“Awareness of Motorcycles” Can Prevent Many Accidents in Missouri
Posted on May 5th, 2021 by Zane Cagle
Summer is Motorcycle Season
With summer around the corner, the sound of motorcycles should be a familiar one to us all. However, it seems to take several months for some drivers to actively look for motorcycles while driving. Motorcycle season gets busy in late April and early May and goes until late September. The easiest way to think of it is this: If it is NOT SNOWING in Missouri, then keep a lookout for motorcycles!
According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation in a northern newspaper article, “Over half of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve another vehicle. Most of the time, the car or truck driver, not the motorcyclist, is at fault”. Due to the high number of motorcycle accident clients that I have, I am not surprised by this statement from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. Motorcycles are smaller, have a more narrow profile, and can be hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot or masked by outdoor objects.
“The size and weight of cars and trucks put the obligation on these drivers to use added safety measures,” said Executive Vice-President of the Professional Insurance Agents of Wisconsin (PIAW). “Take an extra moment to look for motorcycles, whether you’re changing lanes, pulling out of a driveway, or turning an intersection.” Why a quote from Wisconsin? Generally, insurance groups will make safety recommendations and promote safety, but this group went so far as to say other drivers should keep an active lookout for motorcycles. I applaud any group advocating for safety.
As a driver of any vehicle on the roadway, you should follow the rules of the road and keep a lookout for everyone’s safety.
Below are some more safety tips/reminders for all drivers:
- A motorcycle often looks farther away than it really is. It may also be difficult to judge a motorcycle’s speed. When checking traffic to turn at an intersection or into or out of a driveway, assume a motorcycle is closer than it looks.
- Motorcyclists often slow down by downshifting or rolling off the throttle, which will not activate the brake light. Allow more following distance for motorcycles, say 3 to 4 seconds. And, at the intersection, understand a motorcyclist may slow down without the brake lights on.
- Stopping distance for motorcycles is nearly the same as for cars, but slippery pavement can make stopping quickly on only two wheels difficult. Again, allow for more following distance behind a motorcycle.
- Motorcyclists often move positions within a lane to be seen more easily and to minimize the impact of road debris, passing vehicles, and wind. “Motorcyclists adjust lane positions for a purpose, not to be reckless or show off.”
- Respect motorcycles and treat them the same as other vehicles, such as allowing the same amount of room on the road.
- The most important rule is to see more than just the motorcycle–look to see the person on the motorcycle as they may be your friend, relative, or neighbor.
Should you be involved in a motorcycle accident, follow these steps:
- Check for injuries; call an ambulance when in doubt.
- If the accident is minor, move vehicles to a safe place out of traffic.
- Take immediate notes about the accident, including specific damage, witness information, and take photos with your cell phone—trade insurance information with the other driver. Use our phone application “Injury Attorney” to upload the information and photos at the scene, as well as gives you a list of information that you need to get. After an accident, emotions run high, and it is hard to remember. Downloading our app as a just-in-case app for any kind of motor vehicle accident is always helpful.
- Call the police, even if the accident is minor. If they do not show up at the scene, go to the nearest police department to file a police report yourself. It can be very important to have this document for any claims in the future. Days or even weeks later, physical symptoms may develop, or the other driver may claim an injury. Sometimes an injured person may not realize the extent of an injury in the first few hours after an accident due to adrenaline, thus seeking medical attention is immediately is important. The police report documents that the accident did occur and may be critical if you need to file a claim later.
- Notify your insurance agent immediately and if injured, contact a personal injury attorney right away.
“Drive aware of motorcycles, and you can help make the streets and roads safer for everyone.”
At The Cagle Law Firm, we know how traumatic a motorcycle accident injury can be. Frequently, injuries from motorcycle crashes are very serious, if not fatal. Call our attorneys at (314) 276-1681 today.