Motorcycle Safety: Training, Licensing and Insurance

Motorcycles are a lot of fun, but they are also a lot of responsibility, and with good reason:

They are more dangerous than your average automobile, because you have a higher risk of sustaining a serious, and possibly deadly, injury if you get into an accident while riding one. Additionally, motorcycle riders are 16 times more likely to die in crashes than those in automobiles, with head injuries being the leading cause of death.

Because motorcycles are so dangerous, many states require special training, and all states require special licensing for people to legally operate them. They also require motorcycle insurance that can include basic liability coverage and comprehensive collision coverage.

Motorcycle Training and Licensing Requirements

Motorcycle training and licensing requirements vary by state.

For example, for those without an existing driver’s license, the state of Ohio requires you to complete an approved driver’s education course, pass the basic rider’s course, and submit an affidavit certifying that you have completed 50 hours of driving, including a minimum of 10 hours of driving at night, before you can take the road skills test to get a motorcycle license.

If you already have a driver’s license, you can add a motorcycle endorsement by passing the written motorcycle knowledge test, and passing the road skills test. You also need an approved helmet and eye protection, and a street legal motorcycle in safe condition.

Across the river, in Kentucky, applicants are required to have a valid Kentucky driver’s license and either pass the written test and the skills test, or complete a Justice and Public Safety Cabinet-approved motorcycle training course. Additionally, they need proof of insurance and an approved helmet and eye protection if they are under age 21. Kentucky does not require helmets or on riders over age 21 who have been have had their motorcycle licenses for more than one year.

Before you decide to get a motorcycle, you should check with your state bureau or department of motor vehicles to determine what the licensing and training requirements are for your state. However, even if your state does not require a lot of training or practice prior to licensing, it’s a good idea to take a few training classes.

These classes exist to make sure that motorcycle riders hit the roads with as much knowledge and skill as they can, thereby reducing their risk of accidents, injuries and death. With a good class, a rider will learn how to properly assess road conditions, how to handle emergency situations like skids, and even how to fall during a collision.

Motorcycle Insurance vs Car Insurance

Motorcycles require special motorcycle insurance, even if you already insured as an automobile driver. You might be able to get motorcycle insurance through your existing provider, but it will be a separate policy designed specifically for your motorcycle.

Although automobile and motorcycle insurance are very similar, they are also very different, which is why you need two separate policies.

Motorcycle insurance is only designed to cover the unique function and handling of two-wheeled vehicles, versus automobile insurance which is designed to cover the unique function and handling of four-wheeled vehicles.

Motorcycle policies could have limitations on which parts of the vehicle are covered against damage. For example, a policy might not cover custom add-ons. Automobile policies might not have those types of restrictions. For example, the body of your car would be covered by your auto policy, even if you add a custom spoiler or tinted windows.

Motorcycle policies might allow you to adjust your coverage, so that you can pay less if you only use your motorcycle a few months each year. Automobile policies might not have that option, because people tend to use their cars much more often than their motorcycles.

Motorcycle policies might not include personal injury protection for the rider or passenger, which means they won’t be covered if injured while riding the motorcycle. However, you might be able to purchase additional coverage for injuries. Automobile insurance usually includes personal injury protection as part of a standard policy in no-fault states.

While your health insurance should cover you if you are injured, it won’t cover your passenger. Also, depending on the extent of your injuries, having additional medical coverage could help reduce the overall cost of your care.

The biggest issue is that if you have automobile insurance, and don’t have motorcycle insurance, your auto policy will not cover you if you get into an accident on your motorcycle, or vice versa, which is why you need separate policies.

Conclusion

Because motorcycles have a high risk of injury, it’s important that you have the proper training and the proper licensing before you hit the road. You also need to make sure that you have the proper coverage, so that you, or your passenger, can get the help you need if you are injured.



According to the CDC, more than six thousand people are treated for drug misuse or abuse every day. That’s an incredibly high number and it makes us wonder: is the problem the drugs or is it the people? We set out to find the answer. Here is what we learned along the way.

Problem: The Drug Side

Most prescription drugs are created to dramatically alter the way the human body functions–at least for a while. They are designed to increase the body’s ability to form antibodies, to produce certain hormones, etc. The effects felt by the patient are nowhere near congruous with the amount of change that actually takes place within the body. It is the extreme nature of these changes that causes so many of the side effects that patients report when they first start taking a drug.

Doctors used to be hesitant to prescribe drugs like antibiotics or opioids to patients who were sick or injured. This has changed dramatically in the last few years as the perspective of doctors has shifted from “only as a last resort” to “better safe than sorry.”  In fact, according to a NIH study, in 2010, enough painkillers were prescribed to treat every American every four hours for a whole month.

That shift in perspective, along with the high rates of antibiotics injected into factory farmed livestock has inadvertently led to the evolution of “super” diseases. Remember, bacteria and viruses evolve just like humans do and as we eradicate one strain, the other strains all get stronger and more adept at thwarting medicine’s efforts to heal us.

Another consequence of drug prescriptions is the permanent altering of a brain’s functioning, particularly with regard to painkillers and hormone production. Once the brain gets used to the hormones it makes naturally being supplied via other means, it simply adapts to the supply and stops making the hormone itself. If the supply is artificial for too long, the brain will “forget” how to create that hormone at all, meaning that the person truly does need the drug to function properly.

This is also how a tolerance builds up, says Black Bear Lodge (a rehabilitation facility). Their prescription drug page mentions that a body will physically build up a tolerance for the drugs that have been prescribed, resulting in the patient needing more and stronger doses of the drug to achieve the same level of treatment for a condition, but also often leading to prescription drug abuse.

Conclusion: Doctors, for a variety of reasons, are more likely to prescribe drugs than they are to run tests or wait and see how a patient reacts to other types of treatments. The supply is steady and easily available even for drugs like opioids.

Problem: The People

Often, if the drug is taken exactly as prescribed and the patient follows the guidelines offered up by his doctor exactly, that patient can be safely weaned off of the prescribed drug with no effects. Unfortunately, not all people will follow the directions exactly. Some will simply forget, others will willfully ignore instructions. Human error must be factored in to the creation of an addiction.

Genetics do play a role: a research done by the Laboratory of Neurogenetics finds that addiction can be inherited. The degree of genetic predisposition, however, can vary depending on the drug in question. For example, cocaine has a higher genetic factor than most hallucinogens.

Environment is an important factor. People who are exposed to addiction behaviors at an early age are more likely to develop their own addictions later in life, particularly if they are close to the person exhibiting those behaviors.

Conclusion

Addictions do not spring up out of nowhere, but it is rarely the result of completely controllable factors like environment (and to a lesser extent, personality type). Genetics, human biology and the nature of how the drugs are made and (too) readily prescribed plays a much larger role in the rate of addiction within the United States.


Out of more than 26,000 car accidents reported in Dallas Texas in 2013, more than 3,000 resulted in serious injuries. Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be both physically and emotionally challenging. As thousands of people are injured each year, many of them don’t receive the compensation they need to care for their injuries. Most victims of accidents settle for a lesser amount as a method for putting it all behind them. However, what is not properly communicated to the victims is that many injuries caused by an accident can have lingering effects that need continual treatment and medical support.

Here are a few of the most common injuries caused by an auto accident:

  • Brain Injuries – A simple blow to the head can cause significant damage to the brain which is often referred to as a traumatic brain injury (TBI). While a TBI can be something as mild as a concussion which heals over time, there can be serious affects. Brain injuries can impair bodily functions like the ability to remember, loss of emotional control, or the inability to talk or see clearly.
  • Neck and Back Injuries – Your neck and back are essentially connected by the spinal cord, as such; injuries to these areas can lead to long term pain, or nerve damage. One of the more common neck injuries caused by car accidents is known as Whiplash. While there are milder cases, severe cases of whiplash could result in damage to your vertebrae, spinal cord, or ligaments. This in turn can prevent the use of certain limbs.
  • Chest Injuries – The impact of a car accident could break your ribs. This is especially true for drivers who were not wearing a seatbelt or drive older cars which don’t have air bags and other forms of protection. A common result of blunt trauma to the chest region is known as a diaphragm rupture. This is the tear of muscles located along the bottom of your rib cage. These muscles are vital for respiration.
  • Pelvis/Abdominal Injuries – Hip fractures are very common in car accidents. Organs such as your spleen, liver, and kidneys are at risk for injury and can take a long time to heal if at all.
  • Other Fractures and Injuries – When your body smashes into various parts of the car, there is a chance for injuries. Leg, knee, and foot injuries are all very common. Bumping your body hard enough against a car could result in the inability to properly walk without the assistance of a medical tool such as crutches or a cane.

Rehabilitating After an Accident

Depending on the severity of your injuries from a car accident, you could be looking at an extensive amount of time rehabilitating. All the above described injuries could require you to visit various professionals for an extended period of time. Rehabilitation may mean learning how complete daily functions like walking or speaking. In some cases, there is ultimately no remedy for your injuries which can significantly change your quality of life.

Why It Might Benefit You to Consult an Attorney

When faced with some of the injuries described above as a result of a local accident, it may be best to consult specifically with Dallas auto accident attorneys. They are fully aware of Texas laws and can help you receive compensation that is appropriate for your injuries. The right attorney will first evaluate your injuries, how they affect your quality of living, and even determine an estimated cost of expenses for rehabilitation.

When it comes to your health you should never compromise. While negotiating for a lesser amount than you deserve might seem like the immediate solution to an ongoing problem that is not always best. Typically, consulting with an attorney is free of charge and will provide you with insight on the road to recovery ahead of you. If you or someone you know has been injured in a Dallas car accident, contact a reputable attorney’s office for assistance.