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May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Motorcycle rider going around a curve

As the pandemic finally eases, the roadways of Ohio are filling up again with motorists, including motorcyclists.

With the popularity of motorcycles on the rise, so is the risk to operators and their passengers.

Here's what you should know...

Motorcycle safety increasingly important

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, marked for May, could not arrive at a more opportune time this year.

Traffic is increasing due to the waning of the pandemic, rider-friendly spring weather and because of the growing interest in motorcycles for both commuting and recreation. Sales of new motorcycles and scooters rose 11.4% in 2020. The first quarter of 2021 saw a skyrocketing 37.2% year-to-year jump.

That’s why the nonprofit Motorcycle Safety Foundation and AAA have joined forces on a public awareness campaign to protect motorcyclists and their riders. They point out that the driving skills of many operators may be rusty after the long layoff, increasing their risk of causing a motorcycle accident.

New drivers, they also note, lack the driving know-how to best protect themselves. Many safety training facilities are having difficulty meeting the demand caused by a large number of new motorcyclists.

Tips for motorists to prevent motorcycle crashes

The safety of motorcyclists, of course, depends largely on other motorists. Bikers are going to suffer the most in any accident.

The Foundation and AAA offer the following safety tips for drivers:

  • Always be on the lookout for motorcycles. Because they are smaller, motorcycles are easily blocked by a vehicle’s blind spots or other traffic. Be especially careful when changing lanes and making turns.
  • Assume that a motorcycle is closer than it looks. Be extra cautious when turning at an intersection or into and out of driveways. Again, because of their size, motorcycles can appear to be farther in the distance than they actually are. It can also be difficult to judge the speed of a motorcycle.
  • Maintain a safe distance and keep your focus. Many motorcyclists slow down by rolling off the throttle or downshifting, meaning their brake light does not activate.
  • Understand the lane-shifting habits of motorcycles. Operators often adjust position within a lane to increase their visibility to other motorists, or to avoid road debris and passing vehicles. They are not showing off, inviting you to merge into their lane, or attempting to irritate you. Remember, motorcyclists have just as much a right to the road as other drivers.

Gervelis Law Firm stands up for injured riders

No matter how careful you operate your motorcycle, you are at the mercy of other drivers. The end result of any crash, because you have little or no protection, is the high likelihood that you and any passengers will suffer severe injuries.

Your injuries can mean piles of medical bills, missed work, and the inability to provide for your loved ones. Don't let the fate of your injury claim come down to your word against the word of the other driver — they are unlikely to accept responsibility, and there's a good chance they'll try to blame you for the crash.

Let Gervelis Law Firm handle everything instead. Our motorcycle accident lawyers know how to deal with insurance companies and we take pride in fighting for the rights of injured riders in Ohio. Our Rapid Investigation Team can also be onsite within 24 hours of your motorcycle accident to search for evidence that can support your claim.

See what we can do for you and contact us today for a free case consultation. We have offices in Canfield, Warren, Akron, Columbus, and Toledo.

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