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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.

New Technology That’s Making Motorcycles Safer

New technology for motorcycle safetyAt Shefman Law, we’re not just exceptional motorcycle accident lawyers, we’re riders just like you. Due to the way in which these two passions intersect, it probably won’t surprise you to find out that motorcycle safety is something we hold near and dear to our heart. Whether it’s practicing safe riding techniques on the road or representing the victim of an Austin motorcycle accident, everyone at our firm is committed to the safety of bikers. To celebrate this, we’ve put together a few emerging trends in motorcycle technology that promise to make riding an even safer practice. Hopefully with these added technologies, we’ll continue to be able to lower the number of motorcycle accidents and injuries that occur throughout our community.

Intelligent Active Motorcycle Suspension

Any experienced rider, whether you’re a motorcycle injury attorney or not, is aware of the problems that setting up your bike’s suspension can cause. There tends to be a tradeoff when making a suspension choice: in order to get a firm ride that’s suitable for cornering on smooth roads, you end up loosing roadholding on a bumpy surface. Making this choice can often result in a safety sacrifice in one or more areas. Lucky for us, the industry is currently finalizing an automated suspension system that recognizes how you’re riding a bike at a given and automatically adjusts the suspension to ensure the safest ride possible, which is great news to a motorcycle accident personal injury attorney.

Adaptive Headlight Technology

As Austin motorcycle accident lawyers, we’re well aware of the dangers posed by taking corners at nighttime. Due to the requirement that all headlights have to have their top half cut off by a suitable reflector to prevent blinding oncoming drivers, when a motorcycle rider leans into a curve the visible area tilts accordingly with the bike. This typically creates a scenario where a biker can’t see what’s in front of them as they turn, creating a scene just wanting for a crash. Luckily, BMW has just developed a headlight system that can tell when you’re leaning into a corner and in turn adjusts its aim accordingly. This technology is a major addition to safety protocols for bike’s, making it a breath of fresh air for anyone interested in the lives and health of motorcycle riders.

Anti-Lock Braking System

Although anti-lock braking systems have been around since at least the early 90’s, we’re finally getting to the point where they are becoming requirements on the road. As Austin motorcycle injury lawyers, we have to say that it is about time. By 2016, all bikes on the road in the European Union will require ABS systems, and we only hope the same type of legislation will eventually make its way to the U.S. An ABS prevents the wheels of a bike from locking during braking situations and adjusts the pressure of the brake fluid in order to keep traction and avoid fall downs. This leads to decreased stopping distance while also assisting in maintaining stability. As experienced motorcycle accident attorneys, we believe that any increase in motorcycle safety and functionality is a step in the right direction, so we encourage everyone to look into the potential benefits of procuring a bike with a developed ABS built in.

At Shefman Law, we do everything in our power to get you the compensation you deserve in a motorcycle accident. If you’ve suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, contact Austin’s Shefman Law today. You’ve got a bike? We’ve got your back.

An Example of Insurance Company Tactics – Tackling Colossus

Tackling ColossusAt Shefman Law, home of Austin personal injury motorcycle accident attorneys, we constantly see insurance companies attempting to utilize psychological games to get clients to accept settlements. One thing that differentiates Shefman Law from other motorcycle accident lawyers is that we’re experienced personal injury trial attorneys, and we’re always prepared to take your case as far as we have to in order to ensure fair compensation for your injury. When we saw a recent attempt by an insurance company to encourage a victim of injury to settle using a dubious technique we’ve come to recognize, we knew we had to bring attention to it. This is the story of Colossus, and how insurance companies use it to get victims to settle their claims.

What Is Colossus?

Often times when a victim has been involved in a motorcycle crash and has sustained injuries, they will receive a letter from the insurance company that is managing their claim. As motorcycle accident attorneys, we constantly see letters stating something along these lines: “We’re writing you to let you know that among other tools, our computer program Colossus, which is a sophisticated program that calculates claims to an incredibly accurate level, has made a recommendation as to the value of your injury.”

Colossus is a program that came about in the 1990’s, and is used by most major insurance companies. Essentially, it standardizes the claims process in order to expedite settlement while often reducing the payout made for an injury. The letter mentioned above typically goes on to give a litany of reasons why Colossus is as precise as possible, and furthermore why its deliberation is a fair representation of the value of your claim.

Any experienced motorcycle injury lawyer will tell you to take this information with a grain of salt, and there’s a good reason for that. When you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident that has resulted in significant injuries, the insurance company that is handling your claim is in the business of preventing as many losses as possible. Whereas a motorcycle accident attorney such as those found at Austin’s Shefman Law will make sure to take your claim as far as it will go, insurance companies are hoping to prolong the process while settling for the smallest amount possible. Referencing the authority of a program like Colossus is meant to discourage you from moving forward with your claim.

How We’re Different

Whereas the insurance companies will be attempting to limit the damages paid out due to negligence or other culpability, the motorcycle accident personal injury lawyers at Shefman Law will always take your claim as far as need be to get the compensation you deserve. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle crash, don’t let the insurance companies bully you around with psychological warfare such as Colossus; instead, call Shefman Law where you’ll find a personal injury attorney that will fight for you. You’ve got a bike? We’ve got your back.

March 20th Motorcycle Crash Highlights Austin’s Need For Improvement

Motorcycle attorney community saddened by Austin crashAs members of the Austin motorcycle community, as well as motorcycle injury attorneys, we’re consistently face to face with the reality of the biker community in our lovely city. The fact of the matter is that Austin still has a ways to go in educating the rest of the community in regard to motorcycle safety and general care. On March 20th, there was a serious crash that occurred in the South Austin area involving a local motorcyclist and an automobile. As committed motorcycle accident lawyers, everyone at Shefman Law was deeply saddened to hear of another motorcycle crash that could surely have been avoided with better and more thorough safety practices. Like all motorcycle accidents in our city, this only highlights the need for continued vigilance in the face of difficult circumstances.

 

The crash that occurred happened at near the intersection of Victory Drive and Panther Trail near South Lamar Boulevard according to Austin-Travis County EMS. Although the City of Austin recently implemented a bicycle route system in this area in order to improve mobility for both cyclists and motor vehicles, it continues to see accidents such as this one occur. Although we can’t be sure who is at fault in this most recent accident, the motorcycle accident attorneys at Shefman Law find each and every motorcycle crash to be a reminder that there is still much work to be done to prevent these kinds of occurrences from happening in the future.

 

Our city also saw a fatal crash occur on the night of February 22nd, when a man crashed his bike into a parked SUV and sustained serious injuries. This tragic occurrence, in which the man was not wearing a helmet, underlines the need for both sides of this conversation to truly focus in on motorcycle safety standards. In the interest of protecting our community, we must do everything we can to spread the word that making our streets safe for motorcyclists is a major priority while also encouraging judicious safety techniques within the biker community itself.

 

In the March 20th crash, two people were taken to University Medical Center Brackenridge for serious injuries. Luckily, neither appears to have been life threatening, though this in no way speaks to the residual damage that may have occurred for either the motorcyclist or the driver of the car. At Shefman Law, Austin motorcycle accident and injury attorneys are always ready to tackle your case when you’ve been in an accident such as the one mentioned above. If you are entitled to compensation due to driver negligence or unsafe road conditions, the personal injury lawyers at Shefman Law will do everything in their power to get you the justice that you deserve. Let’s do our all to prevent these kinds of terrible accidents in the future, and call today for a consultation with our experienced motorcycle attorneys if you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury in a motorcycle accident.

Three of the Biggest Motorcycle Rallies in the Country

Sturgis Motorcycle RallyAt Shefman Law, Austin’s personal injury attorneys, we’re not just motorcycle accident lawyers; we’re also riders just like you. Because of this, we’re as excited as anyone about the coming of spring, and with it, the return of some of our favorite biker events and rallies. Austin has some of the best rallies in North America, but there are also plenty of events worth traveling for. The motorcycle accident and injury attorneys at Shefman Law have put together a list of some of our favorite motorcycle events from around the country in order to inspire our local community with the return of the riding season. Ride smart, ride safe, and enjoy a look into some of our nation’s best activities for bikers.

Love Ride

With its history of choppers and biker culture, it only makes sense that one of the best events in North America for motorcycle riders would happen in Southern California. Through our years as Austin’s motorcycle accident attorneys, we’ve come to love what motorcycle rallies stand for in terms of safety and respect throughout the motorcycle community. Love Ride truly exemplifies this position, with its focus on family and fraternity in a way that emphasizes safety. As motorcycle injury lawyers, we’re proud of events like Love Ride that manage to bring our community together for a day of food and fun while shining a light on the need to keep our roads safe for all riders.

Daytona Bike Week

Typically drawing nearly 500,000 visitors every year, the Daytona Bike Week is one of the most popular rallies in the United States. Held in Florida over an entire week, the event includes fun rides, live entertainment, and all the food you can manage to eat. One thing we have to commend the city of Daytona Beach on is their ability to make the event much safer in recent years, with the number of accidents and injuries declining by over fifty percent. As motorcycle accident lawyers, this is music to our ears. Hopefully other events around the country will follow the example of the Daytona Bike Week and do everything they can to prevent motorcycle accidents and injuries from occurring during important rallies and rides.

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

What would a list of the biggest motorcycle events in America be without the inclusion of the biggest of them all, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally? Held in South Dakota every August, the Sturgis rally draws riders from all walks of life, from old school bikers to Millennials on sports bikes. As motorcycle injury lawyers, we can’t help but be amazed at what has happened in Sturgis, where an entire town comes together to celebrate the joys of the open road. Not unlike some of the great events in our own town of Austin, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally includes some of the best in food and entertainment, and every year the spectacle only seems to grow. The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is a must see for any dedicated rider; just remember to always stay aware of other presences on the road.

At Shefman Law, Austin personal injury attorneys, we’re great motorcycle accident lawyers because we personally know the dangers posed to bikers by inattentive drivers and other obstacles. If you’ve been in a motorcycle crash, contact Shefman Law to find out what we can do to help you receive compensation.

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