May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
Posted on May 19th, 2020 by Zane Cagle
Look Twice and Save a Life!
In the last couple of months, we have not been focused on traffic as road travel has been greatly reduced. Traffic is back and motorcycles are out. There have been multiple fatal and serious injury motorcycle crashes in the last two months with slow warming spring weather. Clearly, we all have a lot on our minds, but we each have to focus and drive attentively in order to avoid crashes. The vast majority of motor vehicle crashes and motorcycle crashes are avoidable. Rarely, is there such a thing as a real “accident”. The word ‘accident’ implies no causes or contributing causes. But, 99.9% of all crashes are caused by variables such as a drivers failing to follow the rules of the road, inattentiveness, or impaired driver. As attentive drivers we can avoid all three!
The safety initiative of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration called “Get Up to Speed on Motorcycles” focuses on the need for all to engage in better driver safety for the sake of all motorists.
Motorcycle crash fatalities are in the multiple of thousands every year and motorcyclist are significantly overrepresented in traffic crashes and fatalities. According to the NHTSA, motorcyclists account for nearly 14 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2015 while motorcycles only make up just 3 percent of all registered vehicles in the U.S. Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists are 27 times more likely than a passenger vehicle occupant to die in a motor vehicle crash. It has been found that even the smallest momentary lapse in a driver’s awareness can result in the death of an unseen motorcyclist.
Share The Road- Increasing Awareness for All Drivers
When you are not actively looking for motorcyclists or bicyclists, it can be easy to miss them. Due to the size of motorcycles, other vehicle drivers often claim they missed seeing them resulting in serious if not fatal injuries for a motorcyclists. The Missouri State Highway Patrol has seen a number of fatalities and serous injuries on the Missouri roadways during this pandemic.
We must all share the road safely and that means being certain that you actively look for ALL on the roadway–take a second look to see motorcycles!
Amazingly, almost 40% of space around your vehicle can be a blind spot at even given time. So, adjust your mirrors and above all else, Take a Second Look. Again, take a second look around you before pulling into lanes and intersections. This will not only help keep motorcyclists safe but it may prevent you from being involved in a crash with another vehicle.
Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
The purpose of the safety awareness month includes three major campaigns including: focusing on motorcycle rider safety, sharing the road, and stopping impaired motorcycle riding. As another driver on the roadway, you can do your part to be attentive and safely share the roadway. While motorcycles are far smaller than passenger vehicles or commercial vehicles, they should have equal rights to share the road. As another motorists, simply keeping a look out for motorcycles is simply being a good neighbor.
Motorcycles are a great source of transportation for many. Sometimes, the operation of a motorcycle is a more economical form of transportation. Clearly, there are many motorcyclists that ride as a favorite hobby and pastime.
As any other traveler on the roadway, each of us has an obligation to follow the rules of the roadway and be safe. Motorcyclists who have actively ridden for many years are usually pretty safe. How do we know? There is very little room for error on a motorcycle, thus, if a motorcyclist takes unnecessary risks or fail to be safe, crashes occur. That being said, analysis of crash reports over the years finds that many motorcycle crash fatalities involve another vehicle that simply “never saw them”.
Wear a Helmet
Maybe you are a motorcyclist that loves to only ride in Illinois so that you are not legally required to wear a helmet. While understanding the arguments against mandatory helmet use, we know the numbers and facts. Statistically, states that have mandatory helmet laws see a reduced number of fatalities and serous injuries. Helmets like seatbelts never guarantee that you will not be injured in a crash, but they reduce the number of head injuries. Helmets help protect one’s head and increase the chances of reducing serious brain injury or death. While only 19 states have universal helmet laws, most other states require anyone under the age of 21 to wear a helmet.
If you are making a claim for damages after a motorcycle crash, one of the first questions that will probably be asked (by an adjuster or an attorney) is whether or not you were wearing a helmet. This question is not meant to make you feel bad or assign blame to a victim. While helmets may not be legally required in Illinois, it may impact the way a jury sees your case. An insurance company may try to argue that you have partial fault in a crash because you failed to take safety precautions.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle crash, you should seek advice from an expert attorney.
Our attorneys are available seven days a week. We have represented many motorcyclists in Missouri and Illinois. Each case is as unique as the individual injured.