By William Mattar
Spring is in the air. Go outside on a Saturday afternoon, and it will not be long before you hear the “Vroom” of a motorcycle engine in the distance.
You know that deep, guttural sound that seems to carry for miles. After a long Western New York winter, that is just music to the ears.
It is May, and riding season is here. It is also Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, an annual campaign that we commemorate at William Mattar law offices because we recognize the dangers posed to motorcycle riders on our roads.
Whether you are navigating the Kensington Expressway or a traffic-packed Sheridan Drive at rush hour, motorcyclists are among us, and we must look out for them because the stakes are high. I said it last month, and I’ll say it again: What bends the fender of an automobile can throw a motorcycle from the roadway.
Just look at statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA): Motorcycle riders are 28 times more likely than other motorists to die in a traffic crash. This overrepresentation is startling, but it must be recognized. Awareness breeds caution, and caution can make our roads a bit safer for motorcyclists like you.
You have been there and recognize that it is often the other driver who puts you at risk. Just think back to the sedan that was following too closely; the SUV that did not really stop at the “stop” sign; or the tractor-trailer whose wide turn almost engulfed you.
You are cautious, but some motorists around you—the ones protected by seatbelts and a steel frame—are not.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation of the NHTSA has said just that, “when motorcycles and other vehicles collide, it is usually the other (non-motorcycle) driver who violates the motorcyclist’s right-of-way.” Some drivers do not anticipate routine encounters with motorcyclists in traffic, and bikes are more likely to be obscured by obstructions or blind spots like door pillars, passengers’ heads and other things.
The point of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is to spread awareness, and that is the point of this message. The spring and summer months are the most dangerous for bikers, and we want to do our part to help reduce the number of motorcycle crashes in Western New York. All motorists, including (and especially) those operating a vehicle with four wheels, need to do their small part to make the road safer for motorcyclists too.
At William Mattar law offices, we represent people who have been injured in motorcycle crashes, and we see the impact serious injuries have on their lives. I hope you ride safely and have no reason ever to contact a personal injury attorney. If someday you happen to need the help of a motorcycle accident lawyer, do not hesitate to call me. William Mattar law offices is here to help. You know the number: 444-4444.
(William Mattar, P.C., 6720 Main St., Williamsville NY)