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Reducing motorcycle accidents is everyone’s responsibility

Motorcycle accidents are some of the most dangerous and life-threatening collisions on Connecticut roads. Due to the higher levels of exposure and added risk factors of operating a motorcycle, riders are often subject to higher rates of injury and worse injuries than those in motor vehicles.

Considering the increased dangers and major repercussions of a motorcycle crash, every person on the road can do their part to help lessen these catastrophic risks. It may be ideal to think that others on the road will take added precautions, but that is not always the case. Do your part in increasing motorcyclist safety whether you’re on a motorcycle yourself or behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.

What motorcyclists can do

For those on two or three-wheeled vehicles, added safety precautions and heightened awareness are normal elements of being on the road. In Connecticut, obtaining a motorcycle endorsement on a driver’s license involves meeting a number of added expectations from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Anyone with a motorcycle endorsement has passed a knowledge and vision test based on the state’s motorcycle and driver’s manuals. Beyond taking this test, riders must also pass safety courses for both two and three-wheeled vehicles. These added requirements are in place as a means to ensure those operating a motorcycle in Connecticut have the knowledge, training and experience to do so in a safe manner.

Passing these requirements does not completely alleviate the responsibility of taking added care when operating a motorcycle on the roads. Riders can and should consider using safety gear, monitoring road and weather conditions, conducting regular maintenance on the motorcycle and using tools and strategies to increase visibility while riding.

What drivers can do

Other vehicles are some of the greatest dangers to motorcyclists. Cars, trucks and even other motorcycles contribute to the added dangers of motorcycle operation, most often because of the carelessness or lack of attention to these vehicles. Drivers can take some simple steps to increase awareness of motorcyclists and give added consideration to their safety while driving. Some strategies include:

  • Always use a turn signal prior to changing lanes or making a left turn across lanes of traffic. Initiate the signal and wait a few seconds so others can actually see the signal before making a move.
  • Don’t drive next to motorcycles in the same lane. Give motorcycles a full traffic lane the same as you would with another car or truck.
  • Look at blind spots multiple times before changing lanes in traffic. One look may not be enough to see a smaller, hidden vehicle.
  • Follow behind motorcycles with enough space to make a fast stop if necessary. Following too close behind can lead to rear-end accidents.

When it comes to reducing the amount of motorcycle accidents, everyone on the road can do their share. Take the little extra time and consideration to watch for these vehicles on the roads. It can make all the difference in increasing the safety of these fellow travelers.

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Suisman Shapiro Attorneys-at-Law
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