The most recent data on motorcycle crashes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) names Mississippi as the most dangerous state in the U.S. for motorcyclists. The accrued data places the Magnolia State firmly at the top of the list, with 14.57 fatalities per 10,000 registered motorcycles.
Many motorists may blame bikers and reckless driving, but these perceptions are faulty. Many motorcycle accidents occur when a driver violates their right-of-way. Thankfully, Mississippi drivers can help save bikers’ lives by increasing their awareness and practicing the basics.
Learn to share the road with these driving tips
The following guidelines can help Mississippi drivers spot motorcycles early and adjust their driving habits to create a safer road:
- Watch blind spots: Blinds spots hide trucks, cars and motorcycles from view. Though drivers may quickly spot larger vehicles, few take the time to look for smaller vehicles. Failing to check blind spots effectively can lead to a biker’s death.
- Provide more room: When driving around motorcycles, give them more space to operate. Motorcycles may move in unfamiliar ways that surprise drivers. More space allows for safer reactions, more time to respond and a greater understanding of motorcycles.
- Use turn signals: Turn signals communicate a driver’s intention to the vehicles around them, increasing every driver’s safety and road awareness. Bikers require this information more than anyone, so signal early and often.
- Turn left with care: Most motorcycle accidents occur in intersections, where left turns happen most often. These turns are particularly dangerous for motorcyclists.
- Dim the headlights: Motorcyclists do not have as much protection against bright lights and glare as fully enclosed cars. Do not use the high beams when bikers are near.
- No drinking and driving: Motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to die in a motor vehicle accident. Drunk driving increases those odds significantly, as well as making the roads riskier for everyone.
Crash victims may seek damages and restitution
Bikers injured in an accident with another vehicle can bring their questions to a local lawyer familiar with Mississippi motor vehicle law. An attorney can provide answers, assess a person’s case and suggest a course of legal action.