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Awareness Month Aims for Fewer Motorcycle Accidents in Tennessee

Earlier this month, a Tennessee motorcycle accident took the life of a local Highway Patrolman, according to The Tennessean. Two officers were escorting U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds pilots to the Smyrna air show during the time of the fatal accident. One died and one was injured in the accident in Sam Ridley Parkway.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol reports that the wreck involved another motor vehicle and no civilians were injured. A 36-year-old officer was escorted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center and died shortly thereafter. The second offer was taken to Stonecrest Hospital where he was treated for injuries and later released.

Our Knoxville motorcycle accident attorneys would like to remind motorists that spring is the deadliest time of year for motorcycle accidents caused by other drivers.

“I am saddened by the loss of Trooper Wall. He was a fine state trooper who was dedicated to serving and protecting others. Tonight, the entire THP family mourns his loss,” said Colonel Tracy Trott of the Tennessee Highway Patrol. “We hold a deep respect and appreciation for local law enforcement professionals, and our thoughts and prayers are with Trooper Wall’s family and his fellow state troopers.”

National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in Tennessee is dedicated to raising awareness about the presence of motorcyclists on our roadways. The Tennessee Department of Safety, the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the Governor’s Highway Safety Office and the Motorcycle Awareness Foundation of Tennessee proudly support the “Share the Road” campaign that aims to encourage motorcyclists and other motorists to share the road safely with one another. The month-long awareness event kicked off with a Motorcycle Awareness Day event that was held at the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park in Nashville, according to TexDOT.

“With the warmer weather here, more motorcycles are on the road, and that means drivers need to be more alert,” stated Department of Safety Commissioner Dave Mitchell. “We have done a good job in reducing the number of vehicle fatalities in recent years, but the same can’t be said about crashes involving motorcycles. The number of motorcycle fatalities in Tennessee has more than doubled in the last 7 years. We want all riders and drivers to share the road and help reduce that trend.”

Tennessee experienced nearly 150 motorcycle traffic fatalities in 2007, a number that has steadily increased over the last nine years — from 42 in 1998 to 148 in 2007. With approximately 275,000 Tennesseans licensed to operate motorcycles it is important to educate all drivers and remind them of the spring and summer presence of our riding friends.

“Motorcycles are becoming more popular, but cyclists must understand that riding a motorcycle is different than driving a car,” said John Milliken, the state coordinator of Tennessee’s Motorcycle Rider Education Program. “It’s imperative that motorcyclists educate themselves by taking an accredited training course and never ride beyond their skill ability.”

The Texas Department of Safety offers these tips to help keep motorcyclists safe on our roadways:

-Avoid tailgating. Motorcycles are not always able to stop easily, especially on wet pavement.

-Watch out for blind sports. Because a motorcycle is so small, it can often be caught in a car’s blind spot.

-Be careful at intersections as this is where most motorcycle-vehicle accidents occur.

-Allow a motorcyclist to have the entire lane. They have the same rights on the road as all other motorists.

-As it’s easy to misjudge distance and speed because of the size of a motorcycle, be sure to practice extra caution when you see one. Assume they are closer than they appear.

-Remember that motorcycles adjust often in their lane to avoid winds and road debris.

-Blinkers of motorcycles are not always self-canceling as they are on passenger vehicles. Make sure that a rider’s signal is for real before passing.

If you or a loved one is injured or killed in an accident in Tennessee, contact Hartsoe Law Firm, P.C. for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights with a Knoxville injury lawyer or Maryville accident attorney. Call (877) 472-5657.

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