May is Motorcycle Awareness Month in Delaware
The Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is using increased safety patrols, digital advertising, social media, public relations, and grassroots outreach in its motorcycle safety awareness campaign to help kick off the start of riding season.
Governor John Carney has proclaimed May as Motorcycle Awareness Month to promote education and awareness with the goal of keeping motorcyclists and other road users safe.
Motorcyclists are at risk on Delaware roads
The OHS notes that:
- Speeding is a primary contributing factor in motorcycle fatalities.
- The state had 234 motorcycle crashes and 76 serious injuries in 2022.
- Motorists turning left into the path of a motorcyclist is a primary factor in crashes.
- Among the fatalities, 45% were motorcycle riders aged 29 and under.
- Most crashes occurred between 7:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m.
- Alcohol impairment played a role in 22% of fatal motorcycle-involved crashes.
Part of the awareness campaign is encouraging drivers to be mindful of their habits on the road.
“OHS wants to remind motorists that all road users have the right to be safe using Delaware roadways and motorcyclists along with pedestrians and bicyclists deserve safety and protection while on the road,” said Jackie McDermott, Traffic Safety Program Manager for the agency.
Sharing the road with motorcycles
The OHS offers the following tips for drivers to help reduce motorcycle accidents:
- Keep a Safe Distance: When driving behind a motorcycle, allow at least 3 or 4 seconds of space, so you have enough distance to stop if necessary. Motorcyclists may need to maneuver or brake suddenly.
- Check Your Blind Spots: Because of their smaller size, motorcycles can be hard to see and are easily hidden in your vehicle’s blind spots. Before changing lanes, merging, or approaching an intersection, be sure to check for motorcyclists in your mirrors and blind spots.
- Look Before You Turn: About 40 percent of motorcycle accidents involving another vehicle happened as the vehicle was turning left in front of an approaching motorcyclist. Always check carefully for motorcycles before making a turn, and remember that it can be difficult to judge their distance and speed.
- Give Them the Whole Lane: Lanes are wide enough to fit a car and a motorcycle side by side – but this is never a good idea. Motorcycles need room to maneuver safely, so never try to share a lane with a biker.
- Just Be Nice: Keep in mind that motorcyclists have the same rights and privileges for using the roads that you do. Operators of all types of vehicles need to share the road.
- Remember, Your Vehicle Can Kill: In fact, more than half of all fatal motorcycle accidents involve another vehicle. Motorcyclists are very vulnerable out on the road, and a collision with a car weighing thousands of pounds traveling at a significant speed can be deadly.
If you’ve been injured, call an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer to protect your rights
You deserve financial compensation if you were injured in a motorcycle accident caused by a negligent driver, but the process can be complicated. Drivers deny doing anything wrong. Insurance companies will challenge your claim or make a lowball settlement offer. And they have lawyers working to protect their interests.
That’s why you need an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer who is ready to fight for you. If you were hurt in an accident in Georgetown or anywhere in Sussex County, the attorneys at Gill, Welsh, and Chamberlain, P.A. are ready to help. We can review the details of your accident, discuss your legal options, and answer any questions you have.
Don’t delay. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.