As the weather warms, more and more motorcyclists will take to our roadways. While motorcycles are fun to ride, they can also be dangerous. Other drivers need to be cautious and watch for motorcyclists. May has been designated Motorcycle Awareness Month. Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents are all too common, and when they occur, there are likely to be serious injuries or fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) motorcycle deaths occur 27% more frequently than deaths in other types of vehicle accidents.
ABATE of Wisconsin (A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments) is a motorcycle rights and safety organization that works in conjunction with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WIDOT) to provide the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Certified and Approved Training Series called the Safe Rider Program. The program provides training classes for motorcycle riders in an effort to provide them with the skills they need to operate their vehicles more safely on the road. Motorcycle training classes are offered for all stages of riding.
ABATE also sponsors a Share the Road motorcycle awareness program. The goal is to provide education and training to prevent and reduce motorcycle and vehicle crashes. The program includes safety presentations and classes that are provided free of charge to various organizations, companies, and schools across the state.
Drivers need to be more aware of motorcycles on the road, especially as the weather turns warm. Drivers should allow plenty of space between them and the motorcycle and pay attention for motorcycles at intersections. Motorcyclists should not speed and should stay in their own lane of traffic. Paying better attention to motorcycles could help diminish the incidence of accidents on the roads. Drivers and motorcycles need to share the streets in a safe manner.
Wisconsin Motorcycle Helmet Law
Many riders prefer to ride without a helmet, but it can be dangerous. A study published last year in the Wisconsin State Journal found that motorcyclists who do not wear helmets are twice as likely to suffer serious neck injuries in a crash as those who wear helmets. Wisconsin law requires some riders to wear helmets, but not all. Helmets are required only for drivers and passengers under the age of 18. Eye protection is required for all riders. Eye protection may include face shields, goggles, or glasses. Motorcyclists who fail to follow the law could be ticketed.
While the law does not force drivers over the age of 18 to wear helmets, it is highly recommended. When you purchase a helmet, choose one with the “DOT” symbol on the back. This symbol means that the helmet meets federal safety standards. The helmet should fit properly and you should always fasten the chin strap. It is also best to wear long pants and boots or other protective footwear when riding.
If you or a loved one was seriously hurt in a motorcycle accident, you may be owed money for damages. Your compensation may include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and more. Contact our legal team at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. to discuss your case today.