Distracted Driving and Motorcycle Accidents

There are many reasons people choose to own and ride motorcycles; they are cheaper than cars, they use less gasoline, and there is a sense of camaraderie among bikers. The ability to feel connected to the road and nature while you drive is also a big draw. However, all of this comes with a cost. The reduced safety features available to cyclists result in catastrophic accidents. Motorcycles are also fast and small, and distracted drivers may not notice them. Indeed, this phenomenon of cyclists being hit by drivers who did not notice them has been on the rise.

According to an article in the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation estimates that 40% of motorcycle accidents occur because of a distracted driver. Just this year, there have 52 motorcycle driver deaths, as well as five passenger deaths. Drivers may change lanes too quickly or blow through an intersection without checking for motorcycles. Tony Sanfelipo, an attorney quoted in the article, says that one reason this happens is that drivers are talking on cell phones and holding them up to their ears, which partially blocks the left side of their vision. Because of this, drivers may be drifting over into another lane without realizing it. Although investigators can track cell phone records to determine if the driver was on their phone at the time of the incident, it is still not always clear who is at fault. Tim Tomann—the director for an organization that focuses on the rights of bikers—says that motorcyclists should keep the following safety tips in mind: wear bright colored clothing, have loud pipes that can get the attention of distracted drivers, stay out of blind spots, wear a helmet, and avoid any unnecessary aggression towards other drivers. A large number of motorcycle fatalities happen to those who do not have the proper kind of driver’s license which means they are not well versed on the latest safety precautions, and they really should not be riding a motorcycle at all.

Distracted driving is becoming a bigger and bigger problem as electronics and cell phones continue to be an extension of the arms of many people. Passing hands-free legislation, like they have done in Austin, may be a viable way to cut down on the deaths of motorcyclists. According to a personal injury lawyer in the Milwaukee area, Habush Habush & Rottier S.C., a lawsuit can be filed against these distracted drivers to hold them accountable for damages.

The joys of owning, maintaining, and riding a motorcycle are definitely offset by how easy it is to get in an accident, and how horrible these accidents can be. If you are looking into owning a bike, it is necessary to read up on how to best protect yourself in every situation and to always wear proper safety equipment. While the government takes its time with legislation to curb distracted driving, bikers must take their lives into their own hands.

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Carmakers Push Crash Prevention Technology

According to statistics, more than 2.3 million American citizens have reportedly been rushed to hospitals due to injuries caused by auto accidents. The Majors Firm reports that auto accidents kill an estimated 8,000 drivers aged 16 to 20 years old every year. Auto accidents have become one of the leading causes of injuries and fatalities in the United States, and the impact of these car crashes to the economy has become more and more noticeable: every year, road crashes have cost the government $230.6 billion dollars.

With auto accidents causing 37,000 deaths each year, the government has been strongly advocating safe and defensive driving. State laws have started implementing increased and heavier penalties to motorists who violate traffic and road rules and regulations. Aiding to keep auto accidents to a minimum, car manufacturers have also developed technologies that provide safer vehicles. These cars can alarm motorists of possible collisions and have additional automatic braking systems to help prevent car crashes. According to Russ Rader, spokesperson for the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), vehicles that provide services such as forward collision warnings and automatic braking systems reduce the chances of an auto accident by as much as 15 percent.

Car manufacturers Honda, Subaru, and Volvo are among the leaders in these types of car crash prevention technology – they have scored top rating in four types of car crash tests as well as having collision alert signals that warn drivers of possible collision, as tested by the IIHS. Manufacturers are taking the results of these tests seriously because, aside from protecting their customers from accidents, these results can give them positive marketing to boost their sales. The increased need in using high-tech features to improve vehicle safety has been encouraged by the IIHS to lower the incidents of auto accidents, therefore reducing the number of injuries and fatalities (as well as costs) for everyone.

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