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Sterling Heights, Michigan motorcycle accident death reminds us to share the road

June 17, 2011 by Steven M. Gursten

Motorcycle accident attorney lists safe driving tips on how to prevent motorcycle crashes

The Detroit Free Press reported June 1 that a 29-year-old woman died in a Sterling Heights motorcycle accident, after the bike she was a passenger on hit a tow truck line. The driver of the motorcycle, a 17-year-old male, was in critical condition. I send the family of this young woman my sincere condolences.

I hope this tragedy will serve as a call to lawmakers to keep Michigan’s helmet requirement. The push to repeal the helmet law in Michigan and let bikers ride without helmets makes little sense, especially given the recent report citing that Michigan motorcycle accident fatalities are up by 21 percent.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, HB 2008 would let bikers aged 21 and older to go helmet-less if they carry at least $20,000 in personal injury insurance to cover medical costs in case they’re hurt in a motorcycle accident.

As I’ve written, $20,000 in personal injury insurance to cover medical costs from a motorcycle accident injury is laughable. In the event of any serious motorcycle accident injury, that $20,000 is exhausted by the ER visit, with the rest of the costs for catastrophic care shifted to the taxpayers and Medicaid.

The proper motorcycle helmet can literally safe your life. Read here about how to choose a safe motorcycle helmet.

How bikers and car drivers can share the road

I’ve written on safe driving tips for motorcyclists and how car drivers can drive around bikers. Here’s a little reminder:

For motorists:

Give motorcycles the full lane: Never try to share a lane.

2. Allow more following distance behind a motorcycle: Stop and start times are different for bikers.

3. Be extra cautious at intersections: Always look twice. Most motorcycle accidents occur when a car driver turns left in front of a motorcycle because they “didn’t see them”.

4. Always use your turn signals: This allows the motorcyclist to anticipate your movements. Also, look over your shoulder to check your blind spot.

5. Remove hanging items from your mirrors: They may block your view and prevent you from seeing a motorcycle.

For motorcyclists:

1. Always wear proper safety gear: Especially your helmet!

2. Position yourself in the lane where you will be easily visible: This will keep out of a motorist’s blind spot.

Use turn signals for every lane change and turn: This way, motorists can anticipate your movements.

Avoid riding in bad weather conditions: Rain, snow, ice and other wet weather are severe hazards.

5. Keep your headlights and running lights on at all times: This increases your chances of being seen.

Steven M. Gursten heads Michigan Auto Law and is recognized as one of the nation’s top motorcycle attorneys. He received the highest motorcycle accident settlement in Michigan last year, according to Michigan Lawyers Weekly. Steve has spoken at seminars on winning motorcycle accident cases, and is available for comment.

Related information:

Michigan motorcycle accident FAQs

What to do after a motorcycle crash in Michigan

Major predictors of motorcycle accidents and serious injury

Michigan Auto Law is the largest law firm exclusively handling car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the entire state. We have offices in Farmington Hills, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Sterling Heights to better serve you. Call (248) 353-7575 to speak with one of our Sterling Heights car accident attorneys now. There’s no cost or obligation.

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