Recently in Motorcycle Accident Category

Warmer temperatures ahead: Look twice for motorcyles on Springfield roads

motorcycle1.JPGThe weather has been pretty nasty in recent weeks, but local weather forecasts indicate that warmer temperatures are on the way. It won't be long before drivers can expect to see Missouri motorcyclists back on the road in increased numbers. Since there's little to no motorcycle traffic during the winter months, many drivers have forgotten all about motorcyclists by the time riding season rolls around. In this post, our Springfield personal injury lawyers discuss five key points that motorists should keep in mind when sharing the road with motorcyclists.

Risk factors & motorcycles: What other drivers should remember when traveling near riders

• Motorcyclists lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle. When accidents happen, passenger vehicle occupants are afforded a level of protection from a vehicle's outer structure and safety devices, which include air bags and seat belts. Since there's virtually nothing between a rider and the road, motorcyclists are extremely vulnerable to injury when they're involved in collisions. Accidents with minor consequences for car occupants can have extremely serious implications for motorcycle riders.

• Motorcycles are less visible than cars. All too often, motorcycle accidents occur because a driver simply didn't see the motorcycle until it was too late to avoid a collision. Because they're smaller and narrower than other vehicles, motorcycles can easily disappear into blind spots or be obscured by objects on or along the road. Always look twice for motorcycles, especially when you're turning or changing lanes - it really might save someone's life.

• Motorcyclists must make sudden adjustments for roadway conditions and hazards. Being prepared for the unexpected is a key part of defensive driving for all motorists. However, common hazards like loose gravel, wet pavement, and uneven train tracks can be extremely dangerous for riders. For this reason, motorcyclists are often required to make sudden adjustments (like slowing down or changing lane position) when they encounter these conditions. Be alert when you're following riders, and expect them to make such adjustments as needed.

• Motorcycles are less stable than passenger vehicles when performing emergency maneuvers. Because they only have two wheels, motorcycles are trickier to handle than cars and trucks when they're forced to swerve or stop suddenly. Always allow riders plenty of room, just in case an unexpected situation or obstacle presents itself.

Continue reading "Warmer temperatures ahead: Look twice for motorcyles on Springfield roads" »

May is Motorcycle Safety Month: Look twice for motorcyclists in Springfield

358917_yield_in_the_name_of_love.jpgMay is Motorcycle Safety Month, and our Springfield personal injury lawyers want to encourage all Missouri drivers to make motorcycle safety a priority - especially at this time of year, when more motorcyclists are on the road. A recent report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) indicates that motorcycle fatalities increased by approximately 9% in 2012 - in fact, U.S. motorcycle deaths have increased in 14 of the past 15 years. During the same time period, fatal accidents involving all kinds of motor vehicles decreased by 23%.

So, what accounts for the increase in motorcycle fatalities? The GHSA report cites several possible contributing factors, including high gas prices (which prompted more riders to travel by motorcycle last year) and record-high spring temperatures (which extended the 2012 riding season in several states, including Missouri). However, all too many motorcycle accidents happen simply because drivers either fail to see riders traveling near them or fail to yield the right of way. In fact, in 2011, about 40% of fatal two-vehicle motorcycle accidents occurred when another vehicle turned left into a motorcyclist's path.

Consider these recent fatal motorcycle accidents:

April 23; Verona, New York: Raymond Torres, 44, was killed when another driver failed to yield the right of way and pulled into the path of his motorcycle. Torres was ejected from his bike and pronounced dead at the scene. The other driver was ticketed for failing to stop at a stop sign.

April 26; Westtown Township, PA: A suspected drunk driver failed to yield as he attempted to make a left turn, causing an oncoming motorcyclist to strike the passenger side of his truck. Liam Crowley, 24, was taken from the scene by ambulance and later died as result of his injuries. According to local police, the other driver has five previous DUIs on his record and was driving with a suspended license at the time of the crash.

April 27; Chatsworth, California: A former U.S. Marine died when a car failed to yield to his motorcycle at an intersection. Lance Corporal Jesse Wilkes, 27, struck the right front door of a car that turned left in front of him. His family is currently working to have left-turn arrows added to intersections in the vicinity of the crash. Cpl. Wilkes had served two tours in Afghanistan.

Continue reading "May is Motorcycle Safety Month: Look twice for motorcyclists in Springfield" »

New GHSA Report Reveals "No Progress" In Reducing Fatal Motorcycle Crashes

437798_xtz_yahama_-_beach_bertioga_5.jpgOn Tuesday morning, a motorcyclist was killed in a Camden County crash, according to the Missouri Highway Patrol. The accident happened on North Business Route 5 in Camdenton at around 7:45 a.m.: a westbound SUV, attempting to turn left into a parking lot, pulled into the path of an eastbound Harley Davidson. The Harley's driver, 45 year-old Robert D. Oertle, was pronounced dead at the scene. Oertle was wearing a helmet. The driver of the SUV, 49 year-old Nancy S. Menges, was not injured in the crash.

In recent weeks, the news has been full of serious motorcycle crashes like this one. Just a few days ago, two riders were killed - and four more were injured - in a six vehicle wreck here in Springfield. Three of the vehicles involved were motorcycles. And this morning, another motorcyclist was injured in a collision with an SUV near Kansas City's riverfront.

Certainly, the prevalence of fatal motorcycle accidents is a serious issue here in Missouri and nationwide. What's more, a new report released Tuesday by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reveals that there has been no progress in reducing motorcycle crash fatalities, even as auto accident deaths have declined overall.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has projected that U.S. traffic deaths dropped by 1.7% last year, taking the fatality rate to its lowest level since 1949. In contrast, GHSA's report shows that motorcycle fatalities remained at the same level (about 4,500 deaths) in 2010 and 2011.

Nationwide, 2011 motorcyclist deaths increased in 26 states and the District of Columbia: notably, South Carolina's fatality rate jumped 26%, and Texas saw an increase of 16%. The report speculates that the economy may partially account for these increases, since "higher gasoline prices may encourage riders to substitute fuel-efficient motorcycles for automobiles in trips to and from work and other everyday travel." Hence, there are simply more motorcycles on the road.

Meanwhile, 23 states - including Missouri - reported a decrease in motorcycle fatalities. However, many of those states also said there were fewer motorcycles on their roadways in 2011, due to factors like bad weather and drops in motorcycle registrations.

"It is disappointing that we are not making progress in motorcycle safety, particularly as fatalities involving other motorists continue to decline," said Troy Costales, GHSA chairman, in a news release. "As the study notes, the strengthening economy, high gas prices, and the lack of all-rider helmet laws leave me concerned about the final numbers for 2011 and 2012. Every motorcyclist deserves to arrive at their destination safely. These fatality figures represent real people - they're family, friends and neighbors."

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Six Vehicle Crash on West Bypass Leaves Two Dead, Four Injured

589399_road_ahead_closed.jpgOver the weekend, a serious head-on collision in west Springfield killed two motorcyclists and injured four other motorists. Ultimately, the wreck involved a van, an SUV, a pickup truck, and three motorcycles, and its aftermath necessitated the closing of a busy section of roadway for most of the day on Saturday.

The accident happened around 1:15 p.m in the 1100 block of West Bypass, near the intersection at Grand Avenue. According to the Springfield Police Department's press release regarding the incident, a Nissan Quest van and a Chevrolet Suburban were traveling north on West Bypass when they collided. The impact knocked the Suburban across the median into southbound traffic, where it struck a Harley Davidson Ultra Classic motorcycle head-on.

The SUV then rotated, and it was subsequently hit by a southbound Toyota Tundra pickup truck. Two Triumph motorcycles traveling behind the truck tried to avoid the collision, but both ultimately crashed into the pickup.

The occupants of the Harley were ejected from the bike and pronounced dead at the scene. As of Monday morning, law enforcement officials had not yet released their names as they continued working to positively identify the victims and notify their next of kin.

Four others involved in the crash - occupants of the Suburban and the two Triumphs - were transported to local hospitals by ambulance. None of their injuries are believed to be life threatening. The woman driving the van and her passengers - two children - were uninjured. Police say it appears all of the motorcyclists involved in the crash were wearing proper helmets.

Thus far, police have declined to comment as to which driver was at fault: the cause of the initial collision between the SUV and the van is still unknown, according to Sergeant Tom Luellen of the Springfield Police Department. The issue is a central focus of the investigation. "That's going to take a long time to determine, we're going to have to look at these various pieces of evidence, whether it's marks on the road or injuries to people or other things and it's going to take a long time for us to piece that back together," Sgt. Luellen said.

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Republic Man Killed, Arkansas Police Chief Critically Injured in Separate Motorcycle Crashes Last Weekend

As the weather continues to warm, drivers in Springfield, Missouri and the surrounding areas can expect to see more and more motorcycles on the road. At this time of year, we would all do well to use extra caution: not only are motorcycle riders considerably harder to see than passenger vehicles, they're also considerably more vulnerable to serious injuries when auto collisions occur.

780445_no_destiny.jpgRecent Motorcycle Accident Headlines

Crash near Republic kills one, injures one

The Missouri Highway Patrol reports that 35 year-old Casey Jameson died on Saturday night after a pickup truck collided with his motorcycle. According to the crash report, Jameson ran a stop sign on Farm Road 156 near Republic and his bike was broadsided by the oncoming truck.

Jameson was pronounced dead at the scene. His passenger, 34 year-old Sheila Olmstead, was seriously injured: Olmstead was taken by ambulance to Cox South in Springfield. The pickup truck driver was not injured. As required by state law, that driver was tested for alcohol, but police do not believe that drinking played a role in the crash. Neither Jameson nor Olmstead were wearing helmets.

Lowell Police Chief In Critical Condition

On Friday night, Arkansas Police Chief Joe Landers suffered critical injuries in a motorcycle accident in Panama City, where he was attending a bike rally. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a drunk driver pulled out in front of Landers' Harley, and the Chief was unable to avoid a collision. The Harley struck the vehicle, and Landers was ejected over the bike's handlebars.

The at-fault driver left the scene, but was later located and arrested: 52 year-old Jimmy John Cristo is now facing multiple charges, including fleeing the scene of a critical injury accident, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Additional charges are pending. "From speaking to the trooper, the gentleman pretty much confessed to drinking, confessed to causing the accident, confessed to leaving the scene," said Sergeant Paul Pillaro.

This evening, several motorcycle groups (including Florida law enforcement representatives) have planned a ride to honor Landers, who was described as an expert rider, and who regularly rode a motorcycle for the Lowell Police Department. Landers was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, although his colleagues say he wore a helmet without exception when he was on the job. (In Florida, there is no helmet law for riders over the age of 20.)

Continue reading "Republic Man Killed, Arkansas Police Chief Critically Injured in Separate Motorcycle Crashes Last Weekend" »

Recent Motorcycle Accidents Cause Injuries, Fatalities in Webster County, Missouri & Throughout the Ozarks

file4651285361484.jpgOur Nixa, Missouri auto accident lawyers are amazed by the number of motorcycle accidents in the news in recent weeks. Consider these accidents (all of which occurred last weekend alone):

• Just after 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, 63 year-old John R. McAlister was traveling east on Highway 60 (4 miles east of Seymour) when he slowed to make a right turn. Subsequently, his 2005 Harley Davidson was rear-ended by a 2005 Mustang: McAlister and his passenger, 29 year-old Amy L. Daughtery, were both ejected from the motorcycle. McAlister was pronounced dead at the scene, while Daughtery sustained serious injuries and was air lifted to Cox South Hospital in Springfield.

The driver of the Mustang, 22 year-old Ty J. James, was not listed as injured on the Missouri Highway Patrol's crash report. James was tested for alcohol under the terms of Missouri law, and the crash remains under investigation.

• On Sunday evening, Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino was injured in a motorcycle accident on Arkansas Highway 16, approximately 20 miles southeast of Fayetteville, on a stretch of roadway that is popular with local motorcycle enthusiasts. According to state police, Petrino's motorcycle ran off the road and crashed near Crosses, AR. No other vehicles were involved in the accident, reports a statement from Petrino's family. He has been hospitalized, but not much more is known about the accident at this time.

• Early Monday morning, a Springfield motorcyclist suffered serious injuries when he struck a guardrail on South Scenic Avenue, under the old railroad overpass near South Creek. He was knocked unconscious and was taken by ambulance with serious injuries. The guard rail was installed about a year ago because so many accidents happen in that location.

According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, there are more than 138,900 registered motorcycles in our state, and more than 326,300 licensed motorcyclists. In the current economy, motorcycles are especially popular: they can be purchased for a relatively low initial cost; their fuel efficiency is high; and, as an added bonus, many people enjoy riding motorcycles as a form of recreation. The down side: motorcyclists are considerably more vulnerable to car accident injuries than the occupants of closed vehicles, like passenger cars and trucks.

Continue reading "Recent Motorcycle Accidents Cause Injuries, Fatalities in Webster County, Missouri & Throughout the Ozarks" »

Whose Fault is It, Anyway? Proving Who's Responsible in Springfield, Missouri Car Accident Cases

January 5, 2012

Missouri Accident Lawyers
Establishing who did what, and when they did it, is a significant part of any injury claim tied to a Missouri car, truck, or motorcycle accident. It is in your best interest to remember and implement a few basic tips if you are ever involved in a crash. First and foremost, get yourself to safety. Then, you should call 911 and contact a Springfield, Missouri car accident attorney.

If possible, it's a good idea take pictures of the scene with your cell phone; and to make notes of road, weather, and other driving conditions. All of these materials can be used to demonstrate what circumstances caused the collision to occur. Below, we outline some other factors that are connected to the process of establishing fault.

Missouri Police Reports
Missouri police reports can provide crucial evidence in accident cases: you'll need a copy of the responding police officer's formal record. If a Missouri state traffic law was broken, or there was apparent negligent behavior, this information should be recorded in the report.

Missouri Traffic Laws
In most cases, as discussed above, the police officer will note violation of any Missouri traffic laws in the accident report. If you need more information to understand why a citation was (or wasn't) issued, review the Missouri Vehicle Code.

"No-Doubt" Liability: Rear End Collisions and Left Turn Car Crashes
Most people have heard that if another driver hits your car from behind, that driver is automatically at fault. This is usually true, no matter why your car stopped. Similarly, if a collision occurs when a driver making a left turn is struck by an oncoming vehicle, the driver turning is considered responsible, under most circumstances.

Why the "rear end collision rule?" Your job as a driver is to travel at a safe distance from the car in front of you. So, you must be able to stop without hitting the car in front of you, no matter what happens--even if you are hit from behind and pushed into the car in front of you, or if the car in front of you stops short.

Why the "left turn rule?" A driver only has legal permission to turn left if the path is totally clear. If the path is not completely clear, the left turn is not legal: thus, if an accident is caused, the left turning driver is almost always at fault. In extremely rare cases, traveling at excessive speed into the intersection can transfer some measure of fault to an oncoming driver who collides with a vehicle turning left.

Continue reading "Whose Fault is It, Anyway? Proving Who's Responsible in Springfield, Missouri Car Accident Cases" »

Distracted Drivers and Motorcyclists Don't Mix in Springfield Missouri

October 17, 2011

Before winter sets in, the call of the open road is stronger than ever in the Fall. The sun on your back, the fresh air on your face, the wind bustling around you as you drive your motorcycle down the road, these are the very reasons many people choose to travel by motorcycle.1016169_speed_of_motorcycle.jpg Nothing can beat traveling along a road and feeling so close to it and your surroundings. However, as with everything, there are perils. And the Springfield, Missouri motorcycle accident lawyers want to remind you and also point out the dangers of sharing the road with distracted drivers. Motorcycle accidents are primarily caused by another driver's failure to see or allow for the motorcyclist. Many of these types of accidents are caused by a distracted driver.

Distracted Drivers and Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents lead to greater injuries and loss of life than car crashes. The very thing that makes a motorcycle appealing also makes it more dangerous for the rider in an accident. The lack of a protective roof and doors also makes the motorcycle more difficult to see and to detect in traffic. Add to this a distracted driver and the chances of a motorcycle accident increase dramatically.

A distracted driver is anyone not paying full and careful attention to the task of driving. From talking on a cell phone to texting to trying to read a map a distracted driver has their attention on something other than driving. During the moments of shifting focus from the road and the traffic to some other task, a driver becomes a hazard to other motorists but this hazard is especially great for a motorcyclist.

Risk of Injury High for Springfield, MO Motorcycle Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that nearly 80% of motorcycle accidents involve at least one fatality. Many times a motorcycle accident involves cuts, scrapes and bruises. The more serious injuries are broken legs and head injuries. Without a helmet the possibility of spinal injuries greatly increases, as does the chance of serious head injuries. And no matter what the physical injury, the emotional trauma suffered in a motorcycle accident can be quite severe. Add in the costs associated with motorcycle repair and a motorcycle accident can be debilitating.

Continue reading "Distracted Drivers and Motorcyclists Don't Mix in Springfield Missouri" »

Springfield Missouri Motorcycle Accident has Fatal Consequences

August 30, 2011

Springfield Mo. motorcycle accident lawyers talk about a recent fatal motorcycle accident and general thoughts regarding motorcycle accidents and the legal consequences.photo_11052_20090517.jpg

Wednesday August 17 a motorcyclist from Indiana was forced off the road while he was driving on Missouri 465 in Taney County. The car crash occurred around 5 p.m. about three miles northwest of Branson. The motorcyclist was forced off the road and ran into an embankment when the other vehicle changed lanes. The offending vehicle fled the scene. Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating the accident and still looking for the other vehicle.

The way to determine if there is cause for a wrongful death or personal injury suit is to investigate the facts and determine all the circumstances involved in and leading up to the motorcycle accident.

General Overview By a Springfield Missouri Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Without reference to the recent motorcycle accident, here are a few tips and thoughts in general. Often it is important to have an investigator obtain and follow up on the police report. Statments from other witnesses, skid marks, damage to motorcycle and nature of injuries are all factors that sometimes are important in piecing togather the puzzle of how the accident happened.

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Springfield Missouri Accident Attorneys Offer Motorcycle Safety Reminders For Fourth of July Weekend Rides

1173983_get_your_motor_runnin.jpgFourth of July in Springfield Missouri, is there a better way to spend an extended summer weekend than on your motorcycle? Probably not. But then everybody is out on the road this weekend. And that makes your enjoyment just a little more dangerous. Not only are the roads around Springfield more crowded than usual, the Fourth of July weekend creates distracted drivers and this means car accidents. Everybody is distracted by their celebration plans, the upcoming fireworks, and just plain getting the weekend started.1326573_fireworks.jpg

Springfield Missouri Accident Attorneys understand the joys of the open road. And while this weekend is full of promise, it also means the chances for a motorcycle accident are greater. This weekend will probably prove to be a hot one. To keep you as cool under the collar as possible, here are some tips for both motorcycle riders and vehicle drivers alike.

Safety Tips to Avoid Motorcycle Accidents:

  • Stay Alert. Remember motorcycles are harder to see and can easily be lost in the "blind spots" of a vehicles mirrors. They can also be blocked by the posts around the windows and other obstructions to the driver's line of site.

  • Plan ahead. Drive defensively by always looking down the road and around your immediate area. Plan your escape route or defensive driving maneuvers while you are driving. Do not wait until you need them. You won't have time. Look for ways out and expect to use them all the time.

  • Remember the differences between vehicles and motorcycles. Motorcycles are small and easily maneuverable. They can stop quickly and turn easily. The larger the vehicle, the longer it takes to stop and the slower its reaction time.

  • Do not assume someone sees you or knows you are there. Always make eye contact. At intersections or driving alongside someone, make sure that person sees you.

  • Always follow all traffic laws and safety rules. While following the rules and precautions does not assure the avoidance of an accident, it can reduce the risk of a motorcycle accident and even the severity of one if it does occur.

  • There is always enough time to be safe. Take a few extra minutes to protect yourself and to be aware of the vehicles around you.

Whether you are new to riding or an avid rider, Springfield Missouri Accident Attorneys encourage you to review requirements for motorcycle operation. You can download the most current Motorcycle Operator Manual from the Missouri Department of Revenue.

Continue reading "Springfield Missouri Accident Attorneys Offer Motorcycle Safety Reminders For Fourth of July Weekend Rides" »

New Report Shows Springfield Missouri Motorcycle Accident Deaths Hold Steady While Many States Show a Decline in 2010

856888_bobs_choppa_1.jpgThe Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) has released the results of the first ever state-by-state look at motorcycle fatalities, for 2010. Springfield Personal Injury Attorneys are pleased to hear that motorcycle fatalities declined in 2010 by at least 2 percent nationwide. This information is based upon data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. 2009 showed a dramatic 16 percent drop from the previous year, so apparently the nation is continuing this downward trend. Prior to 2009 though, there were eleven years in a row of increases in the numbers of motorcycle deaths.

How did Missouri do in this report? Well, unfortunately the amount of fatal motorcycle accidents in Missouri was unchanged from the previous year, although many states showed a decline of much higher than 2 percent.

What Can Missouri Do to Decrease Motorcycle Accidents and Fatalities?

Here are the GHSA's Recommendations:

Increase helmet use: Missouri's helmet law is still on the books. Motorcycle helmets have been repeatedly proven to save lives; they show a whopping 37 percent effectiveness at preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle riders.
Reduce Alcohol Impairment: by conducting checkpoints and other high visibility drunk driving enforcement measures. State police need special training to help them be able to identify drunken motorcyclists.
Reduce Speeding: A whopping 35 percent of motorcycle fatalities involved speeding. More than fifty percent of these did not even involve a collision with another vehicle.
Provide Ongoing Motorcycle Operator Training: All fifty states have motorcycle training courses, but not all riders take full advantage of it.

Continue reading "New Report Shows Springfield Missouri Motorcycle Accident Deaths Hold Steady While Many States Show a Decline in 2010 " »

Spring in Springfield Missouri and Motorcycles are Back on the Roads--Tips for Springfield Drivers to Avoid Motorcycle Accidents

1189681_motorcycle_riders_1.jpgIt's finally Spring in Missouri and Springfield motorcycle riders are hitting the highways. Springfield personal injury lawyers urge all motorcycle riders to use continue to wear a helmet. Study after study has shown helmet use saves lives and cuts dramatically cuts down on traumatic brain injury caused by motorcycle accidents.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
estimates that motorcycle helmets saved 1,784 lives across the country in 2007.

Although motorcycle fatalities dropped two percent in 2010 from the previous year, the rates of injuries and deaths are still too high. As Springfield motorcycle accident attorneys, we hope to see a greater standard of safety on the roads for all Missouri drivers, including of course the citizens of Nixa, Ozark, Branson, Bolivar and all other Greene County cities and towns.

Motorcycle accidents stem from both user error and lack of caution from drivers of other vehicles. Although in sports, the best defense is a good offense, motorcycle riding is not a sport! The best defense on the highway is always, always, always to stay alert and respect not just the laws but all other drivers on the road. In the spirit of safety, the motorcycle accident lawyers at Aaron Sachs and Associates challenge all Springfield drivers this spring and summer season to up your game!

Tips to Avoid Springfield Motorcycle Accidents:

1. Please think of a motorcycle in motion as a person, not a vehicle, and act with caution and consideration for their vulnerability. A car provides much more protection in case of a traffic accident.
2. Never "share" a lane with a motorcycle - they are legally entitled to their own lane
3. Because of a motorcycle's small size, it may look farther away than it is. Always assume the motorbike is closer than it looks to avoid motorcycle accidents.
4. Motorcycles are hard to spot, also because of their size, so as the weather warms up--be on the look out for them, particularly at intersections.
5. Many motorcycle accidents occur because cyclists slow down by downshifting and don't use a brake light. To avoid hitting a motorcyclist, allow 3-4 seconds of following distance. Don't tailgate a motorcycle.
6. Bikers often adjust position within a lane to be seen more easily and to stray clear of road debris, passing cars, and wind. Understand that these position shifts aren't to be reckless, show off, or allow you to share a lane with them.

Springfield Motorcycle Accident Lawyers will post tips for all Greene County motorcycle riders to ride defensively and avoid motorcycle wrecks--so stay tuned and stay safe this motorcycle riding season.

(Springfield Motorcycle Accident Attorney meetings by appointment only.)

Springfield Motorcycle Accidents a Safety Reminder as Summer Riding Season Begins

The News-Leader reported that a 58-year-old woman was killed in a Springfield motorcycle accident on Saturday when she was thrown from her bike after striking a van that was making a left turn.

Our Springfield motorcycle accident attorneys remind motorists that May is Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month. Saturday's crash was the second fatal motorcycle accident in a week's time and should be a reminder to motorists to watch for our biker friends as the spring and summer riding season gets under way.
The Missouri Highway Patrol also responded to a motorcycle accident that claimed the life of a 50-year-old Springfield man, the News-Leader reported. The crash happened shortly before 9 p.m. Thursday on U.S. 160.

The Missouri Department of Transportation is also encouraging motorists to use May to get used to looking for motorcycles again through its campaign "Look. Learn. Arrive Alive."

"It's important that motorists and motorcycles are looking out for each other," said Leanna Depue, chair of the Coalition's executive committee. "With an increasing number of motorcyclists, we encourage drivers to share the road to make sure everyone Arrives Alive."

Attorney Aaron Sachs points out that "ninety-nine percent of those killed in motorcycle accidents are riders and more than 80 percent of all Missouri motorcycle accidents result in serious injury or death." In 2008, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 5,290 riders were killed in motorcycle crashes nationwide and 96,000 were injured. Missouri motorcycle wrecks claimed 102 lives.

Paid radio announcements will begin April 27 and run through July.

More than half of all motorcycle accidents that involve another vehicle are the fault of the other driver. As such, the responsibility for preventing serious or fatal accidents falls on both motorist and rider.

Tips for riders from the Missouri Motorcycle Safety Program include:

-Wear appropriate riding gear, including helmet, face shield, full-length clothing and gloves.

-At night, be careful not to override your bike's headlight.

-Conduct pre-ride inspections and understand how to perform minor maintenance.

-Use both brakes together. The front brake should account for as much as 2/3 of a bike's stopping power.

-Slow down entering curves.

-Use special care around mud, sand or water in the roadway.

-Roads may be particularly slick following a rain stop as oil and fluids on the road mix with water.

-Standing on the pegs can help you keep control when riding over obstacles or rough surfaces.

-Always plan ahead.

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