Tennessee driver injures two motorcyclists

Late summer and early fall are perfect times of the year for motorcyclists to enjoy the thrill of the open road. It's likely that Tennessee residents have encountered motorcycle riders throughout the season, and they probably already realize that motorcycles can be difficult to spot. Their smaller size, speed and ability to maneuver in and out of traffic make them a versatile vehicle for many road types; however, these advantages can also become disadvantages when it comes to sharing the road. While drivers may understand that it can be hard to notice nearby motorcycles, they may not realize the other risks that motorcyclists face every time they take their bikes on the road.

According to Esurance, August is one of the most dangerous months of the year for any driver; last year there were more than 3,000 fatal car accidents in the U.S. in August. This is due in part to the increase in motorcyclists on the roadways, and riders are certainly at the most risk of being seriously injured or killed in an accident.

Helmets reduce, but don't eliminate risk

It's a well-known fact that wearing a motorcycle helmet can protect riders from being killed in an accident. Consumer Reports says that the proper helmet can reduce a motorcyclist's risk of death by as much as 40 percent, and wearing a helmet is state law for all riders in Tennessee. However, helmets cannot completely eliminate motorcycle deaths. In fact, out of the 134 motorcycle fatalities that the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security reported in 2013, 127 of them were wearing helmets.

Ways that motorcyclists are commonly injured

This past July in Rutherford County, two motorcyclists were riding on U.S. Highway 231 when an elderly driver in the adjacent lane made an improper lane change. WKRN News said the vehicle hit one of the motorcycles, causing it to run into the other one. Both motorcycle riders were hospitalized, one in critical condition.

Not noticing a motorcycle in a nearby lane is just one of the many ways motorcyclists can be in an accident. It's also common for drivers to pull out into traffic without looking for oncoming motorcycles, or to hit them from behind. The National Highways Traffic Safety Administration lists the following ways motorcyclists often face risks on the road:

  • They can be easy to miss in side or rear-view mirrors or in a driver's blind spot.
  • They may be difficult to see when there is glare from the sun, at night or during poor weather conditions.
  • They can stop much faster than other vehicles, so they need a longer following distance.

Additionally, motorcycles can lose control on bad roads or during dangerous driving conditions-a fact many other driver's don't realize.

Contacting an attorney

The injuries sustained from a motorcycle accident are often severe and can result in many months of recovery time and lost income. If you've been injured in a motorcycle crash, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your options.