May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
Posted on May 9th, 2016 by Zane Cagle
May is motorcycle safety awareness month and is a month dedicated to raising awareness of sharing the road safely and avoiding motorcycle crashes.
Safety Goes Both Ways
In 2014 68 percent of motorcycles involved in fatal traffic crashes in Missouri collided with another motor vehicle. While motorcyclists are reminded to take proper precautions, it is also other motorists’ responsibility to keep a good lookout for motorcyclists as well as other vehicles.
As the driver of any kind of vehicle, you need to look both ways twice before pulling out of driveways and check your blind spots when changing lanes on four lane roads. Motorcyclists are most often missed from view in these two scenarios. Drivers of all kinds are responsible for safety on our roadways.
Motorcycle Rider Responsibilities
- Use a DOT (Department of Transportation) approved safety helmet. While Illinois does not requires all of their riders to wear a helmet, statistics still support it’s use overwhelmingly. In Missouri, all motorcycle riders must wear a helmet by law. According to Savemolives.com if a rider is not wearing a helmet, their likelihood of dying is increased by 37 percent.
- Be vigilant. Motorcyclists are harder for other drivers to see so be vigilant and do not assume other drivers will naturally see you. Wear bright colors
- Increase following distance. Whether you are on a motorcycle or in a passenger vehicle, increase your distance . A common rule of thumb is every 10 miles per hour we are traveling we need to have three car lengths between us.
SHARING The Road
Sharing the roadway involves some trust. Trust involves consistency, honesty and responsibility.
I have to trust that you will obey the stop sign and stop when I am traveling through a green light. We put thrust in others every day. We trust that the coffee they serve us will be safe and not full of dirty water or poison, we assume that someone making our lunch does so in a sanitary way that won’t make us sick—-same thing on the roadway except it involves mutual trust. You trust me to obey the rules of the road and I trust that you will do so as well.
No individual motorists has more of right to the roadway than another. Meaning, in our infrastructure system no one person has more or less of a right to be safe or operate their vehicle because of the amount of taxes they contribute. Likewise, non of us have less of a responsibility.
Fatal Motorcycle Crashes
In 2014, there were 86 fatal motorcycle crashes according to the Missouri Highway Patrol and in 2015, the motorcycle crash fatalities rose to 92.
Ultimately, it is up to all drivers to drive safely and keep a lookout for one anther. Nice weather brings about the hum of motorcycles. Because they are smaller, they are harder to see compared to a van or semi-truck. And, adding to their vulnerability is the lack of a “tin can” around them like passenger vehicle drivers have for further safety.
When motorcyclists are involved in crashes, the injuries tend to be very serious and often fatal. If another vehicle is involved and did not see the motorcyclist or failed to yield when appropriate, the injured party may have a right to compensation.
Motorcycle Crash Legal Representation
Injured victims of motorcycle crashes need expert motorcycle accident attorneys. At The Cagle Law Firm, we represent victims of motorcycle crashes and other types of vehicle crashes. If you are injured, seeking expert representation may make the difference between having medical expenses covered or having to pay on those medial bills for the rest of your life.
Our biggest pet peeve is hearing about a victim of a vehicular crash that was taken advantage of because they did not ask questions and talk with an attorney.