Preventing Missouri motorcycle accidents as the season begins

At the beginning of motorcycle season, it is important for Missouri drivers and motorcyclists to take steps to avoid accidents.

After a particularly long and harsh winter, warm weather has finally become a regular occurrence in Missouri. With the pleasant weather, many more motorcyclists have taken to the roads. With the increase in motorcycles on the road, it is important for drivers and motorcyclists alike to work together to prevent motorcycle accidents from occurring.

Sadly, even though it is only the beginning of motorcycle season, tragedy has already occurred on Missouri roads. In late May, a 37-year-old woman was killed in a tragic motorcycle accident near Nevada. According to the accident report, the motorcycle collided with a car driven by a 17-year-old after the car failed to yield the right of way.

Several studies over the years have been conducted on collisions between cars and motorcycles. Many of them have found that the driver of the motor vehicle is to blame for the accident most of the time. Recently, a 2013 study in Florida studied 10 years of motorcycle accident reports in the state and concluded that the motorist was at fault for the accident 60 percent of the time.

Working to prevent accidents

Although the study was completed in Florida, driver error is a universal phenomenon. It is therefore important for Missouri motorists and motorcyclists alike to take steps to minimize the risk of an accident. In order to do this, experts recommend that motorists:

  • Keep a minimum of four seconds of space between the car and the motorcycle for adequate stopping distance.
  • Check blind spots carefully when changing lanes, as cyclists can be difficult to see due to their size.
  • Always use turn signals.
  • Pay attention to the road by refraining from using cellphones, as doing so increases the risk of a distracted driving accident exponentially.

Motorcyclists, in turn, can also prevent accidents by making themselves as visible as possible to other drivers. Experts recommend wearing bright clothing in lieu of traditional all-black leather. Additionally, motorcyclists should avoid riding in drivers' blind spots as much as possible and always wear a helmet. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, helmets prevent up to 37 percent of motorcycle crash deaths.

Speak to an attorney

Motorcycle accidents are a major cause of injuries and fatalities in Missouri. According to statistics from the Missouri Highway Patrol, 2,404 people were injured and 104 people lost their lives in motorcycle accidents during 2012, an increase on both accounts from the previous year.

When a car collides with a motorcycle, the large size and weight difference makes it much more likely that a serious injury or fatality will occur. Unfortunately, many such accidents are caused by driver negligence such as failing to follow traffic laws or distracted driving. In such cases, it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney if you have been involved in a motorcycle accident. An attorney can help you recover compensation for medical bills and other expenses you incurred because of the accident.

Keywords: motorcycle accidents, car accidents