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Proper Gear and Training: Necessities for New Riders

A San Antonio, Texas motorcycle accident on Tuesday July 23, 2013, highlights several motorcycle safety issues that often result in pain and heartbreak for motorcyclists and their families. Just before 6:00 pm, twenty-five (25) year old Ruben Arizmendi pulled his newly-purchased Kawasaki motorcycle onto the I-10 access road that runs along next to the Alamo Cycle-Plex dealership where he just purchased the bike. Only seconds after starting up his bike and taking his first ride, Arizmendi lost control of the motorcycle, fell to the pavement, and slid through several lanes of busy San Antonio traffic. Tragically, the young rider ultimately died as a result of massive head trauma sustained after being struck by a Toyota 4Runner.

Traumatic brain injuries are a very common result of motorcycle accidents. In Florida, riders are not required to wear a helmet, meaning that a higher percentage of accidents result in head trauma in Florida than in helmet-required jurisdictions. It’s common knowledge that safe riding means putting a lid on, but helmets can only protect your brain to a certain extent.  Many riders, including Ruben Aizmendi, die from head injuries sustained while wearing a helmet because the crash is so severe that the helmet was not enough; many others sustain massive head trauma because their equipment is faulty or not up to appropriate specifications.

Outside of the helmet issue, the saddest part of Ruben Arizmendi’s tragedy is the fact that it was completely avoidable. Arizmendi had very little experience riding, and had completed the purchase of the bike only a few minutes before the crash. No helmet in the world can make up for improper training or a lack of knowledge about safety measures by the rider. The State of Texas requires bikers to complete a motorcycle safety course and to have motorcycle license to be legally allowed to operate a motorcycle. Unfortunately, the enforcement of those requirements is lacking, as was proven by the facts surrounding Arizmendi’s purchase of the motorcycle.

Arizmendi did not have the State-required license when he bought the motorcycle from Alamo Cycle-Plex and was clearly not properly trained on how to operate it. The dealership knew about these problems and offered to have the vehicle delivered to his home. Instead, Arizmendi decided to try to learn while doing, something any experienced rider would advise against. Unfortunately, Texas does not place any responsibility on the seller of the motorcycle to ensure that the purchaser has proper licensing and training before allowing them to drive off of the lot. The result, Alamo Cycle-Plex made their sale and Arizmendi made headlines.

And this wasn’t the first time that an Alamo Cycle-Plex customer died shortly after leaving the dealership.  Almost precisely two years before Ruben Arizmendi died leaving the dealership, a forty-three (43) year old rider was killed in a strikingly similar accident just after leaving the bike lot.

The lesson to take from these—and other similar accidents—is that motorcycling is best left to those people who are responsible enough to learn proper operating and safety techniques. Ruben Arizmendi knew that he should wear a helmet, but clearly didn’t have the proper training to safely ride. There’s a reason that the State of Texas requires a specific license for motorcycle operators: safe riding techniques are imperative to know if you want to travel on two wheels.

If you or a loved one has been physically injured as a result of negligence, call the Clearwater motorcycle accident and injury attorneys of the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA for a free consultation and case evaluation at: (727) 451-6900.