It's crucial that motorists always make a visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic and at intersections
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) May 1, 2008
One out of every nine U.S. road fatalities accounted for last year involved motorcycle riders. This steady increase in fatalities over the past decade represents one of our Nation's greatest highway safety challenges.
Motorcycle fatalities now account for 11 percent of total road fatalities and have increased each year from a low of 2,116 in 1997 to 4,810 in 2006. So while there has been success in reducing automobile deaths in recent years, this progress is being negated by the rise in motorcycle fatalities, which has more than doubled.
That's why the law firm of Slaughter & Slaughter in Los Angeles, announced today that they are joining with other federal, State and local highway safety, law enforcement, and motorcycle organizations in proclaiming May 2008 as "Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month." All motorists are reminded to safely "Share the Road" with motorcycles and to be extra alert when driving to help keep motorcyclists safe.
With warmer weather here already, more motorcycles are back on the roads. Drivers of all vehicles need to be extra alert. Motorcycles are some of the smallest vehicles on the road and drivers in other vehicles need to really look out for them - and to take extra care.
Because of their smaller size, motorcyclists are often hidden in a vehicle's blind spot. "It's crucial that motorists always make a visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic and at intersections," said Reza Torkzadeh, an attorney at Slaughter & Slaughter who's practice is dedicated to helping injured victims of accidents.
Motorcyclists are much more vulnerable than passengers vehicle drivers and passengers in the event of a crash. Research shows that approximately 80 percent of motorcycle crashes injure or kill a motorcycle rider, while only 20 percent of passenger car crashes injure or kill a driver or passenger in their vehicle.
Below are tips for drivers to help keep motorcyclists safe on our roadways:
- Remember the motorcycle is a vehicle with all of the rights and privileges of any other motor vehicle on the roadway. Always allow a motorcyclist the full lane width - never try to share a lane; yes, lane splitting for motorcyclists is legal in California;
- Always make a visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic and at intersections;
- Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic; Don't be fooled by a flashing turn signal on a motorcycle - motorcycle signals are often not self-canceling and riders sometimes forget to turn them off. Wait to be sure the motorcycle is going to turn before you proceed;
- Remember that road conditions which are minor annoyances to other vehicles pose major hazards to motorcyclists;
- Allow more following distance, three or four seconds, when following a motorcycle, so the motorcyclist has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emergency. And don't tailgate. In dry conditions, motorcycles can stop more quickly than cars.
Our Message to all drivers is: make this the first year in recent years when motorcycle fatalities do not increase. Help to share in the responsibility and do your part by safely "Sharing the Road" with motorcycles.
Slaughter & Slaughter is a personal injury law firm that is dedicated to representing individuals who have been seriously injured in accidents. The firm handles many serious motorcycle accident injuries and has created motorcycle accident information center.