Posted on May 2nd, 2013 by Zane Cagle
May 1 is the first day of Missouri Motorcycle Awareness Month! Motorcycle awareness month is appropriately timed as the spring and summer months bring more and more motorcyclists onto the highways and interstates. Motorcyclists enjoy the same rights to the roadway as all other vehicle drivers and we ask that all drivers keep a look out and “share the road”. None of us “own” the road, rather we share it as a combined effort of our tax dollars and we literally share the road.
“We’re seeing more and more motorcycles on the highways”, according to chair of the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety, Leanna Depue, “Drivers of all vehicles need to be extra attentive. A motorcycle is one of the smallest vehicles on our roads, often hidden in a vehicles blind spot. Everyone needs to watch for motorcycles”. This responsibility to keeping a look out applies to motorcyclists as well as other vehicle drivers. Motorcyclist should wear bright, reflective clothing and avoid darting in and out of traffic. Motorcycles because of their easy maneuverability are missed in other driver’s mirrors and blind spots and they should avoid making quick lane changes or turns without warning.
Motorcyclists have the duty to obey rules of the road, be alert to other drivers and never ride while impaired. Motorcycle experts recommend that motorcyclist complete some type of training before starting on the road. There are 20 training locations in Missouri according to Arrive Alive, a news and resource column for SaveMoLives.com.
As a personal injury attorney, I work with motorcycle accident victims or their families and each story is always tragic. By nature, motorcycles can be dangerous; however, I completely understand the feeling of freedom each motorcyclist enjoys and loves about riding. There are some things that I think all motorcyclists should do in order to protect themselves.
- Wear a helmet. I know, many will argue that it is a motorcycle rider’s choice to wear a helmet, but if you are in Missouri—it is the law.
- In Illinois, the law does not require a helmet when operating a motorcycle, but if you are in an accident and not wearing a helmet, you may still have a problem under the letter of the law.
The problem in not wearing a helmet when you are in a motorcycle accident is that a potential jury member may look at you and wonder why you were not wearing a helmet. Even if the law doesn’t require you to wear a helmet, if you are in a motorcycle accident, many potential jury members may assume that you are careless if you were not wearing a helmet, and thus they may think you are at fault for the accident. At our firm, we don’t agree with that statement, but the fact is that many people associate being safe with wearing a helmet. As a motorcyclist, you may feel strongly that you should not have to wear a helmet in order to be safe. The point is, …. if you are in a motorcycle accident and you are not wearing a helmet—the stigma and perception is common that you are being unsafe.
If you have been in a motorcycle accident and were injured, then the odds are that you are going to need legal representation. At our firm, we understand Missouri and Illinois laws regarding motorcyclists and their rights in a motorcycle accident. We represent many motorcycle accident victims and their families in personal injury and wrongful death cases. Without a doubt, motorcycle accidents are some of the most horrific and tragic accidents that we see.
Call our attorneys at The Cagle Law Firm if you have been in a motorcycle accident, locally 314.276.1681 or toll free 1.800.685.3302