May is Motorcycle Awareness Month

Jones & Swanson is joining the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to educate Georgians about safely "sharing the road" with motorcyclists. May 2014 is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, so we are taking this opportunity to remind both motorists and motorcyclists of the dangers of motorcycle crashes. Unfortunately, statistics show that the number of fatal cycle crashes has increased over the past few years, while the use of helmets is on the decline.

For example, 4,957 motorcyclists lost their lives in crashes in 2012, accounting for approximately 15% of the total fatalities on highways. In 2011, 66% of motorcyclists reported wearing helmets while riding. That number dropped to 60% the very next year. Estimates by the NHTSA indicate that approximately 1,600 lives were saved by helmet usage in 2011. Proper helmet usage is one of the surest methods to protecting yourself while riding a motorcycle.

While motorcyclists are responsible for wearing the appropriate gear and adhering to proper safety protocols in an effort to stay safe, other motorists also have a responsibility to do their part in keeping our roads safe. We've compiled a list of tips for motorists to keep in mind in an effort to prevent a fatal crash with a motorcycle:

  • Provide the full width of a lane for motorcycles at all times, even though they are small.
  • Always signal a change of lanes or when merging with traffic.
  • Be cautious when you see a motorcycle with a signal on: their signals are often non-canceling and may have been forgotten. Always confirm that the bike is turning before proceeding.
  • Before changing lanes or merging, always check your mirrors and blind spots thoroughly. Looking twice may just save a life.
  • Do not follow too closely to motorcycles. They should be provided more following distance than other vehicles. This allows enough space to stop or maneuver in the event of an emergency.
  • Never drive distracted or impaired.

For a list of safety steps for motorcyclists to follow, visit our Biker Safety Tips blog.

For more information on motorcycle safety, visit www.nhtsa.gov.

Attorneys Andrew Jones and Chase Swanson have represented many victims of motorcycle accidents in the past. Typically, the injuries sustained in these types of crashes are much more serious for cyclists because they have less protection surrounding them. If you or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle crash and need information on what to do next, contact our office for advice at (770) 427-5498.