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Special standards apply in motorcycle accidents

Even under the best of circumstances, riding a motorcycle can be a dangerous proposition. Studies have shown that riding a motorcycle means that a person is more than 30 times as likely to die in an accident than if they are in a car.

While safety measures help, they are not a panacea. Under Oregon law, all motorcycle riders and their passengers are required to wear a helmet, and those helmets are required to meet federal motor vehicle safety standards. In addition, for the safety of riders, lane splitting is illegal in Oregon as well. Despite these measures, and given the fact that Portland’s soggy weather makes wet roads even more treacherous for riders, motorcycle accidents do take place frequently.

Add in the fact that despite a motorcyclist being as safe as possible, they must still share the road with car drivers, who can cause all kinds of accident problems due to drunk and distracted driving, a lack of motorcycle awareness, dangerous roads and a host of other conditions that challenge motorcycle riders on a daily basis.

When a motorcycle accident takes place involving another vehicle that is at fault, a rider is going to require the services of an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer.

Although motorcycle accidents share many similarities with car accidents, there are some differences worth noting.

Just like a car accident, proving negligence on the part of the defendant is the key to winning a suit. But courts also take into consideration the added risks of riding a motorcycle and hold car drivers to a different standard when a motorcycle is involved.

They take into account that a driver must be more vigilant because there is much less stability and protection on a motorcycle than when driving a car. Courts also consider that motorcycle drivers face increased vulnerability to road hazards including road debris, poor drivers and other related factors.

When looking at negligence, courts will be favorable toward a motorcycle rider because they are required to have specialized skills to ride.

All of these standards combine to place the burden of vigilance more squarely on the shoulders of drivers when sharing the road with motorcycle riders.

Johnson & Taylor Law proudly serves Portland, Salem and surrounding Oregon communities.