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Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

A Tennessee motorcycle accident on Morganton Road in Maryville left a motorcyclist dead earlier this week, according to The Daily Times.

According to the Blount County Sheriff’s Office, the motorcyclist was traveling north on the road when he rear-ended a pickup truck that was pulling off of Wells Road. He was reportedly wearing a state-approved helmet, but it flew off from the impact of the accident.

Our Maryville motorcycle accident attorneys recognize the dangers that motorcyclists face on our roadways. Motorcycle riders are much more likely to sustain serious injuries or die in these accidents than the occupants of the passenger vehicles. Motor-vehicle drivers are asked to practice extra caution when sharing the roads with these bikes, especially during the summer when the warm weather attracts motorcyclists from across the state.

The driver was taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The 23-year-old pickup driver denied medical attention at the scene of the accident. Officers report that he was not wearing his seat belt.

The Sheriff’s Office Traffic Safety Unit is investigating the accident.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2009 illustrated the first decease in fatal motorcycle accidents since 1997. It was also the first year that the number of motorcycle accident injuries decreased since 1999.

Still, 2009 saw nearly 5,500 motorcyclist fatalities because of roadway crashes. Another 90,000 motorcyclists sustained injuries throughout the year.

In 2008, a motorcyclist was nearly 40 times more likely than a passenger vehicle occupant to die in a motor-vehicle accident based on miles traveled. Motorcyclists were also nine times more likely to be injured in a crash.

In the last 10 years, motorcyclists 40 and older saw the largest increase in the number of fatalities. During the same time, those with an engine size 1,000 cc and above also had the greatest increase in deaths.

Motorists are urged to follow these tips to help keep our motorcyclists safe on the road:

-Double check your blind spots. These are the areas where a motorcyclist is most likely to get lost from your line of vision.

-Always assume that a motorcycle is closer than it appears. Because of their small size, they sometimes seem farther away than they really are.

-Avoid tailgating.

-Don’t depend on a bike’s brake lights. Motorcyclists often downshift to slow down. This does not activate their brake lights.

-Allow a motorcyclist the entire lane. Riders are likely to zig-zag within a lane to avoid road debris or wind from passing vehicles.
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Local law enforcement agencies have big plans for motorists over this Memorial Day holiday weekend, and a motorcycle or car accident in Tennessee is not one of them.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will once again be running their “Click It or Ticket” campaign over the weekend. The campaign officially begins before Memorial Day and runs well into the month of June. The “Click It or Ticket” campaign has been proven to be one of the most successful seat belt enforcement campaigns ever. It currently holds the highest national seat belt usage rates – nearly 90 percent. Law enforcement will be practicing their zero-tolerance enforcement efforts of all seat belt laws across the country throughout the campaign.

Our Maryville injury lawyers urge all motorists to be extra careful on the road this Memorial Day holiday weekend as the number of fatal accidents continue to spike during this time of the year, every year. The National Safety Council estimates that the United States will see more than 400 traffic accident fatalities and another 39,400 injuries requiring medical attention over the upcoming holiday weekend.

The NSC also put out estimates predicting that more than 300 people may survive the Memorial Day holiday weekend because of wearing their seat belts. They also estimate that another 103 lives could be saved if everyone wore their seat belts.

Every Memorial Day holiday weekend over the last six years has seen an increase of more than 12 percent in fatal traffic accidents in comparison to other non-holiday periods.

Tennessee will be taking a different, but equally effective, route to improve roadway safety. The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security sought to raise awareness of motorcycle riders and bicyclists though the “Share the Road” campaign, which takes place through the entire month of May.

“As the weather improves, more motorcyclists and bicyclists are traveling on local and state roadways,” said Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons. “This festival is essential in educating motorists on the how-to’s of sharing the road and reminding motorcyclists to become properly trained before hitting the highway. Our collective goal is to keep all cyclists safe.”

Earlier this week, riders from all over the state descended on Nashville to join together to enjoy the annual rider festival. This festival offered a bike show, the Police Rodeo Riders, a Tennessee Highway Patrol Motor Unit demo and a Stunt Riders demonstration.

“While motorists are cautioned to look out for motorcyclists or bicyclists, the riders should also help make themselves visible by wearing bright colors and using reflective tape,” stated GHSO Director Kendell Poole. “Our priority is to increase safe riding between all road users and motorcyclists in an effort to reduce the number of fatalities on Tennessee highways.”

The United States saw a decrease in motorcycle fatalities for the first time since 1997. Tennessee was not so fortunate as we saw an increase of 16 motorcycle rider fatalities from 2009 to 2010.

“It is imperative that motorcyclists educate themselves by taking an accredited training course and never ride beyond their skill ability,” said John Milliken, Program Coordinator for the Motorcycle Rider Education Program (MREP). “They are much more vulnerable than passenger vehicle occupants. The proper knowledge, training and protective wear will help make motorcyclists safer and more effective on the roads.”

The TDOS offers these tips to motorcycle rider to help preserve their safety when traveling our roadways:

-Be sure you’re always wearing your protective gear. This includes your boots, pants, helmet, headlight and your eye wear.

-Always ride within your limits. Don’t attempt riding conditions that are above your level of riding. Adjust to weather conditions.

-Make sure you’re properly trained. It is encouraged that motorcyclists complete an annual training course. This will also help to keep a motorist up to date with current laws.

-Watch your lane position and avoid tailgating other vehicles. Always be ready for the expected. Avoid sharing lanes, especially when riding in groups.

-Stay out of blind spots. These areas make motorcyclists the most vulnerable to an accident and serious injury.

-Never drink and drive. Riding your motorcycle requires great skill and attention. Consuming alcohol and jumping on your bike greatly slows your reaction time and ability.

-Remember, Tennessee law requires that the more than 300,000 Tennessee riders and their passengers to wear approved helmets and protective eyewear.
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