Groups of motorcyclists performing stunts are blocking Nevada roads and freeways and causing accidents to other motorists and pedestrians. Recently, there have been numerous incidents on roads and freeways throughout different Nevada jurisdictions.
Motorcycle Stunt Riders are Causing Accidents
Motorcyclists performing daredevil stunts on the nation’s roads and freeways have become a dangerous pastime that’s causing accidents and serious injuries. What began as young riders creating videos of themselves for social media posts has turned into an out-of-control epidemic. Groups of riders are blocking roads and freeways and cutting cars off with no regard for safety, just to impress their friends with interesting videos posted to social media sites. In Nevada, a personal injury lawyer often hears about injuries to drivers and pedestrians in many cities, especially urban areas with busy roadways and freeways.
This new trend of freeway mayhem is caused by young motorcycle riders on high-performance bikes, known as crotch rockets, that allow drivers to perform dangerous stunts while moving. Standing on the seat, popping wheelies, and riding on one wheel for blocks at fast speeds are just a few of the stunts that put people’s lives at risk. Dangerous stunts are typically captured by helmet cameras, then posted on line with edgy hip-hop music.
In some areas, there have been violent confrontations between bikers and motorists who try to get through the mayhem. In 2015, there was a violent incident between bikers and a family in a range rover on a New York City highway. A videotaped confrontation shows the driver of the range rover being dragged from the vehicle and beaten by at least six motorcyclists when he attempted to drive through a large group of motorcycle riders blocking the highway. Six motorcyclists were arrested for assault, and the driver of the vehicle filed a lawsuit with a personal injury lawyer.
In 2016, more than 100 motorcycle riders near Sunset Park took over roadways and stopped traffic from passing. Riders performed burnouts and wheelies with complete disregard for traffic laws and safety of drivers on the road. Numerous bystanders called the Las Vegas Metro Police Department who responded with several patrol units. At least six riders were arrested and charged with reckless driving. On the same day, LVMPD and the Nevada Highway Patrol were called to three other Las Vegas areas about motorcycle stunt riders.
Motorcycles are inherently dangerous because they are smaller and less visible than motor vehicles and provide no seat belts or structural protection. A personal injury lawyer often sees motorcyclists who have been hit by large SUVs and trucks. Even though motorcycles pose a high risk for personal safety, there are over 8 million motorcycles on the road in the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are currently more motorcycles on the road than in the last 10 years.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), older riders are at greater risk for fatal motorcycle accidents. Statistics show that 56% of motorcycle fatalities occur to riders over the age of 40. Studies show that age can contribute to loss of physical agility and mental sharpness, two important skills needed for motorcycle riding. In an accident, older riders are more prone to injuries and fatalities due to less body resilience, as well as slower healing and recovery.
According to the NHTSA, serious motorcycle injuries occur most often in young drivers between the ages of 20 and 29. Although fatality rates are lower than for older drivers, younger riders participate in riskier behavior while riding. Coupled with less riding experience, bad weather, poor road conditions, speeding, and alcohol, young riders are more likely to suffer serious injuries.
In a recent report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), motorcycle riders who ride high-performance sports bikes have fatality rates that are four times higher than riders on other types of motorcycles. Riders of high-performance motorcycles often ride at excessive speeds up to 190 mph and engage in motorcycle stunts and tricks while traveling at excess speeds. These reckless riders often participate in large group rallies that put themselves, other motorists, and pedestrians at high risk for personal injuries.
In Nevada, a person must be at least 16 years old to apply for a motorcycle license. He/she must either take the DMV motorcycle skills and written test or complete an approved rider safety course. Persons 18 years old and younger must also comply with all rules that apply to teen drivers, including educational requirements and permit restrictions. All Nevada motorcycle riders are required to wear a helmet and eye protection that meets the standards set by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The mandatory helmet law also applies to mopeds with engines over 2 horsepower and capable of speeds over 30 mph.