Articles Tagged with Motorcycle Safety

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Harley Davidson is recalling 250,000 motorcycles world-wide to fix an issue that has the potential to cause the brakes to fail.  175,000 of those motorcycles are in the United States.

The investigation began in July 2016 when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received 43 complaints of problems with the brakes, including reports of 3 crashes and 2 injuries.  This led the NHTSA to pressure Harley Davidson to declare a recall.

The recall notice says that “deposits may form on components within the brake system if the DOT 4 brake fluid is not replaced for a prolonged period of time beyond the 2-year maintenance schedule specified in the Owner’s Manual.”  The deposits can cause a valve in the antilock brake control unit to stick. The recall service involves a full flush of the brake fluid, but no parts need to be replaced.

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The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced on January 25, 2018 that it is launching a new initiative to fight drugged driving.  With a national opioid epidemic and numerous states legalizing marijuana, drugged driving is an increasing problem on America’s roadways.  The NHTSA, through its initiative, is making it a top priority to improve safety and reduce deaths caused by drug impaired motor vehicle crashes through creative solutions.

“Nobody can solve drugged driving alone, but by sharing best practices we can begin to save lives today – we cannot afford to wait,” said Heidi King, NHTSA Deputy Administrator. “And by advancing the science and the data, we can address this problem for our communities in the future.”

The NHTSA is hosting a summit on March 15 to kick off its initiative.  According to the agency, the summit will explore the best practices for educating the public on the overall risk of drug-impaired driving; collecting consistent data; testing and measuring driver impairment levels; and enforcing Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID) laws.141202-F-IT851-124

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The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety is an alliance with the mission to make America’s roads safer by advocating for the adoption of federal and state laws, policies and programs to prevent motor vehicle crashes, deaths, and injuries.  The Advocates rate all 50 states and the District of Columbia on what they consider the 16 fundamental traffic safety laws divided into 5 different issue sections.  On January 22, they released the “2018 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws.”  The report is intended to serve as a guidance tool for legislators hoping to reduce preventable motor vehicle accident deaths and injuries.  None of the 50 states or the District of Columbia have adopted all 16 of the laws.

The 16 Fundamental Traffic Laws

  • Occupant Protection
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Most people know the dangers of drinking and driving.  However, drowsy driving is not as well-known and can cause equally dangerous levels of impairment.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 846 fatalities recorded that were drowsy-driving related in 2014. NHTSA estimates drowsiness is at least a contributing factor in more than 100,000 crashes across the country each year. The reported drowsy-driving crashes and fatalities have remained mostly consistent across the past decade.

Finding accurate numbers of crashes caused by drowsy driving are not yet possible.  Crash investigators can look for certain signs that drowsiness likely contributed to driver error, but these clues are not always recognizable or definite.  It is likely the numbers of drowsy driving accidents far exceed the reported numbers.  130522-F-XD880-252

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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1 person was killed in an alcohol-impaired vehicle crash every 50 minutes in the United States in 2016.  That’s about 29 people a day.  Drunk-driving fatalities have fallen by 1/3 in the last 30 years. However, even with campaigns such as Mothers against Drunk Driving (MADD) and “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”, drunk driving crashes still claim over 10,000 lives per year.  In 2016, 28% of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the United States were the result alcohol impairment. 11064883376_6771bd6c4a_b

Alcohol impairs thinking, judgment, muscle coordination and reaction time. These abilities are crucial to operating a vehicle safely.  After only a few drinks you may feel that you are capable of safely driving.  However, even a small amount of alcohol can lead to impairments even slight ones that can endanger your life, your passengers, and anyone else on the road.

When transitioning into the New Year, many people like to make resolutions to start fresh and make smarter decisions to better their lives.  This New Year make the resolution that you will never get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol or taking any substance that will impair your ability to drive.

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The odds of getting into a crash increase with the number of cars on the road and Memorial Day weekend is one of the most heavily traveled weekends of the year.  The American Automobile Association (AAA) projects 34.6 million people will drive 50 miles (80 km) or more from home during this holiday period, the most since 37.3 million in 2005 and an increase of 2.4 million people from last year.

National Safety Council put out their highest estimate of Memorial Day holiday accident fatalities since 2012. The estimated number of fatalities is 12% higher than the average number of deaths that occurred during the previous six Memorial Day holiday periods.  The Council also estimates around 47,000 people may be seriously injured on the roads during the three-day holiday period, beginning Friday, May 26 and ending on Monday, May 29.

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“Memorial Day should mark the start of summer – not the start of another deadly driving season,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “Paying attention, slowing down and being courteous can ensure you and your fellow travelers make it to picnics, beaches and BBQs rather than emergency rooms.”

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With the rising popularity of cell phone use over the years the amount of car accidents caused by distracted drivers has also increased.  More and more drivers are having trouble keeping their eyes on the road and instead are choosing to look at their cell phones to text, use Facebook and snapchat, read and send emails, or do any number of distracting things on their phone.  Even though almost all of the States ban texting while driving, the National Safety Council estimated that as many as 10,000 Americans were killed because of distracted driving last year.

If you are travelling at 55mph and are looking at your phone for 5 seconds you will travel the length of a football field without looking at the road and the possible dangers that exist on it.  By texting and driving you are essentially driving blindfolded and putting your life and the lives of others in danger.

In 2016, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a survey and found that 40% of drivers stated they have read a text or an email while driving, and nearly 1/3 reported typing one.  There have been numerous public service campaigns, such as “It can wait,” to convince people to put down their cell phones while they are driving but the distracted driving epidemic continues to exist at an alarming level.

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Spring is here which brings warmer temperatures.  Warmer temperatures mean that motorcycle riding season is here in Pennsylvania.

PennDOT is urging riders of all ages and skill levels to prepare for the season by taking the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program training course. The training courses are available throughout Pennsylvania and are free to all Pennsylvania residents and active duty military with a Motorcycle Learner’s permit or motorcycle license.  The free courses are for novice through seasoned riders and are under the supervision of certified instructors.

“Keeping skills sharp and reinforcing the importance of safety through Pennsylvania’s free motorcycle safety classes help both novice and experienced riders enjoy a safe and enjoyable riding season,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards. “Riders can practice and refine their techniques while honing the split-second decision making required to safely operate a motorcycle.”

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Motorcycle Safety MonthAfter signing an official proclamation, Governor Tom Wolf has named May Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. In 2015 alone, there were 3,400 crashes in Pennsylvania involving motorcycles. That number rose from 2014, but fortunately, the number of fatalities declined with a decade low of 179.

“Staying aware while driving or riding, obeying speed limits and being responsible will help keep fatalities and injuries as low as possible,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards in a news release earlier this month.

Michael J. O’Connor & Associates wants to do their part to prevent motorcycle accidents. Follow these tips to help keep the roads safe: