2014 Motorcycle Riding Season Begins in Missouri-Keep a Lookout!
Posted on March 10th, 2014 by Zane Cagle
This month marks the official beginning of the 2014 motorcycle season. Today, as the temperatures climb into the upper 60’s, more and more people will be dusting off their motorcycles and hitting the local streets and highways.
Motorcycle rides are organized in the spring, summer and fall; and you will see singles as well as groups of motorcycles everywhere you go. The number of motorcycle accidents in Missouri usually rises in the spring and summer and some of those are due to other drivers not expecting to see motorcyclists and not keeping their eyes open for motorcyclists.
During the winter months, we become accustomed to not looking for motorcycle riders, but this is a helpful reminder that as the weather continues to improve, there will be lots of motorcycles and bicyclists out on our streets, so Keep a Lookout!
Motorcycle crashes account for an average of 15 percent of all driving-related fatalities per year even though motorcycles do not makeup 15 percent of the vehicles on the roadways. Because motorcycles do not provide a lot of protection for the rider (compared to a passenger car), when there is a motorcycle accident, the injuries are often very serious or even fatal. Even if you are a safe rider, other careless or reckless or even distracted drivers can cause a crash.
How Can You Make Motorcycle Riding Safer for Yourself:
- Wear bright, reflective clothing. Being seen by other drivers is critical to avoiding a crash with another vehicle. While wearing black may look very cool, it is hard to see a motorcycle rider who is dressed all in black
- Wear protective clothing. In a crash, road rash or burns are frequently common. Wearing long protective clothing such as jeans and other durable gear frequently sold at motorcycle shops can help reduce road burns to the skin if you are in a motorcycle crash
- Wear a helmet. In Missouri, it is a legal requirement to wear a helmet. In Illinois, it is not required. Whether you are in Missouri or Illinois, you should wear a helmet to protect your head.
- Obey all traffic laws and refrain from swerving in and out of traffic just because it is easy and quicker
- Drive defensively and assume that other drivers do not see you.
- Enroll and participate in motorcycle safety course–see resources below.
Motorcycle Safety Courses Are Available
Motorcycle safety courses are available at numerous places around the state through the Missouri Motorcycle Safety Program. They offer a variety of courses for various skill levels. Courses and the successful completion of the Beginner Rider Course can provide you with a completion card good for a waiver of the skills test at your local licensing office. You will still need to take the written portion of the test at the licensing office.
Missouri Motorcycle Safety Program and its parent organization, the http://www.ucmo.edu/safetycenter/, are headquartered at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. According to MMSP, motorcycle helmets Do work. Helmet effectiveness has been confirmed by responsible studies while helmet “myths” include “helmets break necks, block vision, impair hearing, cause overheating, etc” have been proven false over and over again. Informed riders tend to wear helmets with a deliberate choice every time they ride.
What a Motorcycle Helmet Really Does:
- It is the best protective gear you can wear while riding a motorcycle. Helmet use is not a cure-all, but it can help to protect your brain, your face and your life. In conjunction with other gear, it can help reduce injury or the severity of injury if you crash
- Do not neglect wearing your helmet because you are going a short distance, such as “I’m just running to the store”: Most accidents happened within three miles of your home.
- A good helmet makes riding more fun because of the comfort factor. It can cut down wind noise roaring by your ears, windblast on your face and eyes and deflects bugs and other objects flying through the air. It even contributes to comfort from changing weather conditions and reduces rider fatigue
- Lastly, helmets add to your motorcycle image and the image of all motorcyclists. It shows that motorcycle riders are responsible and that you take care of yourself and take motorcycle riding seriously.
- No matter what the law states about helmet requirements, wearing a helmet reflects on your attitude about riding. It is an attitude that is visible to other motorists and non-riders that you are not a foolish risk-taker
So Bring on the Spring Weather!
Bring on the warmer temperatures. After this brutal winter, we are all excited to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather. If you ride a motorcycle, be safe. As a motorist, I know that I have to remind myself that spring brings out more pedestrians, bicycles and motorcycles!
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident and have been injured, you will need legal representation. Our St Louis motorcycle injury lawyers represent seriously injured victims of motorcycle accidents and we understand the severity of injuries caused by motorcycle accidents. As well, we are expert motorcycle accident attorneys and we know that thorough investigations are required to determine all factors causing or contributing to a motorcycle accident. Consultations are always free at The Cagle Law Firm and we have attorneys available to discuss your possible case seven days a week. Call locally .