Three motorcycle riders were injured in an Orlando wreck in April. The accident occurred when an SUV changed into the right lane and veered into the path of one of the motorcyclists. The motorcyclist steered onto the shoulder of the road to avoid the SUV and then hit a construction trailer on the road shoulder. Two other motorcycle riders had to drop their motorcycles in order to avoid striking the first victim.
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“Studies find that drivers who text generally take their eyes off the road for about 5 seconds. If you’re driving a car at 55 mph, you’re essentially driving the length of a football field blindfolded. Most drivers who spend any amount of time on the road might notice someone who is swerving from lane to lane. A decade ago you might have thought that the driver was drunk. Nowadays, it’s more likely that the person is distracted by a cellphone.”
Preventing Motorcycle Accidents
Planning for bad weather is a terrible way to try to bring down the rate of fatal motorcycle collisions. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has provided some tips that can actually improve safety conditions. The tips were published in the start of May, because May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. The NHTSA advises people to:
– Ensure a motorcycle rider has the full width of a lane at all times and not encroach on the rider’s space.
– Check mirrors and blind spots carefully because motorcycles are smaller and harder to see than cars are.
– Allow at least a three to four second following distance to avoid getting too close to a motorcyclist and potentially hitting him an emergency.
– Avoid distracted and impaired driving.
motorcycle riders are advised to:
– Wear helmets that are compliant with minimum Department of Transportation specifications.
– Obey all traffic safety laws.
– Use both turn signals and hand signals before changing lanes or turning.
– Wear clothing that is brightly colored to increase the chance of a driver seeing you.
– Stay right in the middle of the lane where you are most visible.
If both motorcyclists and drivers take the NHTSA tips to heart and follow the advice, hopefully there will be fewer motorcycle fatalities in the future.
Technology, however, may help prevent drivers from texting. According to an April 2, 2014, article in WKMG Local 6, two Central Florida brothers have come up with an app that can make it impossible to text while driving. The brothers admit they used their phones in the past to text while driving on many occasions. One brother, Phil Stiles, told Local 6 that he wanted to create an app that would remove the temptation to text and drive. The app, called TXTShield, works like this: When a vehicle hits a certain speed, it will activate and the driver cannot read an inbound text or send an outbound text. If you text someone with the app, you will receive a message stating that the person is driving and unable to respond.
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