May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
It’s that time of year again! Spring in Virginia is the perfect time to hit the road on two wheels. You can get sun on your skin, wind in your face, and freedom on the open road. There are scenic coastal views, and beautiful mountain vistas to take in throughout Virginia, all within the reach of the average motorcyclist.
Unfortunately, there were more than 2000 motorcycle crashes in Virginia in 2014. The city of Richmond alone had 54 accidents involving a motorcycle. Whether you ride a sportbike or a Harley, there are some things to keep in mind as you hit the roads this summer.
- Don’t Split Lanes: Splitting lanes might seem like a great alternative to sitting in traffic. However, doing so is illegal in the state of Virginia and driving abreast of another vehicle in the same lane could result in a charge of reckless driving. Additionally, driving in between other vehicles could make your motorcycle harder to see and harder for other drivers to react to, which could result in a costly accident.
- Don’t drink and ride: Half of crashes that involve a single motorcycle involve a driver that had drank alcohol before riding. And according to NHTSA, in 2014, 29%of motorcycle riders who were involved in fatal crashes had a BAC of 0.08 percent or over.
- Don’t pass a car in the same lane: Only pass a vehicle if you can easily access the left-hand lane and give a few feet distance between you and the vehicle you wish to pass. Passing the vehicle too closely could place you in a blind spot and result in a collision.
Common causes of accidents involving motorcycles:
- Road hazards and obstacles: Uneven pavement, lane closures, flooded areas, downed trees, and construction all add a new level of difficulty and challenge to your everyday commute. If you see signs of road hazards, slow down to asses the situation and make your best judgement on the road.
- Other Motorists inattention/not seeing motorcycles: You can only account for your own driving patterns and actions. In an age of texting and multitasking other motorists may not have their full attention on the road. This gives you all the more reason to watch for vehicles that are swerving, driving with inconsistent speed, or seem otherwise distracted. Always wear clothing that makes you visible at night, and give plenty of indication to other motorists before making turns and changing lanes.
- Cars making left hand turns: This accounts for 42% of all accidents involving motorcycle and car. If you find yourself in the left-hand blind spot of another vehicle, consider passing or reducing speed to create a buffer distance could minimize this risk. Maintaining a “buffer zone” around vehicles on the highway and in the city will help reduce the chances of being involved in an accident.
Motorcycle accidents usually cause very serious injuries for their drivers. Common injuries include broken bones, head injuries, severe skin abrasions, internal bleeding and spinal cord injuries.
A complete investigation of a motorcycle accident is often very complicated and requires the expertise of a Richmond motorcycle accident attorney. If you have been in a motorcycle accident, call the attorneys of Collier & Collier, P.C. at 804-364-5200. We help clients in Richmond and the surrounding areas receive full compensation for their injuries.