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Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in Austin

Learn about motorcycle safety just in time for motorcycle awareness month

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness month in the US, and here in Austin we’re as focused on the meaning behind this event as anywhere else. At Shefman Law, we’re constantly taking on the cause of developing safer roads for motorcyclists, so we’re incredibly invested in the work that Austin and the rest of Texas at large are doing to promote safer circumstances for bikers. We’d like to take a moment to look at the background of Motorcycle Safety Awareness month as well as the reasons why increased visibility is essential for all motorcyclists in the Austin area.

A Bit of Background

Motorcycle Safety Awareness began in response to a statistic most drivers aren’t aware of: May is one of the most dangerous months of the year for motorcycle riders. According to LookLearnLive.org, most motorcycle incidents in Texas occur in the month of May. Whether this is due to the changing weather or some other phenomenon, motorcycle activists began pushing for a nationally recognized safety month as far back as the late 90’s. In 2004, the U.S. Senate officially recognized this grass roots push and designated May Motorcycle Safety Awareness month. Since that time, many states, including Texas, officially proclaim Motorcycle Awareness Month once every year.

Why Motorcycle Awareness Month Matters

As Austin motorcycle accident attorneys, we come face to face daily with the reality of bikers’ situations on Texas roads. The fact of the matter is it can be a very dangerous place out there for people on motorcycles.  According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, 494 Texans were killed on motorcycles in 2013. At Shefman Law, we find this number absolutely unacceptable, especially considering that a number of these deaths tend to be preventable. Motorcyclists are at a disadvantage of the size of their vehicle compared to others on the road, and it takes a community wide effort to look out for the safety of these individuals. Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month will certainly not completely wipe away these numbers, but if we rally around its premise we may begin to make a dent in the horrific number of accidents occurring in and around Austin.

What Austin, Texas is Doing About Motorcycle Safety

As motorcycle personal injury lawyers, we pay close attention to the initiatives happening in our home state and town when it comes to motorcycle safety. For the month of May, Texas is pushing forward with two separate media campaigns focused on making our roads safer for bikers. One, titled “Share the Road,” is a broad program focused on general motorcycle awareness. The other campaign, “Look Twice,” is specifically engaged with getting drivers to proactively look for motorcyclists out there on the road. If you’re a resident of Austin, you may also have noticed a campaign aimed at getting more bikers to ride wearing their helmets. These posters were produced by the Texas Department of Transportation, and can be found hanging in various places throughout Texas. Also, you may have noticed that on May 8th, a large gathering of Austin riders rode through town carrying 24 big white flags. This event, put on with the help of Austin Region and CenTex, was another effort at raising the visibility of motorcyclists on the road. Throughout the month of May, be on the lookout for more great events happening in the area, and make sure to spread the word that motorcycle safety is an important concern for all Austinites.

At Shefman Law, we look out for the safety and well being of all Austin motorcyclists and bikers. Please take a moment to watch our video on Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month here. If you’ve been involved in an accident and have received injuries because of it, contact the lawyers at Shefman Law for a consultation today. You’ve got a bike? We’ve got your back.

Celebrating Bike to Work Month: A New Map Making It Safer For Austin Cyclists

Austin Bike to Work Month

May is Bike to Work Month, an event that everyone at Shefman Law is fully in support of. Not only does Bike to Work Month encourage a practice that is both good for your health as well as the health of your community, it also provides a great opportunity to shed some light on different important aspects of bicycle activism. As Austin bicycle accident injury attorneys, we appreciate the opportunity Bike to Work Month provides for highlighting the need for safer conditions for Austin’s bicycle community.

Lucky for us, MIT has recently introduced a new initiative that is working toward producing safer conditions for cyclists throughout the U.S. In honor of Bike to Work Month, here’s an introduction to this new program, deemed You Are Here, as well as a few reasons why this app could prove life-saving for Austin’s cyclist community.

What is You Are Here?

You Are Here, developed by the Social Computing Group at the MIT Media Lab, is an interactive map service developed to showcase all kinds of information, from locations of coffee shops to the density of concert venues in a unique urban environment. Most importantly for bicycle activists, You Are Here has been developed to show an evolving map of bicycle crashes within a certain city’s limits. If you click here, you’ll be taken to a scatter map showing where every recent bicycle accident and injury has occurred, with more frequent locations  being highlighted by larger location markings. Using data provided by the Texas Department of Transportation, You Are Here has plotted 1,430 bicycle accidents that have occurred since 2009. As bicycle activists and lawyers, it’s easy for everyone at Shefman Law to see just how important this kind of information can be for the cycling community.

How Can You Are Here Benefit Bike Riders in Austin?

Aside from being an amazing visual sight, You Are Here has some major practical applications. For one, it allows for expert route planning. Seeing as though it’s Bike to Work Month, it’s hard to imagine a better resource for safely navigating your way around town. It is a sad fact that there are certain locations throughout Austin that are far more dangerous for cyclists, such as the intersection at 6th and Brazos.  Whether due to high-density, poor maintenance or difficult conditions, some intersections in Austin are just flat out more treacherous than others, and You Are Here is a stunning tool for cyclists looking to avoid such debilitating areas. As bicycle accident and injury lawyers, we love You Are Here’s addition to the public safety of Austin cyclists.

As important as evolving tools are for bicycle safety, getting the word out that cyclists are currently forced to live with the possibility of getting injured is equally as important. If nothing else, You Are Here highlights the growing need for more effective legislation and public services for the bicycling community while simultaneously demonstrating just how dangerous it can be for cyclists out on the road. At Shefman Law, we’re not just personal injury attorneys, we’re cyclists just like you. If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident and have sustained injuries, contact us today for a thorough consultation.

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