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15 ways drivers and motorcyclists can help prevent accidents

The Sam Bernstein Law Firm
Motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to be killed in a crash than occupants of passenger cars, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Association.

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, a perfect time to focus on making Michigan roads safer for bikers and motorists. The majority of motorcycle accidents involve at least one passenger vehicle. And, because motorcyclists have minimal protection, they usually suffer more serious injuries than those riding in cars and trucks. In fact, motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to be killed in a crash than occupants of passenger cars, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA). Following these simple tips can help reduce the number of serious motorcycle accidents. 

Safety tips for motorcyclists

- Wear a helmet and other protective gear. Helmets save lives, despite being optional for riders over 21 in Michigan. Make sure your helmet fits properly and meets the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) standards. In addition, goggles, gloves and abrasion-resistant clothing can provide protection in the event of an accident.

- Watch for potentially dangerous road hazards such as potholes, wet pavement, uneven surfaces, fallen branches, debris and other obstacles, which can cause a motorcyclist to lose control and crash.

- Be on the lookout for deer, especially during dawn and dusk and in areas where deer crossing signs are posted. Deer move quickly and travel in groups, so slow down and exercise caution if you see a deer.

- Make sure you are visible to car and truck drivers as well as other motorcyclists. Use reflective decals on your bike and helmet and wear reflective armbands or vests over your clothing, especially at night. Make sure your headlamps and brake lights are in good working order.

- Ride defensively. Be extra cautious at intersections and watch for oncoming cars when making a left turn. Ride according to your experience and skill level; avoid unnecessary risks.

Safety tips for car and truck drivers

- When driving behind a motorcycle, allow additional space and stopping time. Many motorcyclists are seriously and fatally injured after being rear-ended by a car, especially a large heavy vehicle such as an SUV.

- When passing a motorcycle, use your turn signal and exercise caution. Increasing your speed when passing can create a sudden burst of wind that may cause a motorcycle to lose stability and crash.

- Check your blind spots. Accidents often occur when drivers fail to see a motorcycle while changing lanes or merging. Make sure rear- and side-view mirrors are properly adjusted and take time to check blind spots before proceeding.

- Be especially careful at intersections, which are common sites of accidents. Obey traffic lights and signs, use turn signals and make sure there are no approaching vehicles when making a left turn.

- Don’t be a distracted driver. Avoid using a hand-held cell phone, programming a GPS or engaging in other distracting activities such as eating or grooming.

Road safety tips for drivers and motorcyclists  

- Never operate a car or motorcycle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including certain prescription medications. Let someone else drive, use a ride service or postpone your trip until you can safely get behind the wheel.

 - Make allowances for hazardous weather or road conditions. Reduce speed and increase stopping distance when roads are slippery or visibility is diminished due to rain or snow.

 - Don’t speed. Driving too fast is a major cause of accidents because it decreases reaction time and makes it easier to lose control of your vehicle.

 - Stay in your own lane. Cars and trucks should never share a lane with a motorcycle, regardless of the size of the motorcycle or the width of the lane. If you need to change lanes, use your turn signal and check for blind spots.

- Expect the unexpected. Most accidents are caused by unforeseen circumstances, including unpredictable drivers, weather and other hazards. Stay alert and remember to keep your hands, eyes and mind on the road ahead.

 “Many of our lawyers ride, so we understand the pleasures and pitfalls of motorcycling. More importantly, we understand the complexities of Michigan’s accident laws, and we know what it takes to win,” says Mark Bernstein of The Sam Bernstein Law Firm. “This is why you should call us immediately, before you sign any insurance papers, if you or a loved one is involved in a serious motorcycle accident.”

Our experienced accident lawyers will fight for the compensation you deserve

If you are injured in a motorcycle, car or truck accident, we can help. Our knowledgeable legal team has the expertise and resources to build a winning case that holds the negligent parties responsible for the damages you suffered.

Motorcycle accident law is complicated, but finding the right Michigan accident lawyer is simple.

Get your case started today by visiting our website or calling 1-800-CALL-SAM for a free, no-obligation remote consultation from the safety of your home. 

Sources:

https://one.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/pedbimot/motorcycle/motorcycle03/index.htm

https://one.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/pedbimot/motorcycle/unsafehelmetid/pages/page2.htm

Members of the editorial and news staff of the USA TODAY Network were not involved in the creation of this content.
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