More and more people are choosing two wheels to meet their transportation needs these days, some for economic reasons, and some simply because it’s fun. Whatever the reason, an important part of being a responsible and long-lived motorcycle rider is to know as well as obey the laws. The month of May has been dedicated to Motorcycle Safety and Awareness, a national safety initiative that focuses on motorists and motorcyclists “sharing the road” with one another, since 2009. But, more and more states and groups are being launched to promote motorcyclists safety.
While these campaigns are intended to educate not only motorcyclists, but also motorists about the safety, as well as dangers of the highway, oddly it seems more and more riders are foregoing wearing helmets. In part, it may be due to the nice weather this time of year, but just the same, it is dangerous for all involved. Below are safety tips for motorists and motorcyclists which should be used in an effort to avoid a motorcycle crash or motorcycle accident, as well as helmet use statistics.
Motorist Safety Tips:
- Motorcycles share all the same rights and privileges as any other motor vehicle.
- Never try to share a lane with a motorcyclist; allow them the full lane.
- Allow three to four seconds of following distance to permit enough space should an emergency stop be required.
- Drivers need to check mirrors and blind spots before entering or exiting a lane.
- Motorcycle signals are commonly not self-canceling and therefore riders can forget to turn them off.
- Be careful to check as to where the motorcycle is going before proceeding.
- Never tailgate and also never multitask while operating a motorcycle.
- Your full attention needs to be on the road for your safe as well as motorists around you.
- Distracted driving is dangerous – texting, cell phone use, focusing on the GPS while driving – poses a risk to everyone on the road.
Motorcyclist Safety Tips:
- As mentioned above, motorcycles and vehicles should never attempt to share a lane.
- Avoid traveling in poor weather conditions.
- Wear brightly colored gear so that you can be seen by drivers.
- Use turn signals at all times – when turning or changing lanes. Never drive while impaired.
Laws requiring all motorcyclists to wear a helmet are in place in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Although your state may not require it, it’s not only a smart choice, but a safe one. “Helmets saved an estimated 1,829 motorcyclists’ lives in 2008. And, more than 823 more could have been saved had all motorcyclists been wearing helmets,” according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA). In fact, according to the NHTSA, helmets are 37-percent effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle riders and 41-percent for motorcycle passengers. To put it another way, that means, for every 100 motorcycle riders killed in a fatal crash while not wearing a helmet, 37 of them could have been saved had they been wearing a helmet.
Lindsay Rakers is a Missouri motorcycle accident attorney. Feel free to contact her by visiting www.InjuryLawMissouri.com
The Legal Examiner and our Affiliate Network strive to be the place you look to for news, context, and more, wherever your life intersects with the law.