Shenandoah Valley Motorcycle Fatalities Doubled
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles is reporting that motorcycle crashes that result in fatalities have doubled so far in 2022 in the Shenandoah Valley region, including the Staunton, Harrisonburg, and Waynesboro areas.
Motorcycle Crash Fatality Statistics
The DMV reports that between January 1 and mid-July, 2021, this area had 159 motorcycle crashes resulting in 5 deaths. For 2022, however, area authorities are reporting 125 crashes with 10 deaths. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles indicates that this increase in motorcycle crash fatalities is being seen across the state.
Safety Tips for Motorcyclists and Other Drivers
There are several actions that motorcyclists and other vehicle drivers can take to ensure the safety of everyone on the road:
1. Really learn how to ride your motorcycle. Make sure you really know how to ride your bike. Rider safety courses are offered at community colleges throughout the Commonwealth. See the list for these safety courses here.
2. Make sure you are visible to other motorists. Wearing brightly colored clothing and a light-colored helmet will help others see you. Also, ride with your headlight on and be sure to signal your turns to other drivers.
3. Maintain a safe following distance. There a several different recommended following distances. Which one you use will depend on the circumstances of traffic and conditions of the roadway.
Two-second following distance — this is considered the minimum following distance when all road conditions are ideal. This following distance is the very minimum that should be practiced in the best of circumstances. A three or four-second following distance is even better because if something should go wrong, four seconds will give enough time to swerve or brake for hazards or another motorist entering your path.
4. Be prepared at intersections. 65% of all motorcycle crashes happen in intersections. Most of these are caused by a motorist turning in front of a motorcyclist. These crashes often occur because the motorist does not see the motorcycle driver or anticipates that the motorcyclist is farther away than they really are.
5. Know how to handle your bike in the curves. Statistics show that crashes caused by running off the road in a curve is usually the cause when motorcyclists have single vehicle crashes. In a curve, the basic turning procedure involving slowing, looking, pressing, and rolling should be used.
The most important action to take when entering a curve is to reduce your speed and tap your brake to alert motorists behind you that you are slowing down. Having to brake while in a curve can cause problems, because you may be in a lean when there will be less tire surface in contact with the road.
6. Don’t ride in the “no zone.” The “no zone” is a very dangerous area for motorcyclists riding in close proximity to large trucks. When you are riding on either side or directly behind a large truck, the truck driver is not going to be able to see you. So, it’s important to anticipate that truck drivers won’t see you and be prepared to brake or make lane adjustments quickly.
7. Avoid target fixation. This happens when the motorcyclist is traveling too fast into a turn and is heading for an object. Target fixation occurs when bikers fixate on a specific target rather than looking where they want to go. Focusing on the roadway beyond the curve or turn, rather than a specific object, will help prevent target fixation.
8. Use the SEE strategy to look out for problems that could come your way. SEE stands for searching, evaluating, and executing. While riding a motorcycle, you should be constantly searching for any possible problems, evaluating what could happen and trying to predict the worst, and executing a safe riding strategy. A safe riding strategy includes adjusting speed, adjusting position, and communicating your intentions.
Virginia Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Get You Justice
Dealing with a Virginia motorcycle accident can be a traumatic experience. Going to doctors appointments and waiting for your injuries to heal is often an expensive and frustrating process.
At the Ritchie Law Firm, we are dedicated to helping our clients make the best decisions for their cases. When your health and family are on the line, we go into BATTLE for you!
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