With the post-recession economic condition of the United States slowly but steadily improving, so does the personal income of, and discretionary income available to, its population. One of the trends which occurs when an economy improves and discretionary income increases, is that personal spending increases on recreational items like motorcycles. One of the other trends which occurs is that motorcycle deaths tend to increase as the economic state of the population improves because there are more motorcycles on the road. In fact, statistics show that the number of motorcyclist crash fatalities in the United States increased about 9 percent from 2011 to 2012. This statistic is expected to increase as the economy further improves.
According to the report, “Motorcyclist Traffic Fatalities by State,” there are several recommended countermeasures that can help limit or reduce this upward trend in the number of motorcycle accidents and fatalities. However, if you or a loved one has been hurt or killed due to driver negligence or some other negligence, an experienced injury and accident lawyer can help you claim damages. You can learn more here. Included in those are being licensed, wearing helmets, reducing speed, and reducing alcohol impairment, but one of the most important ways to reduce accidents and deaths is education.
Rider education. Ridereducation is one of the top ways to reduce accidents and fatalities. Rider education courses are readily available through the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and other resources, and there is no shortage of educational information available online as well. Rider education courses teach about the ways in which to avoid common accidents. Here are some common accidents and how to avoid them:
- Car turns left in front of you. Avoid it by always identifying and predicting threats around you and planning for evasive action.
- Gravel. “Slow in, fast out” is the rule of thumb. If you are riding at a pace where you have sufficient reaction time, you will best be able to handle gravel and any other road imperfections. Same thing goes for identifying curves and corners ahead.
- Car changes lanes into you. Motorcycles fit easily into the blind spots of automobiles. Be aware of them by watching not only drivers’ eyes in their mirrors, but also watching traffic activity ahead and behind. Stay out of the lanes with the most activity.
- Car hits you from behind at stop lights. You can avoid rear-end accidents by either pulling into center lanes at stop lights or by politely pulling into spaces between the cars ahead of you (called a “crumple zone”).
- Car opens its door. Don’t ever ride between parked cars and active traffic lanes. Ever. Again, reducing speed and being aware of drivers of all cars, whether moving or parked, is good accident prevention.
Driver education. Drivereducation is another top way to reduce accidents and fatalities. Many of the same rules apply as far as ways to avoid accidents with motorcycles, chief among those rules are ones regarding reducing alcohol impairment. Others specific to driving a car include:
- Don’t use cell phones. Driver distraction is one of the top reasons for automobile accidents; one of the main distractions today is cell phone use. That includes texting while driving. Because motorcycles are smaller and more difficult to see, collisions with motorcycles due to distraction is more common. The only way be fully aware of your surroundings is to keep your eyes where they belong: on the road.
- Take two extra seconds. If you’re pulling out from a parking spot or changing lanes, make a conscious effort to take a few extra seconds to check your surroundings. Those seconds can often times prevent a costly mistake.
- Play games with your kids. Sometimes your children can help you see better. Like the games, “Slug Bug,” or “I Spy,” bike counting games can engage kids in helping you to be aware of the ones on the road around you.
Driver and rider education can help everyone to avoid negligent situations that cause tragic motorcycle accidents. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident – contact and experienced Will County Illinois accident attorney as soon as possible for help. These professionals can guide you on the best course of action, and how to proceed.