May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
May is the unofficial start of riding season for motorcycle enthusiasts. That makes this month a good time to remind drivers how to safely share the road with bikers and raise awareness about the high number of fatal motorcycle accidents on our nation's roads and highways.
About 3 percent of vehicles registered in the U.S. are motorcycles. Yet motorcycle riders account for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities. In Oklahoma, fatal motorcycle crashes make up about 10 percent of all traffic deaths. The number of fatal bike wrecks in Oklahoma has also increased over the last three years. For example, in 2021, there were 76 deadly motorcycle accidents in the state, up from 66 in 2019.
Given these alarming statistics, it is crucial that motorcyclists receive the utmost attention and consideration from drivers on the road. In line with this objective, Lawter & Associates Attorneys at Law PLLC is actively participating in the National Motorcycle Safety Awareness campaign this month by highlighting the importance of sharing the road and watching out for bikers.
Safe driving tips for Oklahoma drivers
Motorcycles are often smaller and less visible than other vehicles on the road. As a result, it's essential for drivers to be extra cautious when near them. Be aware that their size can cause misjudgments of their speed and distance, which can lead to dangerous situations.
Here is how you can do your part to share the road with motorcycles safely:
- Remember that bikers have the same right to the road. Therefore, always give them enough space to operate safely, allowing them to use the full width of a lane.
- Use directional signals. Always signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic. Be mindful that motorcycle signals are often non-canceling. Proceed with caution.
- Check blind spots thoroughly. Before changing lanes, turning, or merging with traffic, always check your mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles. They can be challenging to see, so a quick glance may not be enough time for a driver to spot a bike.
- Do not speed. Speeding is a contributing factor in more than 1 out of 3 fatal Oklahoma motorcycle accidents. Obeying the speed limit is essential for preventing accidents and ensuring everyone's safety. Drive at a safe speed, and always be mindful of changing speed limits.
One of the best ways to prevent accidents is to provide motorcyclists with ample time to maneuver or stop in emergencies. Most bikes can stop a lot faster than cars and trucks after hitting the brakes. Maintaining a safe following distance of at least 3 to 4 seconds is recommended when driving behind a motorcycle.
Contact an experienced Oklahoma motorcycle accident lawyer
In the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, injured bikers often face significant physical, emotional, and financial burdens. These individuals may require extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, and ongoing care, resulting in mounting medical expenses. Additionally, they may experience a loss of income due to their inability to work during recovery. The physical and emotional pain, coupled with the financial strain, can make the recovery process even more challenging.
Unfortunately, another struggle injured bikers commonly encounter is dealing with insurance companies. Insurance companies are primarily focused on minimizing their costs and may employ tactics to undervalue or deny legitimate claims. Adjusters may attempt to shift blame onto the motorcyclist or downplay the extent of their injuries. This adversarial approach adds additional stress and frustration to an already difficult situation.
In these circumstances, having the support and guidance of an experienced motorcycle accident attorney is crucial. At Lawter & Associates, we understand the unique challenges faced by injured bikers and are dedicated to providing them with compassionate and aggressive legal representation. We fight tirelessly to hold negligent drivers accountable for their actions and to secure fair and just compensation for our clients.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an Oklahoma motorcycle accident, don't hesitate to contact our firm for a free case evaluation. We have offices in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.