I ride, so I know how important it is for drivers to watch out for motorcyclists on the road. I think it's equally important for the NTSB to watch out for us when developing safety priorities like this.
Southfield, MI (PRWEB) February 05, 2014
Attorney Jason Waechter is known as The Motorcycle Lawyer because so much of his practice is focused on helping injured motorcyclists. Waechter also dedicates resources to helping the motorcycling community, including several campaigns to try to prevent motorcycle injuries.
Waechter believes that driver education and awareness campaigns are the first step in motorcycling safety, so he was shocked when he learned that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) did not include motorcycle safety as one of its Top 10 Most Wanted List of Transportation Improvements for 2014, which they released on January 16. "The fact that motorcycling was almost completely overlooked on this list is a real blow to the biker community," says Waechter.
NTSB's 2014 Most Wanted List: Address the unique characteristics of helicopter operations; Advance passenger vessel safety; Eliminate distraction in transportation; Eliminate substance-impaired driving; Enhance pipeline safety; Improve fire safety in transportation; General aviation: identify and communicate hazardous weather; Implement positive train control systems; Promote operational safety in rail mass transit; Strengthen occupant protection in transportation.
"The only mention of motorcycles is in that last point, 'strengthen occupant protection in transportation'," says Waechter. "And even then, they focus solely on the issue of helmet use as a way to protect motorcyclists, and don't even acknowledge the importance of driver education and awareness. I ride, so I know how important it is for drivers to watch out for motorcyclists on the road. I think it's equally important for the NTSB to watch out for us when developing safety priorities like this, but they're not doing it this year."
Waechter is right to be concerned. In November 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released the 2012 Motor Vehicle Crashes research note. In it, NHTSA reports an increase in motorcyclist injuries and fatalities in 2012, by 15% and 7.1% respectively. "These numbers are crazy," says Waechter. "Almost 5,000 people were killed in motorcycle crashes in 2012. That's fifteen percent of all people killed on the roads that year! How can NTSB ignore numbers like that?"
In spite of his frustration at NTSB's disregard for motorcycle safety, Waechter does think that working towards the elimination of distracted and impaired driving will benefit all road users. "A lot of motorcyclists are injured or killed by drivers who are distracted or, worse, impaired," he says. "While it is a small step, working towards eliminating these two problems obviously going to benefit bikers and other drivers."
Waechter believes that without the NTSB's help, biker organizations will have to pick up the slack when it comes to driver education and awareness. He remains committed to helping to prevent motorcycle crashes and injuries, saying, "Now more than ever, it's up to us, members of the biker community, to put the word out." Waechter's firm provides free bumper stickers at motorcycle events and swap meets throughout Michigan, or on his website. You can also get more information and support motorcycle awareness campaigns and driver education in your area; contact your local ABATE chapter or the Motorcycle Riders Foundation.
Jason Waechter has spent two decades cementing his reputation for results. Jason's four-lawyer law firm can assist in any personal injury case, but over the years he has specialized his practice to motorcycle accidents. Jason has won millions for auto accident victims and contributed significantly to safety education and accident prevention. He has entrenched himself as one of the nation's premier lawyers, recently being named to the Michigan Super Lawyers and Michigan's Best Lawyers & Law Firms.