I know a lot of people who like to go out for a ride on their motorcycles during the fall. The summer heat is finally dissipating and the desert looks particularly beautiful on those long rides out on half-empty roads. I’ve been on a few ride-alongs, and I have to say, going out for long rides must be just about irresistible if you’ve got a motorcycle available this time of year.
But, there’s always that old risk: the motorcycle accident. Tucson gets more than its share, and we all know how serious those accidents can be. So, what can we do to reduce the number and the severity of these accidents?
The first thing we can do is recognize why these accidents happen. Tucson’s Russo, Russo, & Slania P.C. Attorneys at Law have pointed out a lot of the causes for us:
- Drunk drivers on the road who don’t have complete control of their vehicles
- Distracted drivers on their phone, changing the radio station, looking at kids in the backseat, or otherwise not focused on the road
- Drivers not following the laws of the road, such as yielding when they are supposed to, or not paying attention to posted rules, such as the speed limit and stop signs
- Drivers changing lanes improperly and without looking out for motorcyclists
- Vehicles or motorcycles malfunctioning
- Problems with the road
Let’s take these issues in groups. The first set are clearly about how the other driver behaves, including drunk and distracted drivers or drivers that choose not to drive carefully and according to the law. We could easily improve the safety of motorcyclists by more strictly enforcing the laws we have on the books. More policing of drivers with heavier penalties would help reduce all these issues.
Issues with malfunctioning parts could be improved by passing more laws that require drivers prove proper vehicle maintenance regularly. If drivers had to show their vehicle was in proper working order every six months or so, there would be less risk of a faulty part causing an accident.
Finally, the state needs to take road maintenance issues more seriously. We pay a lot of tax for our roads to be kept in good working order. If they aren’t in proper order, we have a right to complain and demand more.
If we could just enforce these basic changes, everyone would benefit, not just motorcyclists.
Arizona is perhaps the best state in the country to get out and enjoy a motorcycle ride. We should work to make sure the safety of the state matches the beauty of the scenery. This isn’t impossible. We could all do a little more, and we could demand our state does a lot more, to keep everyone on the road safer, so we can all get out, enjoy the Arizona fall, and then all get home safely.