Local law enforcement agencies have big plans for motorists over this Memorial Day holiday weekend, and a motorcycle or car accident in Tennessee is not one of them.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will once again be running their "Click It or Ticket" campaign over the weekend. The campaign officially begins before Memorial Day and runs well into the month of June. The "Click It or Ticket" campaign has been proven to be one of the most successful seat belt enforcement campaigns ever. It currently holds the highest national seat belt usage rates - nearly 90 percent. Law enforcement will be practicing their zero-tolerance enforcement efforts of all seat belt laws across the country throughout the campaign.
Our Maryville injury lawyers urge all motorists to be extra careful on the road this Memorial Day holiday weekend as the number of fatal accidents continue to spike during this time of the year, every year. The National Safety Council estimates that the United States will see more than 400 traffic accident fatalities and another 39,400 injuries requiring medical attention over the upcoming holiday weekend.
The NSC also put out estimates predicting that more than 300 people may survive the Memorial Day holiday weekend because of wearing their seat belts. They also estimate that another 103 lives could be saved if everyone wore their seat belts.
Every Memorial Day holiday weekend over the last six years has seen an increase of more than 12 percent in fatal traffic accidents in comparison to other non-holiday periods.
Tennessee will be taking a different, but equally effective, route to improve roadway safety. The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security sought to raise awareness of motorcycle riders and bicyclists though the "Share the Road" campaign, which takes place through the entire month of May.
"As the weather improves, more motorcyclists and bicyclists are traveling on local and state roadways," said Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons. "This festival is essential in educating motorists on the how-to's of sharing the road and reminding motorcyclists to become properly trained before hitting the highway. Our collective goal is to keep all cyclists safe."
Earlier this week, riders from all over the state descended on Nashville to join together to enjoy the annual rider festival. This festival offered a bike show, the Police Rodeo Riders, a Tennessee Highway Patrol Motor Unit demo and a Stunt Riders demonstration.
"While motorists are cautioned to look out for motorcyclists or bicyclists, the riders should also help make themselves visible by wearing bright colors and using reflective tape," stated GHSO Director Kendell Poole. "Our priority is to increase safe riding between all road users and motorcyclists in an effort to reduce the number of fatalities on Tennessee highways."
The United States saw a decrease in motorcycle fatalities for the first time since 1997. Tennessee was not so fortunate as we saw an increase of 16 motorcycle rider fatalities from 2009 to 2010.
"It is imperative that motorcyclists educate themselves by taking an accredited training course and never ride beyond their skill ability," said John Milliken, Program Coordinator for the Motorcycle Rider Education Program (MREP). "They are much more vulnerable than passenger vehicle occupants. The proper knowledge, training and protective wear will help make motorcyclists safer and more effective on the roads."
The TDOS offers these tips to motorcycle rider to help preserve their safety when traveling our roadways:
-Be sure you're always wearing your protective gear. This includes your boots, pants, helmet, headlight and your eye wear.
-Always ride within your limits. Don't attempt riding conditions that are above your level of riding. Adjust to weather conditions.
-Make sure you're properly trained. It is encouraged that motorcyclists complete an annual training course. This will also help to keep a motorist up to date with current laws.
-Watch your lane position and avoid tailgating other vehicles. Always be ready for the expected. Avoid sharing lanes, especially when riding in groups.
-Stay out of blind spots. These areas make motorcyclists the most vulnerable to an accident and serious injury.
-Never drink and drive. Riding your motorcycle requires great skill and attention. Consuming alcohol and jumping on your bike greatly slows your reaction time and ability.
-Remember, Tennessee law requires that the more than 300,000 Tennessee riders and their passengers to wear approved helmets and protective eyewear.