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Emphasizing motorcycle safety awareness this month

With spring in full swing and summer around the corner, more and more motorcycles can be seen throughout West Virginia across the country. While this increase in motorcycles means that more residents seek to enjoy the nice weather, it also means an increase in motorcycle accidents. Because of that, the month of May has been designated as motorcycle safety awareness month. This not only helps highlight the safety measures motorcyclists can take but also emphasize the importance for motorists to have motorcycle awareness.

To kick off this initiative in West Virginia, previous years' statistics were released. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 4,500 fatal motorcycle accidents occurred in 2014. These numbers generated a huge concern for motorcycle safety across the nation, focusing on the need for motorists to be alert and aware of motorcyclists in their vicinity.

The growing concern for distracted driving has only increased calls for increased safety. When a driver is inattentive, they increase their chances of colliding with a nearby vehicle. Since motorcycles are much smaller than other automobiles on the road, it is more likely that a distracted driver will not notice a motorcyclist until it is too late.

The best way for motorists to decrease their chances of being involved in a motorcycle accident is by constantly being on the lookout for them. It is easy to look for larger cars and trucks, but recognizing motorcycles requires more diligence. Therefore, motorists should be sure to double-check their mirrors before changing lanes, and ensure that a motorcycle is not traveling towards them prior to turning.

Those involved in a motorcycle accident should take steps to understand the cause, which could help establish liability. If a negligent driver caused a motorcycle crash, those harmed might be able to file a civil action to recover the damages suffered, which could include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Source: WDTV, "Locals Stress Motorcycle Safety as Warm Weather Approaches," Alyssa Acquavella, May 1, 2016

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