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Look Twice To Save a Life: May Is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

motorcycle on busy street

Motorcycles are a common sight on streets and highways when the weather is right. But a negligent driver can cause a motorcycle accident that results in serious injuries, some of which can be fatal.

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes it’s a time for drivers to focus on safe driving habits that can reduce the number of motorcycle accidents on the roads – as well as the number of fatalities and injuries.

A problem in West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania

There were 5,579 motorcyclists killed in crashes across the country in 2020, according to the NHTSA.

There’s a lot that drivers of cars can do to help prevent motorcycle accidents.

  • Always check your blind spots carefully. Motorcycles are much smaller than cars and can be difficult to see, even in rear-view and side-view mirrors.
  • Be cautious when passing. Use your left turn signal and don’t return to the other lane until you are several car lengths ahead of the motorcycle.
  • Remember that motorcycles react more quickly than cars. Be sure to leave plenty of space between a car and a motorcycle, especially if you are behind one.
  • Remember that motorcycles cannot stop as quickly as a car. While motorcycles weigh much less, they only have two wheels, and weight transfer during deceleration is also a factor.
  • Note the weather. Bad weather such as rain and wind can make it more difficult for a motorcyclist to control the bike. It can also affect your visibility.
  • Help keep riders safe in the dark. You can do this by increasing your following distance, keeping high beams off, and choosing not to pass motorcycles.
  • Stay in your lane. While there may be plenty of room for both a car and a motorcycle to drive side by side, it is not safe.
  • Inform motorcyclists of your intention to turn. Put your signals on well before you actually make your turn.
  • Take a second look at left turns and intersections. Come to a complete stop. Follow all signs and traffic signals. Look both ways for approaching traffic, paying special attention to motorcycles.

The NHTSA says “it’s especially important for drivers to understand the safety challenges faced by motorcyclists such as size and visibility, and motorcycle riding practices like downshifting and weaving to know how to anticipate and respond to them.”

Call an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer

A motorcycle accident can change people’s lives in seconds. Because motorcyclists have little protection in a crash, they can be left with serious injuries that require extensive medical treatment. Medical expenses can add up quickly and lead to financial stress.

Negligent drivers need to be held accountable, but they often deny doing anything wrong. Insurance companies try to blame motorcyclists for what happened so they can limit financial compensation. They may make a lowball settlement offer that doesn’t come close to covering the total damages suffered.

The experienced motorcycle accident lawyers at Recht Law Offices fight for the rights of injured motorcyclists. We build strong cases that insurance companies have to take seriously and help our clients get maximum compensation, whether that’s through a negotiated settlement or a jury verdict.

If you were injured in West Virginia, Ohio, or Pennsylvania, we can help. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.

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