Richmond Personal Injury Law Firm Urges Motorists and Motorcyclists to ‘Share the Road’

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As part of national Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the Virginia personal injury attorneys of Marks & Harrison say car and truck drivers need to be alert to motorcycles on the road.

With May being national Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, it’s a good time to remind car and truck drivers of the need to pay closer attention to their two-wheel counterparts on Virginia’s roads, the Richmond personal injury law firm of Marks & Harrison says.

As a recent Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) study indicates, increasing motorcycle safety should be a particular concern in Virginia, according to the law firm, which provides legal advice and representation to motorcycle accident victims and the families of those who have lost loved ones to motorcycle crashes.

According to the GHSA’s analysis of motorcycle crash statistics from the first nine months of 2010, motorcycle accident deaths declined by 2 percent nationally last year, dropping from 4,465 fatalities recorded in the first nine months of 2009 to 4,376 in 2010.

However, Virginia’s motorcycle crash fatalities bucked the national trend by experiencing a slight increase, going from 61 deaths in the first nine months of 2009 to 62 during that same time span in 2010. Twenty other states saw an increase in fatal motorcycle accidents as well.

According to the most recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study of the causes of motorcycle crashes, the failure of other motorists to detect and recognize motorcycles in traffic is one of the leading causes of motorcycle crashes.

In order to avoid causing a motorcycle accident, injury or death, Marks & Harrison suggests that car and truck drivers and other road users adhere to the following safe driving practices that have been outlined by the NHTSA:

  •     Never drive while distracted by eating, drinking, talking to passengers or, especially, talking on a cell phone or texting while behind the wheel;
  •     Recognize that motorcyclists have the same rights and privileges as any other vehicle on the road, which means giving the motorcycle enough room to operate safely and never attempting to share a lane with the cycle;
  •     Check in blind spots for motorcycles before entering or leaving traffic lanes or crossing through intersections;
  •     Always signal before changing lanes or merging with traffic;
  •     Don’t rely on a motorcycle’s flashing turn signal, but instead, wait to be sure the rider is going to turn before you proceed (motorcycle turn signals rarely turn off automatically, and a motorcyclist may have forgotten to cancel it); and
  •     Always allow a 3-4-second following distance behind a motorcycle, which allows the motorcyclist to maneuver safely around obstacles such as potholes, gravel, wet pavement, slippery surfaces, pavement seams, railroad crossings and grooved pavement.

The Virginia motorcycle accident attorneys of Marks & Harrison point out to motorcyclists and other road users that motorcycle accidents tend to result in catastrophic and fatal injuries. According to the NHTSA, the motorcyclist is actually 39 times more likely than other vehicle occupants to die and nine times more likely to be injured in a crash.

If a motorcyclist is injured in a wreck, or if a family loses a relative to an accident, the attorneys of Marks & Harrison say it is crucial to contact an experienced Virginia motorcycle crash lawyer immediately to ensure that one’s legal rights are protected.

About Marks & Harrison

Established in 1911, Marks & Harrison represents clients in a variety of practice areas, including personal injury, wrongful death, car accidents, tractor trailer accidents, motorcycle accidents, alcohol/drug-related accidents and pedestrian injuries. The firm features offices located in the Virginia cities of Richmond, Petersburg, Louisa, Charlottesville, Tappahannock, Hopewell, Staunton and Fredericksburg. To learn more about the firm and its car accident attorneys, call (800) 283-2202 or use the firm’s online form.

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