Secure Your Load or Pay The TollMay 21, 2010
What is Drive Nice Day?May 25, 2010
May 1st marked the beginning of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month which serves to raise awareness and teach motorists how to safely share the road with motorcyclists. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration announced that motorcycle accidents have steadily been on the rise over the last 10 years, increasing by about 2 percent annually. As a Seattle Personal Injury Attorney, I too have seen a rise in motorcycle accidents resulting in serious injuries over the last few years.
Just because Motorcycle Safety Awareness month is coming to a close doesn’t mean that you should stop making safety a priority. The NHTSA’s “Share the Road” program aims to teach motorcyclists and motorists the principals of staying safe on the road. Here are some of their helpful tips.
- Stay alert. If you’re distracted, tired or taking medication that makes you drowsy, don’t ride your motorcycle or bicycle. Doing so could lead to a serious accident.
- As a motorcyclist, you share the same rights as any car or truck that you encounter on the road.
- A motorcycle has the right to use the entire width of the lane they travel in, and that space is necessary for them to safely maneuver. As a driver, never attempt to share the lane with a motorcycle.
- If you ride a small motorcycle, keep in mind that you’re less visible to drivers and they may have difficulty estimating your speed and distance.
- As always, motorist should use their turn signals so that motorcycles can predict their actions and the general flow of trafic.
- If you’re driving in a car, always check your blind spots before turning or changing lanes. Small motorcycles are difficult to see so it’s important to double check your mirrors and blind spots.
- Remember that motorcycle turn signals do not always self-cancel. So if you see a motorcycle approaching with it’s turn signal on, wait for it to turn or pass safely before you proceed. Do not assume that their signal is flashing on purpose.
- Keep in mind that a seemingly minor roadway condition such as a pothole or piece of debris affects a motorcycle much more than a car. Anticipate that a motorcycle may need to swerve to avoid such hazards.
- Allow motorcycles a solid 3 to 4 second buffer zone to allow them to stop or maneuver quickly in the event of an emergency.
- You’ve heard it before, but wearing a helmet is undoubtedly the most important thing you can do as a motorcyclists to keep yourself safe.
As the weather warms up this spring, motorcyclists will be hitting the road in full force. At the Law Offices of Kirk Bernard, we hope that this will be the year that the NHTSA finally starts to see a decrease in motorcycle accidents and fatalities. You can read more about the original article here and on the NHTSA website here.