Motorcycle Safety Tips Following a Fatal Crash
Motorcycle enthusiasts love the power of a bike on the open road. Many enjoy the freedom of riding on two wheels and feeling closer to the outside world than they would in a car or other enclosed vehicle. However, as a recent report in The News Herald reminds readers, motorcycle accidents in Panama City and throughout our Northern Florida region are a very real danger.
Florida Motorcycle Accident
In the afternoon hours of Wednesday June 13, 62-year-old Richard Joseph Munson was riding his 2004 Honda motorcycle with passenger Lisa Munson, age forty-two. Both were wearing helmets as they travelled north on State Road 81 in Ponce de Leon. 17-year-old Desiree Dawn Rushing was also travelling on S.R. 81, heading south in the vicinity of County Road 181. Around 4:40 P.M., Rushing failed to yield the right of way as she turned the 1995 Ford Mustang, crossing the southbound lane and causing Munson to crash into the right side of the car.
The collision caused both Munson and his passenger to be ejected from the cycle. Responding authorities pronounced Munson dead at the scene and took Lisa Munson to Bay Medical Center in critical condition. Along with her passengers, 15-year-old Shelby Rushing and 11-year-old Marissa Rushing, Desiree Rushing suffered minor injuries in the accident. Police are conducting a homicide investigation and charges against Rushing are pending.
According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 34,000 motorcycle riders were killed between 2001 and 2008. The time frame also saw an estimated 1.2 million people treated in emergency rooms nationwide for non-fatal injuries involving motorcycles. In Florida, the number of motorcycle crashes and injuries nearly doubled from 2000 to 2008. This trend changed in more recent years, with a 22.2% reduction in the number of crashes and a 21.5% drop in the number of motorcycle-related injuries between 2008 and 2010. Florida Department of Transportation officials attribute some of this improvement to the rider training requirements instituted in July 2008 and the implementation of Florida's Motorcycle Safety Coalition.
Motorcycle riders can take steps to make traveling by two wheels a safer experience. Some useful principles for safe riding are:
- Wear safety gear - Always wear a helmet and protective eye wear. Bright clothing will help increase your visibility. Protective clothing, including thick fabrics like leather and long pants and sleeves, can help limit injury in the case of a crash by shielding your body from the road and can also prevent burns from the motorcycle itself.
- Be seen - Sometimes drivers have difficulty seeing motorcycles. Always use headlights, including during daytime travel, and make sure they are in working order. Use reflective strips or decals on your bike and your clothing. Flash brake lights to let other vehicles know you are slowing down. Where possible, avoid riding in drivers' blind spots. Use your horn to alert a motorist who appear to not see you and are moving in a dangerous fashion.
- Stay alert - Be aware of road conditions and the location of other motorists. Leave space so that you can respond to the actions of others on the road. Stay in parts of the lane where you can be seen. Always ride sober – drinking and riding can be as dangerous as drinking and driving. Obey the speed limit, signal before turning, and follow the law.
Of course, drivers are also responsible for roadway safety. Motorists should be alert and respect the right of motorcycle riders to share the road. If you are involved in an accident and suffer injury due to someone else's negligence, please contact our Panama City motorcycle accident lawyer. Our team can help you recover compensation for your injuries.