State governments are by nature political institutions, and many of the things that they say and do are seen as politically motivated. Unfortunately, this often leads to one set of people agreeing with a certain step or decision and the other decrying it in a very loud voice. However, even in today’s politically-charged climate there are certain things that the state government can do that generate nothing but nearly uniform agreement. The month of May could involve one of those steps, as it has been named Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in Nevada. This month of awareness is also happening across the United States, but Governor Sandoval recently signed an official proclamation designating this month as such and he also called on both motorcyclists and other motorists to spend these next few weeks paying extra attention to the roads in hopes that the state can continue its downward trend in terms of motorcycle fatalities. The program also came with suggested guidelines for both motorcyclists and for other motorists.The guidelines for people driving cars, trucks and SUV’s included:
- Give motorcyclists a full lane of room to travel.
- Keep following distance behind a motorcycle to between three and four seconds.
- Be extra careful to look for motorcyclists, especially before turning left.
The guidelines for people driving motorcycles included:
- Wear a helmet that fits properly as well as appropriate eye protection.
- Make yourself as visible as possible with the clothing that you wear.
- Provide yourself with time to react to traffic conditions.
- Take time to participate in rider education programs.
These suggestions appear to be somewhat generic, but the fact of the matter is that if everyone follows all of them it’s quite likely that motorists will be safer on the roads of Nevada during the month of May and perhaps beyond. As stated above, the statistics regarding fatal Nevada motorcycle accidents have been trending in a positive direction in recent years. A total of 27 people were killed in motorcycle accidents in Las Vegas and throughout the state during the calendar year of 2012, and that represents an enormous reduction from the 59 that were killed during 2008. Governor Sandoval stated that the goal for this program is to reach a level where there are no fatalities resulting from motorcycle accidents for an entire year. Clearly, this program and this effort is being made in both Nevada and around the country for a reason – too many people are being injured and killed in motorcycle accidents, and the number of people who choose this mode of transportation is rising according to many statistics that relate to motor vehicle registrations. Generally speaking, these crashes occur because motorists simply do not see motorcyclists nor do they expect to encounter them at any particular point. We have been representing clients injured in these crashes as Las Vegas accident lawyers for nearly 30 years, and the damage from them can be devastating. The entire staff at Bernstein & Poisson encourages Nevada drivers to be safe during the month of May while on the roads.