As part of my practice as an Atlanta injury and accident lawyer, I have represented many clients involved in serious motorcycle accidents in our area. It is well-known that drivers of these vehicles are more vulnerable to motorcycle crashes involving serious injury and death than drivers of other types of vehicles. There are no more enthusiastic drivers than those who own and enjoy riding their bikes.
The National Safety Council (NSC) wants to help avoid death and injury to motorcyclists and keep them as safe as possible. To further that effort the NSC has made the month of May, Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. We would like all Atlanta area drivers, whether they are driving a truck, car or a motorcycle, to pay close attention to the information that the NSC has provided.
According to the NSC, many accidents involving cars and motorcycles are caused by the fact these vehicles can be hidden in a driver’s blind spot. Those driving a car or truck should always check their blind spots visually prior to changing lanes. Many motorcycle crashes and tragic injuries result from these common maneuvers on the road.
The NSC also urges that motorists share the road with motorcycles by taking extra precautions when they are traveling in proximity to one another. Suggestions for motorists include several important points.
First, motorists should allow more distance when following a motorcycle. Second, it is critical to be very careful when traveling in an intersection. The NSC says that “[m]ost crashes occur when a motorist fails to see a motorcyclist and turns left in front of a motorcycle.” Third, the NSC suggests that it is very unwise to try to share the lane with a bike — instead, give the motorcycle a complete lane.
The statistics of bike crashes, injuries and deaths are not good. In fact, deaths that involved both motorists and motorcyclists increased 131 percent in the decade between 1998 and 2008. Alarmingly, the motorcyclists’ death rate by miles was “37 times greater than for passenger car occupants.”
The advice to bike riders to avoid crashes is also very important information. If at all possible, do not drive your bike in bad weather. Second, avoid riding in the blind spot of the vehicles around you, whether they are trucks or cars. Third, make sure to signal when you are turning or making a lane change.
Charles Scholle is a Gwinnett County motorcycle injury and accident lawyer, and his firm is available for a free consultation to evaluate your motorcycle or car accident matter. Please contact our law firm at any time, we are laser focused on helping clients recover from catastrophic injuries due to motorcycle, car and truck accidents. We have offices in several locations around the Atlanta area, including Buckhead, Decatur and the Perimeter.