May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and a great time for motorcyclists to brush up on safety protocols while the drivers of larger vehicles get familiar with how to safely drive around motorcycles.
Brown & Brown maintains offices in Illinois and Missouri, but laws for these states are different regarding motorcycle safety. For example, in Illinois, riders are not required to wear a helmet. In Missouri, they are. In Missouri, riders are not required to wear eye protection. In Illinois, on the other hand, they are. Here’s the kicker, with the proximity of these states, crossing state lines means being willing to abide by the laws in each, making it a good idea for riders in both to wear helmets and use eye protection. These things are a good idea in any event, even when not required by law.
Thinking About Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents injure more than 80,000 people every year and kill more than 5,000. The leading cause of these accidents is being run into by larger vehicles. This often happens when a larger vehicle is turning and fails to see the motorcycle. Laws in both Missouri and Illinois require running headlamps on motorcycles, but even this step is not always enough to increase visibility.
To help prevent harming a motorcyclist, it is vital that the drivers of larger vehicles:
- Slow Down
- Avoid All Forms of Distraction
- Obey Traffic Signs and Signals
- Look Twice Before Turning or Changing Lanes
- Listen for Motorcycles Before Maneuvering Out of a Lane
Missouri prohibits the use of mufflers that emit “excessive” or “unusual” noise, while Illinois prohibits the same but adds a prohibition against modifications to make a muffler louder than factory presets. This limits a motorcyclist’s ability to “sound” their presence, making it even more important that drivers of larger vehicles listen carefully for indications of nearby motorcycles.
Have You Been Injured?
If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a motorcycle accident in Illinois or Missouri, please call Brown & Brown at 314-333-3333 or 618-888-8888 to schedule a free case review today. We serve victims of motorcycle accidents living in and around St. Louis.