As the weather in St. Joseph heats up, motorcyclists are taking their bikes out for a ride. Unfortunately, this has led to the annual increase in motorcycle accidents.
Practicing some simple driving techniques can drastically reduce the number of car accidents that involve motorcyclists in Missouri.
Missouri Police Note Rise in Motorcycle Accidents
In the span of a single week in mid-June, police in western Missouri saw two motorcycle accidents, including a fatal one.
“It’s that time of year: The temperature is up, the motorcycles are out,” said Sergeant Jake Angle of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
Whenever there is an increase in the number of bikes on the road, the number of motorcycle crashes increases proportionately.
Awareness is Crucial to Avoid Crashing With a Motorcycle
For car drivers, simply being aware that motorcycles are on the road is a key factor in preventing a costly crash. Drivers tend to forget about motorcycles when they scan their surroundings for hazards. Making this mistake during a lane change on the highway is especially common. Motorcycles are smaller than passenger vehicles, so they can fit in blind spots far more easily. Even if a driver attentively checks for other vehicles before making a lane change, if they do not specifically look for motorcycles, they can cause a serious crash.
Increase Following Distances for Motorcycles
Something that even the best drivers tend to forget about motorcycles is that, because they are so much smaller and lighter than passenger vehicles, motorcycles can also stop far more quickly than a car can.
If you are following a motorcycle, then, you should increase the distance between the front of your car and the back of the bike significantly. Safety experts say that drivers should give themselves two seconds of following distance when trailing a car, but three or four when trailing a motorcycle. If the biker slams on the brakes, this will give you enough room to come to a full stop and avoid a rear-end collision.
You can measure your following distance by using a landmark on the road, like a manhole cover or a line of road sealing tar, and counting the seconds that pass. When the vehicle in front of you passes by the landmark, begin at zero. You are safely following a passenger vehicle if you reach the landmark when you reach “two.” If you are following a motorcycle, though, you should be on at least “three.” If the road conditions are bad, like if it is raining, you should add at least another second to your following distance.
Car Accident Lawyers at the Smith Law Office Serve St. Joseph
The personal injury lawyers at the Smith Law Office strive to legally represent victims in car accidents and motorcycle accidents in and around St. Joseph, Missouri. Contact us online or call our law office at (816) 875-9373 for the legal help you need to get the compensation you deserve.