Morristown motorcycle accident lawyer F. Braxton "Brack" Terry said today that increased awareness and accountability for motorcycle safety play important roles in reducing motorcyclist deaths.
Terry spoke in reaction to a recent Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) report that said no progress was made in reducing motorcyclist deaths in the U.S. in 2011. The GHSA report showed that the total number of motorcycle fatalities across the U.S. in 2011 was 4,500 - the same level as 2010.
And although the number of motorcyclist deaths in Tennessee decreased from 138 in 2010 to 114 in 2011, according to the GHSA, the total still represented a sharp increase from the 69 motorcycle accident fatalities recorded in the state in 2000.
"It's clear that we need to improve safety for our motorcycle riders," said Terry, a partner with the East Tennessee personal injury firm of Terry, Terry & Stapleton.
"The key to progress is making sure that drivers are aware of appropriate behavior on our roads, and that they are held accountable when they do not meet appropriate safety standards toward other motorists, including motorcyclists."
Terry said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers several tips for drivers to help keep motorcyclists safe on our roadways. They include:
- Always allow a motorcyclist the full lane width - never try to share a lane.
- Look for motorcycles by always checking mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes in traffic, and before entering intersections.
- Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic.
- Allow more following distance - three or four sec¬onds - when behind a motorcycle so the motorcyclist has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emer¬gency.
- Never tailgate. In dry conditions, motorcycles can stop more quickly than cars.
- Never drive while distracted.
"Those who drive cars or trucks must remember that a motorcycle is a vehicle with all of the rights and privileges of any other motor vehicle," Terry said. "Motorists who violate a motorcycle rider's right to the road and cause them harm in doing so must be made to answer for their responsibility."
The Terry, Terry & Stapleton law firm pursues personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of individuals from Morristown, Greeneville and throughout East Tennessee who have been injured or lost loved ones in motorcycle accidents.
"We appreciate whatever positive effect that awareness campaigns and increased law enforcement may have had to reduce motorcycle accident deaths here in Tennessee," Terry said. "But one motorcycle death or injury is too many for the individual or family that suffers because of it."
"Motorcycle accident victims deserve compensation for their losses," the veteran attorney continued. "Victims seeking compensation and courts awarding damages where they are warranted is an appropriate means of holding negligent drivers accountable and raising awareness about motorcycle safety."
About Terry, Terry & Stapleton
Terry, Terry & Stapleton is an East Tennessee law firm of personal injury lawyers and criminal trial attorneys that has served the region for more than 46 years. The firm's Morristown office is located at 918 W. 1st N. Street, Morristown, TN, 37814 (local phone number (423) 586-5800), and its Greeneville office is located at 3465 E. Andrew Johnson Hwy., Greeneville, TN, 37745 (local phone number (423) 638-0420). The firm handles personal injury and wrongful death cases, including car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, boating accidents, workplace injuries, Social Security disability claims, medical malpractice lawsuits and products liability cases. For more information, call (800) 518-3779 or use the firm's convenient online form.
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