Motorcycle on the road

Pennsylvania Insurance Requirements for Motorcycles

Just like all car drivers in Pennsylvania need to carry proper insurance coverage, so do all motorcyclists in the state. Yes, Pennsylvania law mandates that those operating motorcycles must carry certain insurance coverage. As an aside, the state also requires riders who are not over 21 years of age and lack two years of riding experience or have not completed a PennDOT or Motorcycle Safety Foundation motorcycle safety course to wear protective headgear. Additionally, drivers that complete such courses, have safe driving records, or carry memberships in certain organizations, can even get discount on their motorcycle insurance coverage. Let’s take a look at what insurance Pennsylvania requires of motorcycles.

Pennsylvania Insurance Requirements for Motorcycles

Pennsylvania law mandates that motorcycles carry, at a minimum, the following insurance coverage:

  • $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage
  • $5,000 in property damage liability coverage
  • $5,000 in first party benefits coverage

First party benefits coverage is a kind of medical payments coverage. It will go towards covering medical bills incurred by you or your passengers as a result of accident injuries.

You should note that the minimum insurance coverage required by Pennsylvania law is quite low. The state does not require anyone to carry Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage either. Just because higher coverage limits and optional coverage such as UM/UIM is not required, does not mean you shouldn’t consider expanding your motorcycle insurance coverage. After all, UM/UIM coverage is not particularly expensive, but its potential benefits are great. You will likely find this coverage to be more than worthwhile if you are injured in an accident caused by someone who is uninsured or underinsured.

Most of Pennsylvania’s required motorcycle insurance coverage will go towards paying the expenses of others should you be the cause of an accident. You may wish to consider, however, expand your coverage so that you are protected as well. For instance, collision coverage will help protect your bike. It can go towards paying for damages sustained by your bike as a result of a collision, whether you caused the collision or not. Comprehensive coverage can protect you from damages you sustain due to things that are beyond your control. This includes a wide range of things varying from natural disasters to theft, and to accidents with wild animals, such as dear. It may also be wise to consider expanding your medical payments coverage. Consider the severity of injuries that can easily be sustained in the event of a motorcycle crash. Motorcyclists are at particular risk of sustaining catastrophic injuries in a crash due to the simple fact that they lack the basic protections afforded by other motor vehicles. Without insurance coverage, out of pocket medical expenses can devastate a person’s financial situation.

Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, do not delay in reaching out to the team at Cooper, Schall & Levy for assistance. Contact us today.

Man putting on motorcycle helmet

Helmet Laws Save Lives

There is no way to avoid it. Motorcycles are simply and inherently riskier to drive than cars. This is due, in large part, to the basic structural difference between these two modes of transportation. Motorcycles are less stable than cars when braking, particularly in emergency braking situations, and swerving to avoid something such as an object or other obstruction on the roadway. Furthermore, motorcycles are smaller and, thus, less visible on the road. They also lack basic safety features like seatbelts, airbags, and the strong structural protection afforded by the walls and roof of a car. Taking this all in totality, it may not be too surprising to find out that the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), has found that, per mile, the number of motorcycle fatalities in 2019 was almost 29 times greater than that of car fatalities.

We are by no means advocating for motorcyclists to put away their bikes and opt for only car and other passenger vehicle transportation. After all, there are few experiences like that of riding a motorcycle. The freedom that comes with being on a motorcycle on the open road is unparalleled. There are, however, certain precautions motorcyclists should consider taking in order to prevent accidents from occurring and to minimize the chances of death or serious injury in the event of an accident. For instance, helmet use can be critical to avoiding death or serious injury in the event of a motorcycle accident.

Helmet Laws Save Lives

The NHTSA reports that wearing a helmet can reduce the chances of dying in a crash by 37 percent. A study conducted by the NHTSA also shows that riders without helmets are three times more likely to sustain traumatic brain injuries in the event of a crash than helmeted riders. The numbers speak for themselves. Helmets save lives. In fact, it is no stretch to say that a properly fitted helmet is the most critical piece of motorcycle safety equipment. 

When talking about the life-saving powers of motorcycle helmets, it is important to understand that we are referring to those helmets that meet federal performance standards. After all, there are novelty helmets that may be stylish or offer fun aesthetic features, but they do not meet the stringent federal safety standards of those helmets designed to reduce the threat of head trauma in the event of a motorcycle crash. Certified helmets come in a variety of styles. Some cover the upper half of the head, above the ears, some offer full coverage. Some are open-faced and others offer full-face coverage. Generally speaking, full coverage helmets offer greater protection.

Despite the statistics clearly showing the effectiveness of helmets in safeguarding motorcyclists, only 18 states, and the District of Columbia, have universal helmet laws in place. There are 29 states that have helmet laws pertaining to a select group of riders, such as those riders who are younger than 18, but that’s it. There are currently three states—Illinois, Iowa, and New Hampshire—that do not have any helmet requirements in place. Despite the lack of legislation in place across the U.S., it has been shown that universal helmet laws that require all motorcycle riders to wear helmets are very effective. Most people tend to comply with these laws. More use of helmets, in turn, leads to more lives saved.

Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys

At Cooper, Schall & Levy, we know that the road is a dangerous place. Stay safe out there. Motorcyclists, wear helmets and other safety gear. You might just be saving your life. Contact us today.

motorcycle accident

The Most Common Types of Motorcycle Accident Injuries

If you have ever ridden a motorcycle, then you know the thrill that comes with this particular mode of transportation. It is an experience like none other. The open road. The wind rushing past. The freedom. It is really no wonder why some people choose to exclusively travel by motorcycle because once you get on one of these bikes, there often appears to be no going back.

The freedom and thrill of motorcycles, however, mean a trade-off from the many safety features offered by cars. There are no seat belts. There are no airbags. There is no metal frame with protective walls to absorb some of the force in the event of being struck by another car or object. The greatness of motorcycles comes in trading in some of the life-saving safety features of cars. Because of this, motorcycle accidents can result in particularly devastating, and sometimes fatal, injuries.

The Most Common Types of Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Because motorcycle riders are so exposed, even the seemingly most minor motorcycle accidents can result in serious injury. Road rash, for instance, is a common motorcycle accident injury. It is an abrasion to the skin that happens when skin is rubbed off due to friction contact with road pavement. It can be very painful and leave scars. Without proper treatment, road rash can easily become infected and lead to even more health complications.

Broken arms and legs, as well as sprains and strains in the wrist area, are also common motorcycle accident injuries. These can occur due to a number of causes. If the bike tips over in the accident, a sprained or broken wrist may be the result of the rider trying to catch themselves as they brace for impact with the ground. Further damage can be done to the legs, in particular, in cases where the bike tips and the rider’s leg is trapped underneath. Road rash, arm and leg injuries, and other common motorcycle injuries can also result from the rider being thrown from the bike upon accident impact.

Head injuries also commonly occur in motorcycle accidents. Helmets can be critical in preventing fatal or debilitating head injuries. Unfortunately, however, even riders wearing helmets can withstand things like concussions and other traumatic brain injuries.

Due to the significant threat of great harm that can hang over the heads of motorcyclists, every possible safety measure should be taken by riders. Safety gear, for instance, is of the utmost importance. Wear protective clothing to guard against road rash. Wear a helmet. And wear bright, reflective clothing to help maximize your visibility on the road.

Furthermore, motorcyclists should drive defensively and always work to maximize visibility while proceeding under the presumption that other vehicles do not see them. Motorcycles are small compared to cars and other vehicles. They are easily lost in blind spots. Driver’s always check your blind spots and surroundings for vehicles. Motorcyclists, do what you can to make yourself visible to cars, and stay safe out there on the road!

Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, talk to the dedicated team of Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at Cooper, Schall & Levy. Contact us today.