Michigan Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
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06 Jun 2012

May was a motorcycle awareness month. Every year thousands of accidents happen on the road, but the death rate is higher for those who ride on motorcycles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is encouraging all motorists to safely share the road with those who ride on motorcycles.

There are various organizations involved with making the public aware; The Motorcycle Safety Foundation is also a participant of the motorcycle awareness month. Everyone’s goal is to educate both the motorcyclist and motorist about the inherent dangers that can occur on the road. Unfortunately many riders have not taken classes for proper safety precautions, and studies have shown it is beneficial to take these courses in conjunction with getting a license.

Riding solo on a motor bike has a set of rules as does those that ride in groups. There are some very important issues that need to be address before a group goes out together. Good communication and strategizing how to keep the group together is a good place to start.

When riding in a group, it is suggested that a meeting be held prior to going on the ride so that everyone understands and agrees on the method of communication. The safety of the group depends on how well everyone cooperates and pays attention. Most leaders will use a set of hand signals, or body gestures letting the others know what their intent is; riders should be well versed with these signals.

Another matter to talk about is how everyone will stay together. Stopping at traffic lights and passing others on the road can be a challenge if a plan is not set in place. The leader of the group should discuss how these situations will be handled. A leader may want to slow down before the light changes to red, giving a little bit of time for the others in the group to catch up and stop as well.

It is also recommended that the staggered formation is used when a group is riding. Use time to judge distance between riders, this will provide enough space for the rider to move safely out of the way of debris and things like potholes. However, single line formation should be used when getting on and off ramps, down narrow roads, or areas where there are construction zones. Because using the side by side method can be dangerous, it should be avoided unless there is no other option.

Some other safety tips for the motorcyclist are:

  • Make sure the gas tank is full
  • Wear protective gear
  • Let yourself be seen to all drivers on the road
  • Do not drive while impaired mentally or physically
  • Ride in smaller groups, if there is a large group, break up into smaller groups

It is just as important for the motorists on the road to take precautionary measures and extend courtesy to others who are sharing the road. Being aware of what’s going on around you, double checking for motorcyclists when switching lanes or turning, and not driving while impaired will also help keep the roads safe.

Riding a motorcycle, whether it is an individual rider or an organized group can be fun, but safety has to come first. Since both the motorist and motorcyclist are responsible for practicing safe driving procedures, information regarding this issue needs to be more available. Both parties should be informed of the potential dangers, so they can use extra caution when driving to help prevent accidents and even death. Bringing awareness to the public can help reduce the number of these incidences.

 

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