May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is encouraging motorists and roadway users to “Share the Road.”

Motorcyclist fatalities did actually increase in 2012. While bikers can protect themselves by wearing safety gear and practicing safe riding habits, ultimately, the other drivers sharing the roadway with them must also drive safely. Motorcyclists lack certain protections that cars have such as seat belts, steel cages and airbags, so they are truly at the mercy of other motorists.

Motorcycle Safety Facts

  • 15233368842_794d2cc430_zWith the exception of 2009, for the past 15 years, motorcycle fatalities have been on the rise.
  • 4,957 motorcyclists were killed in traffic crashes in 2012.
  • Motorcyclist deaths accounted for 15 percent of total traffic deaths in 2012.
  • In 2010, 4,502 people were killed in motorcycle crashes.
  • 81,000 people were injured in motorcycle crashes in 2011.
  • In 2012, 93,000 motorcyclists were injured in collisions.

Share the Road

The NHTSA is offering drivers various helpful tips for safely navigating the roadways with motorcyclists. Drivers need to note that bikers have the same rights and privileges as other roadway users. While motorcycles are smaller than traditional passenger vehicles, they still need a full lane width to travel in, and they actually require extra room to maneuver around potential roadway obstacles and other road hazards. Drivers are also encouraged to routinely check their blind spots and always signal their intentions before merging into traffic or changing lanes. Another important reminder is to give at least three to four extra seconds of distance to bikers. Motorcyclists need additional room to maneuver quickly in the event of an emergency or roadway problem. Most importantly, bikers and drivers alike should never drive distracted or impaired. If you’re eyes are on your phone or something other than the road, then you will not see the motorcycle rider next to you, behind you or in front of you.

After a Motorcycle Accident

Just like car accidents, victims of motorcycle accidents can also be compensated for medical expenses and damages. You, however, will need the assistance of a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. If you were injured or lost a loved one in Tampa, Brandon, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Bradenton, Sarasota or any of the surrounding areas, a Tampa Bay Motorcycle Accident Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can help.

Even riders who wear helmets, protective jackets, gloves and boots can still suffer devastating injuries or deaths from collisions with passenger vehicles. If drivers fail to pay attention to the road, riders can easily become hurt or killed. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for drivers to report not seeing a motorcycle prior to a crash. If you are a victim of a motorcycle accident and need assistance filing a personal injury claim, or you are the family member of a loved one who was killed in a motorcycle collision and need help with filing a wrongful death claim, please call us today at 813-221-3200 or 727-823-0000 or contact us online to request a free consultation.

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