Tag Archives: Tips/training

Crashed riders risk negligent charge

More and more riders are being charged with negligent driving (riding) after a single-vehicle crash, says NSW traffic and criminal law specialist Chris Kalpage.

Our contributing lawyer has previously written articles about defending various charges and last time he addressed the issues arising out of dangerous driving and negligent driving causing death or grievous bodily harm.

He now tackles this increasing risk of a negligent driving charge for which penalties can be quite severe:

Chris Kalpage defencesChris Kalpage sets up for a track session

Negligent driving

The concept of negligence is whether the person charged was not riding in the manner of a reasonably prudent motorist, considering all the circumstances.

Often if police are called to a single-vehicle accident where the bike has come down there is a risk the rider will be charged with negligent driving.

Two cases I defended come to mind.

Case 1

Old Pac gets more ‘safety barriers’Riders on the Old Pac (Photo courtesy of Valley Images)

One morning my client was riding his Aprilia RSV on the Old Pacific Highway, tipped into a corner at below the speed limit and lost his front end on slippery leaf mulch. You could substitute that for moss, oil, gravel from filling in potholes, or anything on the road surface.

He dragged himself to the Armco and sat down, his leg was broken. To his surprise, a tow truck and ambulance stopped to assist. As he was traveling to Gosford Hospital he heard over the radio that they had picked up the wrong accident victim, so they stopped at the next accident scene some kilometres from where he had crashed.

While the paramedics were assisting the other rider, a highway patrol officer at the second scene spoke to my client while he was in the back of the ambulance. He asked what had happened and my client explained about the leaf mulch. The officer further interviewed my client in hospital.

My client subsequently received an infringement for negligent driving which we defended.

The police officer’s evidence was that my client had told him he had lost his front wheel on leaf mulch. However, the officer said he attended the site and there was no leaf mulch, inferring that my client was riding with negligence.

In calling for the officer’s notebook in cross examination of him, it was clear the officer had noted my client indicated he had lost his front wheel suddenly on hitting the mulch. In cross-examination of the officer it was established that the notebook was the totality of the content of the discussion with my client.  It was further conceded by the officer that my client had said nothing more.

It was conceded that there were many corners between where the officer saw my client in the ambulance and where the accident had occurred.

The obvious conclusion was that the officer could not correctly identify the exact corner of the crash and by inference had not attended the site as was stated. The officer’s questionable evidence was rejected, my client’s evidence favourably received and he was found not guilty.

Case 2

Oxley Highway businesses eventRiders on the Oxley Highway

Another client was riding his Ducati 748 down the Oxley Highway when he hit a wedge of tarmac, possibly caused by heat forming a lip in the soft asphalt. His bike was knocked into gravel on the opposite side of the road.

Again my client had a broken leg and the ambulance was called. A regional highway patrol officer turned up at the site about 20 minutes later. Again, he had not seen how the accident occurred and had no evidence from witnesses, but formed the view that as an accident had occurred my client must have been traveling too fast.

At the hearing, the prosecutor agreed with me that the highway patrol officer could not provide expert post accident crash analysis. That is the remit of the specially trained police crash investigation unit. The case was adjourned so representations could be made.

However, the officer chose to press on with the case. Even though the magistrate allowed the evidence — which I believe should not have been — he took into account the officer’s lack of expertise and was prepared to accept my client’s evidence. He dismissed the prosecution.

Conclusion

A mere accident does not automatically mean that the rider was negligent. The prosecution needs to establish that you were driving or riding without the standard of care and attention reasonably expected of the ordinary prudent driver.

Even if you run into the back of a vehicle that suddenly stops, it does not mean your manner of driving was negligent.

I defended a retired motorcycle highway patrol officer with significant riding experience who ran into the back of a car because he had to apply emergency braking right where there was a sudden change in the road condition. He was acquitted at hearing.

So, if you have to brake suddenly and do it on a patch of diesel causing you to run into the car in front that may not constitute negligence. The court has to take into account all the circumstances of the case as embodied in the legislation, a part of which is printed below:

NSW ROAD TRANSPORT ACT 2013 – SECT 117

Negligent, furious or reckless driving

117 Negligent, furious or reckless driving

(cf STM Act, s 42)

(1) A person must not drive a motor vehicle on a road negligently.

(3) In considering whether an offence has been committed under this section, the court is to have regard to all the circumstances of the case, including the following:

(a) the nature, condition and use of the road on which the offence is alleged to have been committed,

(b) the amount of traffic that actually is at the time, or which might reasonably be expected to be, on the road,

(c) any obstructions or hazards on the road (including, for example, broken down or crashed vehicles, fallen loads and accident or emergency scenes).

(Editor’s note: This is a NSW law, but there are similar rules in most jurisdictions.)

This relates to the specific circumstances of the particular incident and this is one situation where every case is different. No two situations are alike so they require careful analysis. Don’t assess your case based on someone you know who had a similar situation and got a certain result, as you could be very wrong.

Disclaimer

This article is for reader information and interest only and is based on New South Wales law. It is not intended to be comprehensive, and does not constitute and must not be relied on as legal advice.

Please be aware that every case is different and the matters raised may not be of specific relevance to your situation but may have a general application. You must seek specific advice tailored to your circumstances. Chris is happy to talk to anyone needing clarification. He can be contacted on 0418 211074.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

How to ride a cruiser on gravel and roadworks

Just because you are riding a cruiser doesn’t mean you have to find a detour when the road turns to gravel or you hit some rough roadworks.

We can understand those riders who choose to avoid such situations because they don’t want to get their chrome dirty or their paintwork pitted by stone chips.

However, there is no need to take the long way round just because you are scared of dropping or crashing your cruiser in gravel.

There is a special way to ride a cruiser on gravel roads and through roadworks but it basically comes down to slow and steady. Don’t be a hero!

Check out this video where a female successfully rides a Harley down a gravel road while a male on a BMW R 1200 GS embarrassingly drops his bike!

Advantages

In fact, there are even some advantages in riding a cruiser on a dirt road:

  • The big flywheel keeps the bike stable at a slow pace;
  • The low centre of gravity;
  • Wide handlebars to control the front wheel which may be pushed around by stones or a soft surface;
  • Some cruisers have a big and slim front wheel which cuts through gravel and soft stuff without flicking around;
  • The effectiveness of the rear brake; and
  • The low seat height that allows you to reassuringly put a foot on the ground.

All these will allow you to ride dirt roads and roadworks if you take a slow and steady pace.

Although, competent riders can take cruisers at a more brisk pace.

Check out this video of US Army dispatch riders training on Harley WLAs.

Disadvantages

We’re not saying cruisers are off-road bikes.

There are several disadvantages of a cruiser on dirt:

  • The excessive weight may get you bogged in loose stuff;
  • If you lose your balance, they come down quickly;
  • They are more difficult to pick up if dropped; and
  • They don’t have knobby tyres to dig into the surface.

So how do you overcome these issues?

The first rule of riding in dirt is to stand up. That allows the bike flop around without alarming you and your weight adding to the movement.

It also gives you a better look ahead for obstacles.

However, it is difficult to stand on a cruiser, so we suggest just remaining seated.

And don’t bother dropping the tyre pressures unless you are riding in sand. You won’t puncture a tyre if you are going slow.

Gravel busting tips

So here are 10 things you can do to ride your cruiser on dirt:

  1. Breathe. You will get through this, but first you have to breathe deeply, relax your shoulders and handlebar grip, and don’t get too stressed. The more relaxed you are, the less likely you will overreact to any bike movements. It’s important to let the bike squirrel around a little bit.
  2. Leave a gap. If you are in a conga line of traffic, don’t tailgate. Leave a fair gap to the motorist in front and if you are being followed closely by a vehicle, turn around and ask them to back off while you get through or they could run over you if you do drop the bike.
  3. Be smooth. Accelerate, change gears, brake and steer smoothly. Sharp inputs can have drastic effects.
  4. Don’t paddle. Keep your feet on the footpegs. This gives you more control. Paddling with your feet will only slow you down and may not prevent you from falling, anyhow. However, a low cruiser will still allow you to have the odd dab at the ground for added stability.
  5. Look ahead. Don’t look down or that’s where you will end up. Keep an eye ahead so your bike goes where you are looking. It also helps you identify any obstacles such as ruts, mud or deep gravel.
  6. Accelerate. Ride into the roadworks very slowly so you can gradually increase your speed without having to touch your brakes. By applying a bit of throttle through the roadworks, you control the bike though the back wheel and keep pressure off the front, preventing it from tucking under. If the road ahead is sand, you may be in a bit of trouble as that requires a light front end and acceleration. But it can be done with some practice and bravery pills!
  7. Don’t brake. Only if absolutely necessary, should you apply the brake. And then, it should be smooth and mainly rear brake. If you have ABS, that’s actually an advantage in dirt when you are sporting road tyres!
  8. Turn slowly. If the roadworks goes around a corner, you will have to turn, but try to make a big arc through the corner by staying in the outside wheel track.
  9. Pick a wheel track. Even if you go around a corner and need to arc out the angle a bit, try not to get out of the wheel tracks as these are drier and firmer.
  10. Don’t stop. Most riders drop a cruiser when they stop in tricky situations. Try to keep the bike moving, even if very slowly. Rely on that big flywheel and maybe slip a little clutch to monitor your speed.

(Thanks to my mate Peter Davis who rode his Honda cruiser up and down this steep gravel hill for the video.)

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Why You Shouldn’t Cancel Motorcycle Insurance During Winter

By Cyndy Lane: Traveler, Blogger, Writer, Loves to write about personal travel experiences

If you are the proud owner and rider of a motorcycle, you will know how important it is to have insurance coverage in place. Insurance provides protection against a range of incidents such as accidents, theft, fire, damage, and third-party liability in the event of an accident. There are various different levels of motorcycle insurance you can consider, so you should be able to find the ideal one for your needs.

Once you have your cover in place, you can look forward to peace of mind and protection when you hit the road on your motorcycle during the summer. Of course, in the winter, the roads are often not safe enough depending on where you live, so you may decide to store your bike during the winter months and use other methods of transportation. If you do this, you may also be tempted to cancel your insurance cover during the months you are not using the motorcycle, but this could prove to be a mistake. In this article, we will look at some of the key reasons why you should keep your motorcycle insurance active, even during the winter when you are not riding it.

What Are the Reasons?

We all want to save money where we can, which is why some riders decide to cancel their motorcycle insurance when they are not actually riding their motorbike for an extended period. However, there are various reasons why you should think twice before you do this. Some of these include:

You May Face Fees and Penalties

When you take out insurance coverage, it is designed to cover you for the period of one year, at which point you can renew or go elsewhere for coverage. However, if you decide to cancel partway through the year because you will not be using your motorcycle, you could face penalties and early termination fees, and these can be very costly. So, it is well worth considering whether you will be better off keeping the coverage in place rather than being hit with huge financial penalties.

You Will Lose Valuable Protection

As we know, insurance coverage protects us in the event of damage or injuries caused during accidents while on the road. However, it also covers you for problems that could occur when you are not on the road such as the theft of your motorcycle or fire damage. If you cancel your insurance cover, you will lose this protection. So, if something happens to your motorcycle during the months you are not riding it, you will have no protective cover in place.

You Will Be Unable to Ride Your Bike

While you may think that you will not ride your motorcycle at all during the winter months, you never know when the odd day of decent weather might come along. If and when this does happen, you may want to take to the road on your motorcycle. However, if you have cancelled your insurance cover, you won’t be able to do this. So, it is worth keeping your insurance cover active so that you can still ride your motorcycle in winter if you are able to.

What Can You Do?

So, what can you do in order to continue to enjoy protection? Well, it is worth noting that there are some insurance providers that offer lay-up insurance plans. These plans make things far easier for you, as you can benefit from reduced costs when your motorcycle is not being used for an extended period but you will still be protected when it comes to things such as fire damage or theft of your bike. So, you can look forward to continued insurance cover even if you will not be riding your bike and do not need liability coverage. There are also some lay-up policies that do allow for occasional riding of your bike, such as when the weather take a turn for the better. You can go online to get a competitive motorcycle insurance quote, which will make it easier for find cover that fits in with your budget.

If you want to enjoy continued protection rather than cancelling your insurance plan altogether during winter, it is well worth checking with your provider – or another provider – whether they offer this type of plan. This is something that will provide you with much greater flexibility when it comes to your insurance coverage and means that you are not left completely unprotected during the winter.

Motorcycles do not come cheap, and the last thing you want is for your expensive dream machine to be at risk. By making sure you keep some level of cover in place during the winter months, you get to benefit from far greater peace of mind as well as valuable protection. 

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

It’s about the journey, not the destination

(Contributed post for our North American readers)

Of course, you have heard this statement before; it’s not the destination, but the journey. Whether you’re a serious adventurer or a more relaxed kind of biker, you can choose the motorcycle trip customized to your level and the type of experience you are looking for. From the Himalayas to Mongolia, from a rugged raid to a smooth cruise everything is possible to suit every taste.

Bike travel gives you heaps of freedom and offers a more intimate connection with the people of the places you pass through. There are several scenic roads around the world, yet the best rides are spiced by the rush of twists where motorcyclists can wrench open the throttle.

A motorcycle trip requires extensive pre-trip planning and research, and there are many factors to keep in mind while planning the trip. The following are a few tips that you need to know before you jump on a bike and take a trip.

  • Selection of right bike:

Picking the ideal motorcycle is one of the most significant parts of going by bike. And your bike needs to be in accordance with the demands of your trip. Your checklist for choosing the right bike should focus on aspects like mileage, low maintenance and most importantly, a comfortable seating position so that you don’t strain your neck and/or back over the course of a long journey.

  • Have right accessories:

It’s important that you equip yourself with the right accessories so that you stay safe throughout your journey. While sporting a biker’s jacket and gloves will help you fight the heat and avoid dehydration, always ensure you wear a good-quality helmet as this might be the difference between life and death.

Ensure you wear biker boots to protect your feet and keep a decent grip on the brake pedal. Other important accessories include biker gloves and a traveling backpack. The proper bike gear is essential to ensure a safe and adventurous bike road trip.

  • Get ready for the long journey:

Preparing your motorbike involves cleaning it thoroughly and getting it serviced when required. You have to fix any issues you notice while cleaning or riding.

Ensure that your bike has dual sport tires so that you have no problem tackling both smooth surfaces and unpaved roads. Also, get your motorcycle serviced by a respectable mechanic to guarantee it’s in top condition before you hit the road.

  • Get prepared for a breakdown:

Breaking down on the roadside can be an upsetting and unsettling experience. If you’re riding a motorbike, you’re more likely to be on your own with no passengers to help and keep you company.

Not only that, if the weather is unpleasant or it’s late at night and dark, you’re exposed to the elements. In a car, you can sit inside in relative warmth and comfort while you wait for help. With a motorcycle, you don’t have a lot of choices but to remain alongside it until help shows up.

No matter where you are when an emergency happens, Commercial Roadside Assistance Company allows you to call one phone number and get help right away.

In the end, motorbike travel is one of the best ways to explore. It’s the ultimate thrill; the feeling of total freedom, of immersing yourself in the scenery, the breeze rushing by and the buzz it offers is indescribable.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Are you an over-committed rider?

We all enjoy going hard some times, but if you are an over-committed rider, you leave no margin for error and the results can be catastrophic.

While other motorists should watch out for riders, we also have to take responsibility for our own safety, especially during the higher-risk holiday riding season.

That means not using the road as our own personal racetrack.

Instead, go and do a track day and get it out of your system.Committed track day

There you will find a well-marshalled event where everyone is heading in the same direction as you, there are no cars and trucks to hassle you, there are no roadside hazards to hit and if it does go pear-shaped, there is an ambulance on duty.

None of that is available on the road.

That’s why you when you go for a road ride you should always leave a margin for error and not over-commit.

Over-committed ridersCommute traffic lane filtering speed wet NSW sydney police commuting slow speeding speed limit

Almost every time I go out for a ride I see a rider who has over-committed.

On our suburban roads, some riders take for granted that they will be given right of way.

That’s over-committing your safety into the hands of motorists who may not see you or who do but don’t consider you a threat, anyway.

On the highways some riders slice through the traffic, over-committing themselves to squeezing into a gap.

If a car suddenly changes lanes, they have left themselves no room to brake or change direction.

On country back roads, I see riders over-committing by trying to get their knees down in a corner.

Unless they have just ridden that corner, how do they know there isn’t a bump, pothole, gravel, oil spill, etc, that will reduce traction and low-side their bike?

On mountain roads I witness riders over-committing to blind corners simply because they have ridden them before.

But what if there is a stray animal on the road, an oncoming vehicle cutting the corner, or a group of cyclists just around the bend?Maritha Keyser Cyclist rule endangers motorcyclists

Most important rule

The most important safety rule you can apply these holidays is to ride within your limits.

Always leave an escape route or a margin for your error and the errors of other road users.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

How double demerit points can affect you

Double demerit points apply from Friday (20 December 2019) in NSW, the ACT and Western Australia, affecting licensed riders not only in those states, but also Queensland.

The penalty period lasts until January 1 (inclusive) in NSW and ACT and January 5 in WA where one rider copped a hefty 14 demerit points and $1200 fine over the Western Australia Day long weekend in June 2019.

Traffic Enforcement Group officers tweeted the above photo of the fine after nabbing the rider at more than 120km/h in an 80km/h zone in Ravenswood.

Police noted on the fine that the rider told them: “She (his bike) was flooding and gurgling; just gave it a blat”.

His licence was suspended for three months.

Double points danger

Riders from Victoria, Tasmania, Northern Territory and South Australia passing through NSW, ACT or WA during any declared holiday period do not cop the double demerits.

Police cops speed speeding sensation annual demerit

However, Queensland riders should note that in certain circumstances they do apply.

The law in Queensland is that double points do apply to speeding offences of 21km/h or greater over the speed limit and seatbelt offences if they occur more than once within a 12 month period.

Lawyer Stephen Hayles of Macrossan and Amiet Solicitors says he has been asked by clients about the system after copping a fine in an applicable state.

“For example if you commit two speeding offences of driving 21km/h over the speed limit in a 12 month period, you will be allocated four demerit points for the first offence and four demerit points for the second offence plus an additional four demerit points,” he says.

“This means that you will have accumulated 12 demerit points within a 12 month period and you risk having your licence suspended.”

How demerit points are recorded

NSW police blitz demerit

Double points apply in NSW and ACT over the Australia Day weekend, Easter, Anzac Day, Queen’s Birthday, Labour Day and Christmas/New Year.

In WA, the double points apply on Australia Day (unless it falls on a week day), Labour Day, Easter, Anzac Day (unless it falls on a week day), Western Australia Day, Queen’s Birthday, and Christmas/New Year.

If a rider in another state commits a traffic offence in a state during a double-demerit period, the offence is recorded as a double demerit offence on their traffic history in the state where the offence happened.

The state licensing authority will then report the offence to the transport department in your state who will record the offence on your traffic history.

However, the double points will only apply in Queensland under the circumstances described above.

Choice of penalty

Stephen says that if you have committed a traffic offence recently and you receive a Queensland Transport notice that you have accumulated your allowed demerits, you will have a choice of a good driving behaviour period or a licence suspension for a period.

“When considering whether to agree to a good behaviour driving behaviour period and a licence suspension, it is important that a licence holder understands that accepting a suspension of their licence may preclude them from making an Application for a Special Hardship Order or an Application for a Restricted (Work) Licence for the next five years,” he warns.

If you are unsure about how many demerit points you have, you can search your record online at your state’s transport department website or call them and request a copy of your traffic history.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Watch out for Xmas shopping deliveries

After two recent near-misses with courier vans delivering online shopping purchases in the lead-up to Christmas, we thought it appropriate to issue this warning.

Watch out for courier vans around your suburb. They don’t seem to pay a lot of attention to motorcycles!

Online shopping

The rapid growth of online shopping has increased the number of these vans and trucks in our suburbs.

Australia Post says their deliveries are up 39% this year because of online shopping deliveries.

The increase has also led to Australia Post buying electric three wheelers to deliver the parcels as it is becoming more and more difficult to carry on a two-wheeler.

Australia Post postie bike electric trike eDV
Australia Post postie bike electric trike eDV

The new electric trike has a top speed of 45km/h and can carry up to 100 small parcels and 1200 letters at a time, three times more than the old Postie bike.

However, due to a problem with the front forks, the electric rollout has been slowed.

While Postie bikes, three-wheelers and vans are not a huge issue for riders, courier drivers are.

Some are paid by the number of deliveries they make, so they seem to be in a hurry.

This presents a major risk for riders who easily disappear in truck and van blind spots.

Trucks reversed image lane filtering blind spot online shopping
All the bikes in this photo are in a truck’s blind spots

Trucks also present problems for riders from tyre blowouts as this video shows.

While the number of truck crashes is low on the statistics, when they crash they can cause multiple deaths and injuries.

Trucks were responsible for 169 deaths from 152 fatal crashes in Australia in the 12 months up to September 2018. 

The latest truck fatality in Australia involved a Victorian rider who collided with a truck on the Monash Freeway near the Blackburn Road on-ramp on Wednesday (February 6, 2019).

In the USA, truck crashes kill more than 4000 people each year, including about 500 motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians.

Fashion to blame

The online fashion industry is one of the biggest causes of this increase in heavy vehicle traffic.

Almost a third of all clothes are now bought online and about 40% are returned when they don’t fit or after the buyer has taken an Instagram selfie!

And that’s just the fashion industry. A lot of other products are now bought online rather than from shopping centres.

Fashion Revolution of Belgium has warned fashion shoppers of the hidden dangers and costs of this increase in online trucking of goods with this video.

It shows women trying on clothes on highways, surrounded by trucks and traffic.

Count the costs

The costs of this online fashion business is not only an increase in traffic congestion, but also road danger and CO2 emissions output.

In 2016, transportation (including air travel) overtook power plants as the top producer of carbon dioxide emissions for the first time since 1979.

A quarter of this comes from trucks and vans doing house deliveries after they have been transported by plane or ship to a warehouse.

Before online shopping, trucks and vans mainly delivered to warehouses and shopping centres.Extend truck lane restriction

Now most packages go directly to a residential address.

Shoppers have traded trips to the shops in relatively fuel-efficient vehicles for deliveries to suburban homes by trucks and other heavy vehicles.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

8 Mistakes to Avoid After a Motorbike Accident

(Contributed article for our North American readers)

Having a motorbike accident can be a very traumatizing experience, you’ll be shocked, scared and confused which will make it more likely that you’ll make mistakes which can heart your chances to get appropriate compensation from insurance companies. That money is rightfully yours and you’ll need it to cover medical bills and make up for the damage done to your motorbike.

There’s a stereotype about bikers being risky drivers which isn’t actually true. People assume it is because they’re the ones that tend to sustain more injuries in accidents because the vehicle in itself offers less protection than a car. The problem is you’ll already be dealing with a bias against you so you need to be well informed and prepared in case something like this happens to you. 

Mistake #1:  Leaving the Scene of the Accident

This is incriminating behavior; it implies that you caused the accident and that’s why you don’t want to stick around. To avoid problems, you should stay at the scene, speak to the police officers honestly but without making any speculations regarding speed, distance or any other factors that might have contributed to the crash happening. 

Mistake #2: Apologizing

Again, incriminating behavior. You might be a really nice person who apologizes when other people step on your toes but in this case, it can be interpreted as an admission of fault. That’s not something you want to do in front of the other drivers, the police or any witnesses. 

Mistake #3:  Agreeing to Not Have the Accident Reported

The other driver might be able to convince you, in your confused state, that it was your fault and going through the hassle of reporting the accident to the police and getting the insurance companies involved will do you more harm than good. Well, that’s a terrible idea. First of all, he or she is more likely to say this if they know that it is, in fact, their fault and if you don’t report it and get everything on record you may lose any chance for compensation.

Mistake #4: Leave Without Gathering Evidence

If you drive a motorbike it would be best to keep a camera on it at all times but if that’s not possible, you want to at least take pictures after any accidents. You want to record your injuries and damage to your bike. You should also preserve evidence like your helmet and what you were wearing. You’ll need it later on if you have to build a case. Getting the contact information from witnesses is also advisable because your attorney can contact them for you.

Mistake #5: Delaying Medical Care

Right after the accident, you’ll have a lot of adrenaline running through your body and you might not be able to accurately assess the severity of your injuries until hours or days later. That’s why it’s extremely important that you see a doctor as soon as possible. So, go to the hospital by ambulance or other means straight away. 

For one thing, by doing this you’ll be making sure you get the medical assistance you need. On top of that, you’ll have everything on record and you won’t give the insurance company the chance to throw doubt over your claims regarding the level of the health-related damage you sustained. Another decisive factor is to follow through with your treatment and keep all your appointments, since any gaps can be used against you.

Moreover, the legislation states that the injured party must seek to mitigate their damages and by following treatment you’re proving that you’re doing everything that’s asked of you to get better in the shortest amount of time. 

Mistake #6: Expecting the Other Party to Admit Fault

They might be just as sure of their innocence as you are, it’s human nature so you can’t really expect them to just roll over, admit they were the cause and deal with all the financial repercussions. That’s what would happen in an ideal world and wouldn’t it be nice if that’s how people treated each other? Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case. You’re better off not starting any sort of discussion about who is to blame with them, you might get angry and say something you’ll later regret or that they can use to undermine you.

Mistake #7: Be Naive About Insurance Companies

Your insurance company or the one of the other motorist will ask you to provide a recorded interview. Know that you have absolutely no obligation and you should decline doing so without representation since it might threaten your chances of getting compensation. 

It’s better to consult with a personal injury solicitor that can advise you on how to best protect your interests. People don’t realize that insurance companies are not looking out for them but for their drivers and their stakeholders. They have their own attorneys and adjusters to handle a claim right from the moment the accident is reported. You might think it’s better to cooperate with them every step of the way and all they’re trying to do is sort everything out to everyone’s advantage but, actually, it’s highly likely they’ll try to pay as little as possible.

Mistake #8: Post Information Regarding the Accident Online

As long as your personal injury claim hasn’t been resolved, you really should refrain from discussing the accident on social media. You might feel tempted to inform friends and acquaintances about your recovery but insurance adjusters can also access you profile and gather evidence to dispute claims. An online post or photo can be taken out of context and be interpreted in all sorts of ways you won’t like.  

Even if you’ve made some of these mistakes, it doesn’t mean you should lose all hope of getting what’s owed to you. Most riders will not be able to do everything perfectly after an accident since they’re human beings with emotional responses and can’t keep a cool head in all situations. Despite this, with patience, perseverance and the proper knowledge, they still manage to get a fair outcome.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

What You Need to Consider Before Setting Off on a Long Distance Rides Abroad

(Contributed article)

When headed out on a long distance trip in another country, there is quite a bit of excitement involved. However, before you get to the good stuff, there are a number of important considerations that you must make first. Being aware of certain details ahead of time can help you to stay safer and happier on your extended ride. So, without further ado, here are the things that you should be paying attention to before you set out…

Be Aware of Differing Laws

You are naturally aware that the motorcycle riding laws in other countries are different from what you are used to. Nonetheless, you also need to understand that these laws can differ from one region to another as well. Let’s consider DUI laws as an example.  If you are riding through Canada, for instance, a Milton DUI lawyer will tell you that the intoxicated while driving laws are the same across the board.

However, if you were to cross the border into the USA, then the laws can differ from one state to another. Thus, you have an entirely different set of rules to contend with. So, how can you keep track of all of these laws? Well, doing a little bit of research beforehand certainly can’t hurt. At the same time, make sure that you have a few local legal contacts as well. For instance, if you will be spending quite a lot of time in Canada, know who to call for DUI assistance in Toronto.

Identify the Least Motorcycle Friendly Cities

Believe it or not, there are cities that have been identified as being the “least motorcycle-friendly cities”. Now, there are several reasons for this title. It could be that certain areas don’t experience a great deal of motorcycle traffic and are, thus, unaccommodating. Or, it could mean that those places have an exceptionally high rate of motorcycle accidents.

Regardless, you must be able to identify these cities. You can then be even more cautious in these areas, cutting down on the risk of getting into accidents. Not to mention, you will also find it easier to get on with the locals, especially if they aren’t used to riders passing through their town.

Ride Like You Are Invisible

Following up on the above point, it is best to ride like people in cars are unaware of your existence. As mentioned, motorcycles may not be all that common in certain parts of the world. Due to this, the average driver may not think to look out for you, especially in congested spots.

As a result, your safety will be in your own hands. So, when you are on your motorcycle, don’t execute any sudden movements. Instead, make sure that you are plainly visible to all drivers and make it a point to signal what you are about to do.

Sure, there are a few points to remember when going on a long distance ride in a foreign country. However, as long as you make a note of these, your ride is sure to go a lot smoother so take them to heart.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Are novelty motorcycle helmet covers legal?

Many riders like to get into the holiday spirit by wearing Santa, elf, Elmo or reindeer novelty helmet covers.

However, they could be a safety hazard, they may void your insurance and some police say they may be illegal.

Safety aspects of novelty coversMelbourne Toy Run 40th anniversary covers

While novelty helmet covers may be fun and potentially protect your helmet from dust, scratches and chips, they could also be a safety hazard.

They can come loose and obscure your vision or become a choking hazard, especially at high speeds.

Most suppliers recommend they not be worn on the highway, but only at city speeds.

Since most are only worn in charity parades, speed should not be an issue.

But be aware that they can reduce ventilation which would make them stiflingly hot on a summer’s day in a slow-moving toy run procession.

They may also suppress important surrounding noises such as emergency sirens or the sound of screeching tyres.

Legal aspects of novelty covers

While we cannot find any legal reference in the Australian Road Rules to these novelty covers, police can still issue a ticket if they believe it is an offence.

So we contacted them for their interpretation of the road rules.

VicPol say it is “not possible to provide a blanket yes or no answer to your query, as it must be assessed on an individual basis”.

They suggest the following points could impact on the compliance:

  • The correct fitment is highly unlikely as the covers are “one size fits all’ and not manufactured for specific brand / model helmets.
  • The cover has the potential to impede vision through the visor when fitted or whilst travelling.
  • The cover may prevent the rider from securing the helmet correctly through the helmet buckle.
  • The cover has the potential to move / fall off at speed.Novelty santa xmas motorcycle helmet cover

Queensland and South Australia police say novelty helmet covers are legal:

Novelty helmet covers are not illegal, as long as the rider is wearing a motorcycle helmet that complies with Australian standards and is securely fastened. Riders will need to ensure that the novelty cover does not obscure their vision.

WA Police did not respond, but the Western Australia Road Safety Commission says riders are already vulnerable road users and “wearing gear that might potentially make it harder for riders to spot other road users would not improve this situation”.

ACT Police say they would “take action against the user of the helmet cover if it contributed to an incident or collision (for example, if the cover impeded the vision of a rider)”.

“It is concerning to police that the manufacturers openly identify significant risks to the user of the product on their website,” they say.

Bah humbugMelbourne Toy Run 40th anniversary

Since most riders wear novelty helmets as part of a fund-raising or at least fun-raising ride, it would be a particularly belligerent Scrooge cop who fined a rider over a helmet cover!

Speaking of Scrooges: If you crash while wearing a novelty helmet cover, your insurance company may use it as an excuse to void your policy.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com