motorcycle delivers.

Everyone got together after the ride to identify and discuss some small shortcomings in order to improve riders’ skills and be better, safer riders.

American soldiers’ job is to keep their country safe.  Soldiers should set the standard and be an example for all those who ride.  If soldiers can’t protect themselves on the road by riding safely, then they can’t do the important job their country has called on them to do.

Motorcycle enthusiast and accident attorney Ray King is interested in the safety of all who ride, especially those who have risked their lives in foreign campaigns to keep America safe as so many Fort Hood soldiers have.  If you need the services of an attorney who handles only motorcycle accident cases, call Austin motorcycle attorney Ray King at (512) 514-6633.

Why Not Check the Bike before the Ride?

By King Law Firm on March 20, 2013 - Comments off

If there were simple steps motorcyclists could take to enhance the enjoyment and freedom of the ride, they would take them right? It just takes a few minutes to check your motorcycle to make sure you picked up no nails in the tires on your last ride and to perform a general safety check so you can prolong the ride.

Texas motorcycle attorney Ray King offers the following Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) checklist—simple pre-ride safety checks.

  • Begin by checking your tires. If you have engine problems you roll to a safe stop, but if your tire blows out, you are in serious trouble. Use a good tire gauge (Dial gauges are best.) to check the air pressure. You may have a slow leak in a tire if the pressure has been low the last two times it was checked. That could mean a valve leak or a small nail. Also look for cuts and foreign objects.
  • Check the oil level.
  • Check the lights—brake light, headlights, and turn signal lights. Visibility is your primary safeguard against drivers who may not expect to see motorcycles on the highway.
  • Check for anything that feels abnormal in the controls, levers, and cables.
  • If your bike is chain drive, make sure the chain is properly tensioned and lubricated.
  • Check the side or center stand for weakened springs.
  • As you begin to move forward on your bike, hit the brakes to test them before you reach highway speed.

It is important to maintain a regular service schedule. Use a trusted mechanic or have service performed by your authorized dealer.

Austin Motorcycle attorney Ray King is a motorcycle rider like you. It just takes a few minutes to be safe; then go enjoy the ride!

If you are injured in a motorcycle crash that was the fault of someone else, Ray wants you to know that his firm only handles motorcycle accident cases. Call (512) 514-6633 if you need his help. The consultation is free of charge.

Keeping Your Motorcycle Passengers Safe on Texas Roads

By King Law Firm on March 14, 2013 - Comments off

Texas Motorcycle SafetyAccording to the Texas Department of Public Safety, before September 1, 2009, there were no motorcycle passenger laws. In the 81st Texas legislative session, HB537 was passed requiring motorcycle passengers to be at least five years of age. Riders and passengers under age 21 are required to wear a DOT-approved motorcycle helmet. Operators and passengers age 21 and older are permitted to ride without wearing a helmet provided the motorcycle operator meets helmet exemption requirements.

Young Passengers

The decision of whether or not to carry a child passenger age five or older on a motorcycle is ultimately one that parents or guardians have to make. The child must be mature enough to take on the responsibility. He or she must be tall enough to reach footrests, wear protective gear including a helmet, and hold on to you.

Passenger Safety Considerations

Texas motorcyclist injury attorney Ray King and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) suggest that if you plan to transport a passenger on your bike, you take the following safety precautions:

  • Before taking on a passenger, you, the operator, must be an experienced rider.
  • The bike should not be new to you.
  • Practice using the clutch and throttle at low speeds with your passenger on board.
  • Allow the passenger time to become adjusted to leaning and to the sense of speed.
  • Corner the bike with caution — keeping in mind the comfort and safety of your passenger. Instruct your passenger to look over your shoulder in the direction the bike will corner. Avoid extreme lean angles.
  • Allow more time for passing and be prepared for the wind to have a greater effect on the bike.

Texas motorcycle attorney Ray King welcomes your comments regarding taking on children and adults as passengers.

If you are ever injured in a motorcycle accident that was due to another’s negligence, call the King Law Firm at (512) 514-6633 for a free case evaluation and allow our legal team to work to make sure you are fairly compensated.

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