Death of NFL Running Back Illustrates The Dangers Of Motorcycles
Ex-NFL running back Cedric Benson, the number four overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, was killed in a motorcycle crash in Austin, Texas recently. He was only 36 years old. Benson, who was a superstar at the University of Texas from 2001 to 2004, was driving his motorcycle with a passenger when they crashed into another vehicle. The passenger was also killed in the wreck. Investigation of the crash showed that Benson’s motorcycle slammed into a minivan. Police say that speed and visibility were factors.
Motorcycles are by their nature far less crashworthy than closed vehicles. They are also less visible to other drivers and pedestrians and less stable than 4-wheel vehicles. Operating a motorcycle requires a different combination of physical and mental skills than those used in driving 4-wheeled vehicles. Motorcyclists and their passengers are much more vulnerable to the hazards of weather and wet road conditions than drivers in closed vehicles.
Motorcyclists continue to account for a considerable proportion of U.S. road trauma. According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, in 2016 there were 5,286 motorcyclists killed on U.S. roadways. This was a 5.1% increase from 2015. In addition, in 2016 motorcycle fatalities occurred 28 more times more frequently than passenger vehicle fatalities.
Safe riding practices are the key to keeping yourself safe if you are operating a motorcycle. It is essential for drivers to understand the safety challenges faced by motorcyclists such as size and visibility.
If you ride a motorcycle, you should be:
- Properly licensed by taking and passing a safety course and a written skill test administered by the State of Florida.
- Always wear a helmet that meets U.S. Department of Transportation standards.
- Arms and legs should be completely covered, ideally by wearing leather or heavy denim.
- Boots or shoes should be high enough to cover your ankles, while gloves allow for better grip and protect your hands in the event of a crash.
Ride responsibly. Obey traffic lights, signs, speed limits and lane markings. Most importantly, alcohol and drugs negatively affect your judgment, coordination, and balance. These substances impair your alertness and reduce your reaction time. When operating a motorcycle, make sure you are alcohol and drug-free before you get on the bike. Otherwise, you may be heading for trouble.
The attorneys at Lesser Lesser Landy & Smith have represented many people who were injured as a result of a motorcycle accident. If you or someone you know is the unfortunate victim of a motorcycle accident, please contact our experienced attorneys at Lesser Lesser Landy & Smith so we can sort through and explain the many important issues that should be considered.
This blog is written by Partner Jeffrey Gordon.