Awareness is important in preventing motorcycle accidents

As the weather turns warmer, drivers are likely to see motorcycles and other two-wheeled vehicles appearing on the roads of Worcester County. Motorcycles have grown more popular as modes of transportation because they don't cost as much as a car to maintain and operate. As such, it is important for drivers to be on the lookout for bikers in order to prevent a collision that can result in serious injury or death.

A painful reminder

A recent motorcycle-vehicle accident in Easthampton was a reminder of how vital it is for drivers of cars to be aware of their surroundings. According to The Republican, a 19-year-old driver was backing out of her driveway in the early evening when she hit a motorcycle driving down the road. On the bike were a 45-year-old husband and wife, who were both seriously injured; it is unknown what kind of injuries the couple suffered.

The Massachusetts Public Safety Office reported that 329 motorcycle-related incapacitating injuries occurred in 2008 and 42 people were killed. The same year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a 55 percent increase in motorcycle deaths between the years of 2001 and 2008. The dramatic increase caused motorcycle accidents to be identified as a national public health concern.

Increasing awareness

Whenever a driver gets into his or her car, the driver should be aware of his or her surroundings. Motorcycles can be more difficult to see but there are several tips motorists can use to share the road safely with bikers.

  • Check the area twice - Due to their size, motorcycles can easily blend in behind trees, signs, other vehicles, fences, and even a driver's blind spot. By taking the time to scan the area more thoroughly, motorists will be able to reduce their risk of causing an accident.
  • Give bikers room - While drivers can often estimate the speed and distance of another car, motorcycles move differently with the ability to speed up and slow down more quickly.
  • Keep motorcycles in view - Motorcycles often move from one side of a lane to the other in order to see what is ahead of them, making it easy for drivers to miss their presence.
  • Motorcycles can slow down without their brakes - Many drivers rely on brake lights to alert them that another vehicle is slowing down but motorcyclists often release the gas control on their handle, allowing the bike to immediately drop in speed.

Keeping in mind that motorcycles operate and move differently than vehicles can help motorists become more aware of their presence and give them the room they need.

When a motorcyclist is in a car accident, the injuries they suffer can be quite severe, given the fact that they are more exposed than someone in a car. They may lose their ability to work, face numerous medical bills and even be permanently disabled. If you have been hit by a car while on your motorcycle, you should meet with an experienced attorney who can help you seek compensation.