Baxter Police Department Supports Motorcycle Safety Month
In conjunction with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office and the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, the Baxter Police Department is working to recognize and support Motorcycle Safety Month throughout May.
According to a report by the Herald-Citizen, law enforcement agencies throughout the country participate in Motorcycle Safety Month by providing information to residents and raising awareness about the importance of sharing the road and always being on the lookout for motorcyclists.
A spokesperson with the BPD says that as the weather warms in Middle Tennessee, it’s important to remind residents of the presence of motorcycles and how to respond to their presence in order to avoid causing accidents.
Accident data from 2015 shows that the number of motorcycle fatalities increased compared to previous years, and there were around 2,800 total motorcycle accidents in the state last year.
A spokesperson with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office says that it’s important for drivers to remember that motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians are defenseless during accidents. Because of the increased dangers that motorcyclists face, the safety month campaign urges drivers to always look twice before turning or switching lanes.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Tips for Driving near Motorcycles
With spring in full force and summer approaching, more and more motorcyclists will be out on highways and interstates in Middle Tennessee. Although motorcyclists can be found throughout the Volunteer State at all times of the year, their numbers increase during warm months, and that means drivers should be even more aware of their presence from March to October.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recognizes the dangers that motorcyclists face from drivers of cars, trucks, and SUVs, and the organization offers drivers these tips to help them reduce their chances of causing accidents:
- Use your mirrors and turn signals before changing lanes.
All vehicles have blind spots. Depending on the orientation of your windows and mirrors, your vehicle’s blind spot may be large enough to hide even large SUVs and trucks. That means it may be extremely difficult for you to spot a motorcycle when you’re attempting to change lanes. To reduce your risk of striking a motorcyclist while changing lanes, always use your turn signals to indicate your intentions and use your mirrors to check the areas directly behind and next to your vehicle.
- Avoid turning at intersections when approaching motorcyclists have their turn signals on.
Many drivers are accustomed to turning at intersections when they see approaching vehicles with their turn signals on, as that generally indicates those vehicles are slowing down and will exit the roadway. However, many motorcycles have turn signals that must be manually turned on and off—and that means a blinking turn signal doesn’t always indicate that the approaching motorcyclist is planning to slow down or turn.
- Give motorcyclists plenty of room when following or driving in adjacent lanes.
Everyone knows not to crowd other vehicles or follow too closely, and the same safe-driving principles are true when driving near motorcyclists. Drifting into motorcyclists’ lanes makes them more likely to lose control of their bikes and even run off the roadway, while driving too closely can put you at risk of rear-ending them and causing them to suffer serious and even life-threatening injuries.
At Matt Hardin Law, our Cookeville motorcycle accident attorneys know that many motorcycle crashes are caused due to drivers who fail to look for motorcycles or fail to recognize that motorcycles deserve the same respect on the roadway as cars, trucks, and SUVs. Following the tips listed above is a great way to increase your awareness of the presence of motorcycles and incorporate safer driving habits into your daily routine regardless of the time of day or year.
No matter what the circumstances are that cause them, motorcycle accidents often leave victims with debilitating injuries, expensive medical bills, and long periods of time where they can’t work and earn a paycheck. If you or someone you love was injured in a motorcycle accident caused by a negligent driver, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your accident-related expenses. To find out how we can assist you during this time, dial (615) 547-2683 or complete a free online consultation form.