The month of May has been designated as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in hopes of fostering awareness and safety amongst motorcyclists and other motorists. This ongoing effort is critical, as thousands of motorcyclists are killed each year in motorcycle accidents.
In 2014 alone, more than 4,500 individuals were killed in these wrecks, comprising 14 percent of all highway deaths. Though, the number of individuals injured in motorcycle crashes declined from 2013 to 2014, there was still about 88,000 people hurt in these wrecks.
Tragically for motorcyclists, more than half of all of these accidents are caused by non-motorcyclist motorists. One reason for this is distracted driving, which studies have shown occurs more than half of the time motorists are behind the wheel of a non-motorcycle vehicle. So, what can motorists do to help curtail motorcycle accidents?
First is to be attentive at all times. Cell phones should not be used while driving and other distractions should be identified and eliminated. Second, motorists should be sure to properly adjust and check their mirrors. Blind spots significantly contribute to motorcycle accidents, but can be eliminated or minimized with a little vigilance. Third, drivers should allow plenty of space between themselves and a motorcyclist traveling in front of them. Experts suggest three or four seconds should be sufficient to ensure a driver can slow quickly enough to prevent a rear-end collision.
This is just a sampling of the steps motorists can take to help keep our motorcyclists safe. Though some will heed this advice, others will neglect to do so and may cause a devastating motorcycle accident. Those who suffer injuries in these wrecks may want to consider their legal options, so that they can try to recoup compensation for their damages and further raise awareness of the dangers of motorcycle unawareness.
Source: NHTSA.gov, “May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month,” accessed on May 13, 2016