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May Is Motorcycle Awareness Month

As San Diego injury lawyers, we are concerned that motorcycle accidents in California are on the rise. With this in mind, we want to remind both motorcyclists and drivers that May is Motorcycle Awareness Month.

In 2013, motorcycle crashes resulted in 475 fatalities and more than 13,000 injuries, which represented a significant increase over the prior year. Nationally, motorcyclists accounted for 14 percent of all vehicle-related fatalities in 2013, up from about 9 percent in 2004, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

While motorcycle accidents can have a wide range of causes, some of the most common include drivers failing to yield for motorcycles before turning, merging or changing lanes; distracted drivers failing to see motorcycles until it’s too late; and tailgating drivers rear-ending motorcycles. Therefore, it is imperative that drivers of cars and trucks safely “share the road” with motorcyclists. Below are a few tips from the NHTSA:

  • Though a motorcycle is a small vehicle, its operator still has all the rights of the road as any other motorist. Allow the motorcycle the full width of a lane at all times.
  • Always signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic.
  • If you see a motorcycle with a signal on, be careful: motorcycle signals are often non-canceling and could have been forgotten. Always ensure that the motorcycle is turning before proceeding.
  • Check all mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes or merging with traffic, especially at intersections.
  • Always allow more follow distance – three to four seconds – when behind a motorcycle. This gives them more time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.
  • Never drive distracted or impaired.

Motorcycle safety is particularly important in California. We lead the country with more than 830,000 registered motorcycles and more than 1.4 million motorcycle riders. When hitting the road, motorcyclists must also take precautions to remain safe. Wearing a helmet and other protective gear; obeying the speed limit and other traffic safety laws; and avoiding impaired driving are some of the most important.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a San Diego motorcycle accident, don’t hesitate to contact a San Diego personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.