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330 East Kilbourn Avenue, Suite 1170
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP

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Milwaukee, WI family law attorney for same-sex parentsBy Attorney Chris Strohbehn

Fall is a popular time to hit the road to enjoy the colorful foliage, and with the ideal mix of warm days and cool nights, there is no better area to enjoy the show than in Wisconsin. To many, the only thing that makes this better is to witness this spectacle of nature astride a motorcycle. Yet nothing can ruin your autumn ride like a serious motorcycle accident. Before you hit the road, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the state’s basic motorcycle regulations, and if you become involved in a collision, you should speak to an attorney to determine your options for recovering compensation.  

Wisconsin Motorcycle Regulations

  • Headlights: Use of headlights is required at all times, including daytime.
  • Modulating headlights: These are permitted under the Code of Federal Regulations.
  • Eye protection: Shatterproof protective eyewear is required except for cycles with a windscreen that extends at least 15 inches above the handlebars. Dark or tinted eye protection—such as sunglasses— cannot be worn at night or in low-light conditions.
  • Handlebar height: The maximum height allowed is 30 inches above the seat.
  • Head protection: U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)-approved helmets are required for all drivers and passengers under the age of 18. All drivers with a learner’s permit or instructional motorcycle permit also are required to wear a helmet.
  • Passenger age: There is no age restriction for passengers.
  • Motorcycle equipment: All motorcycles must be equipped with turn signals, at least one rear-view mirror, and a muffler.  
  • Passenger equipment: All motorcycles carrying a second person must have a separate passenger seat and two footrests.
  • Insurance: All motorcyclists must have accident liability insurance.

Safety First

When it comes to motorcycle safety, it is always a good idea to err on the side of caution. For this reason, most experts recommend always wearing protective eyewear and a helmet. Other safety recommendations include wearing bright-colored clothing to increase visibility as well as suitable shoes or boots; long, heavy-gauge pants such as jeans; and a long-sleeved jacket (preferably leather or a similar heavy material), all of which can provide added protection in case of a fall.

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Milwaukee motorcycle accident injury lawyerIt is springtime, which means motorcyclists will removing the covers off their motorcycles and going for their first ride in months. If you are a motorcyclist, you should take this time to re-familiarize yourself with safety tips that will help you avoid accidents. 

Follow these tips to avoid a motorcycle accident this spring.

  1. Mind the weather. Spring is notoriously a wet time of year, and roads are often slippery or muddy. You should never assume the depth of standing water.
  2. Inspect your bike. Your tires should be free from cracks, bulges, and signs of wear in the treads. You should also look under your bike for any signs of oil or gasoline leaks. All fluid levels should be tested, and any burned out headlights, tail lights, or signals should be replaced.
  3. Conduct additional inspections once mounted and riding for the first time. When you first get on your bike, there are additional areas that should be checked. The clutch and throttle should slide easily. Mirrors should be readjusted and cleaned. Brakes should feel firm, and the horn should be adequately loud.
  4. Be aware of changing road conditions. It is likely that some of your favorite routes will have changed since fall. Even if you drive on a street regularly by car, you may not notice conditions that are hazardous to a motorcycle. Potholes and cracks that can be dangerous if encountered on a bike are likely to emerge after winter.
  5. Wear a helmet. Be sure to use a helmet that provides full head protection, and insist that your passengers do as well. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, over 1,000 lives are saved each year by wearing a helmet.

Contact a Milwaukee Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney

Even putting practice these safety tips into practice will not prevent every accident. In fact, in accidents between a vehicle and a motorcycle, most collisions are the fault of the driver of the vehicle. Car drivers often do not see motorcyclists, even when a cyclist is complying with the rules of the road. In these situations, an injured motorcyclist should be compensated for their medical expenses, income lost due to the inability to work following an injury, and pain and suffering.

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Milwaukee personal injury lawyer, Wisconsin motorcycle safety, motorcycle accident prevention, motorcycle accidents, motorcycle injuriesAs the weather begins to warm up in the spring and summer months, more and more motorcycles will be appearing on Wisconsin’s roads. Unfortunately, while motorcyclists have the same rights on the road as other vehicles, they are much more likely to be seriously injured in a collision. In fact, around 2,000 motorcyclists are injured and dozens of cyclists and their passengers are killed in motorcycle accidents in Wisconsin every year. In order to protect the safety of everyone who uses the road, both cyclists and drivers of other vehicles should practice the following safety tips:

Safety Tips for Cyclists

  • Wear a helmet. While Wisconsin law only requires helmets for motorcyclists or passengers who are under the age of 18, it is highly recommended for everyone to wear a full-coverage helmet, which can greatly reduce the possibility of brain injuries.

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motorcycle accident injuries, wrongful death suit,  Milwaukee motorcycle crash attorneys, Wisconsin motorcycle accident, motorcycle crash statisticsMotorcyclists are a vulnerable group of drivers on Wisconsin roads. Motorcycles are much smaller than the cars and tractor-trailers with which they share the road, and motorcycles have fewer safety protections.

When a motorcyclist gets into an accident, injuries are likely to result. Moreover, motorcycle accident injuries tend to be severe among cyclists. The same cannot be said for drivers and riders of cars.

About Wisconsin Motorcycle Accidents

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Milwaukee motorcycle accident attorney, motorcycle ridingRiding on a motorcycle presents more risks than riding in cars. In fact, motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in an accident than car occupants. They are also six times more likely to be injured.

Despite the fact that motorcyclists are at greater risk for death or injury, they are not necessarily at fault when accidents occur. In fact, a National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) study from 2003 concluded that in 80 percent of accidents involving a motorcycle and a car, the motorcyclist was not at fault or was less at fault than the other driver.

Tips to Decrease the Likelihood of a Motorcycle Accident

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