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May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

motorcycles on the highway

A motorcyclist is vulnerable and can sustain severe injuries in an accident

Many people in Mobile and throughout Alabama like to take their motorcycles out on the road. But it only takes one negligent driver to cause a motorcycle accident. Motorcyclists have little protection in a crash and can be seriously injured or killed.

That’s why May has been declared Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes that safe driving practices and cooperation when sharing the road are crucial for reducing motorcycle accident fatalities and injuries.

There were 1,685 crashes involving motorcycles in Alabama in 2020, resulting in 1,115 injuries and 72 fatalities.

The good news is that there are several things that drivers can do to reduce the risk of motorcycle accidents.

Remember that motorcycles are vehicles, too.

Some drivers consider motorcycles to be a nuisance and get frustrated if a motorcyclist is going too slow or is in their way. This can lead them to take aggressive action that causes a crash. It’s important to share the road and be cautious at all times.

Always check for motorcycles.

This is especially important at intersections. The driver of a car often makes a left turn without carefully checking for approaching motorcycles, causing a collision. Because they are smaller, motorcycles can be difficult to see. Before making a turn, look carefully for any motorcycles headed in your direction.

Keep your distance.

Motorcycles react more quickly than cars, so don’t follow too closely. If a motorcyclist has to brake suddenly, you may not be able to prevent a crash.

Be careful when passing.

Use your left turn signal and give the motorcyclist a little time to see your intent to pass. When it’s safe, begin passing. But don’t return to the other lane until the motorcycle is several car lengths behind you.

Help keep motorcyclists safe at night and in bad weather.

At night, avoid passing and increase your following distance behind motorcycles. Don’t use your high beams. Be aware that it can be more difficult for motorcyclists to control their bikes when it is raining or windy.

Avoid distractions.

To spot motorcycles on the road, a driver needs to be alert and attentive at all times. Texting, checking your phone, eating, drinking, or adjusting dashboard controls takes your eyes off the road. That can lead to a crash, even if you were looking away for only a few seconds.

Injured riders have legal rights

A motorcycle accident can change people’s lives in seconds. Injured motorcyclists may need extensive medical treatment, and their expenses can be overwhelming. But negligent drivers may deny doing anything wrong and say the motorcyclist was at fault. Insurance companies think of motorcyclists as irresponsible road users and will try to limit compensation.

That’s why you need an experienced motorcyclist accident lawyer on your side if you were hurt in Mobile. At Dean Waite & Associates, LLC, we build strong cases and help injured motorcyclists fight back against insurance companies to recover the financial compensation they deserve.

Don’t hesitate. Call Dean Waite. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.

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