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Attorney Calls On Drivers To Focus On Motorcycle Safety

SIOUX FALLS (June 14, 2018) – Recent motorcycle crashes in the Sioux Falls area are a reminder that drivers need to be focused on motorcycle safety, according to Sioux Falls motorcycle accident attorney Bill Sims of Northern Plains Justice, LLP.

“Negligent drivers often don’t see motorcyclists on the road,” Sims said. “The result is often a serious motorcycle crash. But there are steps all drivers can take that can help reduce the risk of a collision with a motorcycle.”

The region has experienced several serious motorcycle crashes in the past few weeks. A motorcyclist was killed on June 5 after losing control of his motorcycle and being thrown on Interstate 29 at around 12:30 a.m. A motorcyclist and his passenger were hurt on June 3 after being struck by a car at a rural intersection near Dell Rapids. Another motorcyclist died from his injuries after crashing his Harley Davidson on Marion Avenue on Memorial Day weekend.

Sims cited 5 safety tips every driver should practice:

  • Look twice – Drivers often crash into motorcycles because they don’t see them. They may be distracted, or simply overlook motorcycles, which are harder to see on the road. It’s always a good idea to look twice to check for motorcycles before making a turn, pulling out into traffic or changing lanes.
  • Keep a safe distance – Just like the operators of any other vehicle, motorcyclists may need to slow down or stop due to traffic or road conditions. Following too closely behind a motorcycle increases the risk of causing a rear-end collision.
  • Remember to yield – Many motorcyclists are injured when a car makes a sudden left turn directly into their path. Because motorcycles are smaller, they may appear to be farther away than they actually are. Yield for an oncoming motorcycle just as you would for a car or another vehicle.
  • Look before opening your door – One common cause of motorcycle crashes is “dooring.” This happens when a driver parks the car, then opens the door suddenly, just as a motorcycle is approaching. Check twice to make sure there are no motorcycles before opening the door.
  • Be aware of blind spots – Every vehicle has a blind spot, and it’s very easy for a motorcycle to disappear into it. Be sure to check your mirrors, look over your shoulder and use signals before changing lanes.

Sims also urged bikers to be mindful of safety precautions. “It’s important to wear protective clothing and gear when you’re out riding. South Dakota doesn’t require helmets, but they’re highly recommended for safety purposes. Goggles and leather or denim clothing can also help to prevent injuries.

However, said Sims, “Protective gear only goes so far – it can’t prevent all injuries. There’s no substitute for defensive driving and defensive riding.”

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