May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and should serve as a reminder that we all have to do our part to keep our Pennsylvania roads safe. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 4,586 fatal motorcycle accidents in the United States in 2014. Of these crashes, around half involved another vehicle.
Every Driver Must Participate to Keep Our Roads Safe
Motorcyclists often get a bad reputation for speeding and reckless driving, and while this is often not true, motorcyclists should make a point to avoid these behaviors when riding among larger vehicles. A rider should also account for his personal safety by wearing the proper safety gear, especially a helmet, eye protection, and a durable jacket and pants.
Remember that it is not just up to motorcyclists to keep themselves safe while on the road. Because motorcycles are much smaller than the average passenger vehicle, other drivers are often the cause of motorcycle accidents, not the riders themselves.
Tips for Drivers to Help Prevent Motorcycle Accidents
If you drive a car or other larger vehicle, you can be an ally to motorcyclists by following these simple tips:
- Look twice before changing lanes.
- Be aware of oncoming traffic when making a left turn. Always check twice.
- Do not follow motorcycles too closely, especially in congested traffic. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation recommends a following distance of three to four seconds.
- Watch for oncoming traffic when opening a car door into the street.
Motorcyclists should also keep a few things in mind on the road:
- Follow the rules of the road and do not weave in and out of traffic.
- Maintain a safe speed.
- Make sure your bike lights are working and use turn or hand signals when appropriate.
- Avoid playing loud music so you can hear oncoming traffic.
- Do not split lanes or weave around passenger cars.
Drive Safe, It Saves Lives
Road safety for motorcyclists is not the responsibility of any one group. Everyone who uses the roads must be alert to their surroundings and courteous to other drivers. Two ways to help increase your alertness and attention to the road are:
- Never drive when upset or angry.
- Never drive while impaired (Impaired driving includes driving drowsy as well as driving under the influence.
If you or a loved one suffered serious or fatal injuries in a motorcycle crash, let our motorcycle accident attorneys help. We help motorcycle accident victims and their families recover the damages they deserve when negligent drivers cause serious crashes.
Contact Cordisco & Saile LLC at 215-791-8911 to schedule a FREE consultation regarding your case.