August 7th, 2015|
Riding motorcycles can be a fun hobby, but there are risks associated with getting on a bike. According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA), there were a total of 4,584 motorcycle accident fatalities last year.
Kendell Poole, the chairman of the GHSA and the director of the Tennessee Office of Highway Safety, says state officials are working on a multifaceted approach to motorcycle safety. The agency is working to promote laws that protect motorcyclists, but more importantly, they are asking motorcyclists to do their part to prevent injuries.
According to Clutch and Chrome, the GHSA has issued a report calling for motorcyclists to not only wear helmets every time they ride, but to invest in bikes with anti-lock braking systems, ride below posted speed limits, and avoid drinking and driving.
Other measure bikers can take to stay safe include:
- Taking a motorcycle safety training course
- Avoiding riding when it’s raining, snowing, or in heavy winds
- Ensuring they are visible to others on the road
The Nashville personal injury lawyers at Ponce Law point out that preventing motorcycle accidents isn’t just up to bikers. Anyone who operates a motor vehicle should remember to look twice before moving in traffic to ensure there isn’t an oncoming motorcyclist. We hope the efforts being made by the GHSA are successful in making Tennessee’s roadways safer!
May 11th, 2015|
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in Tennessee, which is why the Nashville motorcycle accident attorneys at Ponce Law would like to discuss the importance of helmet use.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that using a helmet reduces a motorcyclist’s chance of death in the event of a crash by as much as 37 percent. Furthermore, helmets reduce the risk of suffering a traumatic brain injury by almost 70 percent. Helmets were also responsible for saving 46 lives and $94 million in economic damages in Tennessee during 2010 alone.
Despite these numbers, a constituency of our state’s lawmakers recently proposed a bill that would call for Tennessee’s motorcycle helmet law to be repealed for riders over age 18. Those in favor of the change believe wearing a helmet should be a personal choice, not a mandated regulation. Those in favor of the current legislation pointed to the data to show the importance of a helmet. They also cited the difficulty of enforcing helmet laws that only apply to certain riders. Luckily, according to The Tennessean, legislators rejected the proposed bill late last month.
At Ponce Law, we recognize the importance of requiring all motorcyclists wear helmets every time they ride, and our Nashville personal injury lawyers are glad to see bikers are still required to wear this life-saving piece of safety equipment.
April 15th, 2015|
“The Dragon’s Tail” is an 11.2-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 129 that runs along the Tennessee border. The road is popular with motorcyclists due to the 318 curves packed into the short stretch, but the highway is also used as a shortcut by some commercial tractor-trailers moving loads over the mountains.
Unfortunately, the roadway has become notorious for accidents both types of vehicles. In fact, a report from Tennessee Department of Transportation shows “The Dragon” has been the site of at least 204 accidents from 2010-12. Because of the road’s location, accidents can take hours to clear, causing major traffic delays.
To help prevent factors that cause Tennessee truck accidents and motorcycle crashes along “The Dragon”, several new laws were implemented. The regulations include lower speed limits, as well as reduced length and weight limits for commercial big rigs.
According to The Daily Times, speed limits along stretches of the road have been dropped to as low as 40 miles per hour. Also, trucks hauling trailers longer than 30 feet are no longer allowed on the highway.
Keeping our roads and highways safe is an important mission of the Nashville personal injury attorneys at Ponce Law, and we applaud the state for making safety improvements to one of our most dangerous roadways.
March 2nd, 2015|
It’s no secret that traffic can be horrendous in Middle Tennessee—and those at most risk in heavy traffic are motorcyclists. Vehicles often speed up and slow down and swerve in and out of lanes near motorcyclists, who only have a helmet as protection in the event of a collision.
To help reduce Tennessee motorcycle accidents, lawmakers are considering a new bill offering motorcyclists a chance to better protect themselves. Reports indicate the bill would allow motorcyclists to split lanes under certain traffic conditions.
Lane splitting is a maneuver common in many other parts of the world where motorcyclist travels between vehicles in two separate lanes. According to an article released by Motorcycle USA, H.B. 1102 would allow motorcyclists in Tennessee to do this as long as traffic is traveling at or below 45 mph and the motorcyclist doesn’t exceed the posted speed limit. Lane splitting would not be allowed in marked school zones where warning lights are flashing.
While lane splitting sounds dangerous, studies have shown it to improve motorcycle safety rates by reducing fatigue and exposure to vehicles whose speeds are fluctuating.
February 13th, 2015|
Spring is just around the corner in Middle Tennessee, and you can expect to see more motorcycles on the road. Unfortunately, many motorists fail to yield to bikers—causing an increase in Tennessee motorcycle accident numbers. Data shows there have been 167 crashes over the past three years caused by motorists who failed to yield the right-of-way to motorcyclists while turning left.
When such an accident occurs, there are two ways to hold the responsible driver accountable—criminal and civil penalties.The ability to seek these penalties depends on the facts of the accident.
Take the case of a father who is distraught because the motorist who killed his son in a Tennessee motorcycle accident will not face criminal charges due to the location where the accident occurred.
WSMV 4 News reports the victim was riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle along Gallatin Road in Nashville when the driver of an SUV failed to yield the right-of-way and struck the motorcyclist. He was taken to the hospital, but died a short time later.
The victim’s father had pushed for charges to be filed against the driver of the SUV, but the District Attorney’s office passed on prosecuting the case because the law states a driver can only be charged for failing to yield the right-of-way at an intersection. Since the accident didn’t happen at a road crossing, no charges are filed.
The prosecutor’s office did point out the driver could be held liable in civil court though, where the burden of proof and laws regarding liability are much different. The Nashville personal injury attorneys with Ponce Law point out that if you’re considering filing a civil case against a driver who injured you in a Tennessee motorcycle accident, an experienced lawyer can help answer any questions you may have.
December 1st, 2014|
Traffic signals are designed to keep motorists safe, but one particularly dangerous intersection in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, has many local citizens up in arms.
The intersection of Old Hickory Boulevard and Sonya Drive was the location where a 9-year-old girl was struck by a vehicle and suffered a brain injury while attempting to cross the street where there was no crosswalk.
According to WSMV News, the incident resulted in new signage and traffic signals, but some say this has created a whole new set of problems for those on motorcycles. The traffic signals change based on weight readings collected by sensors in the road. When traffic backs up, the lights change—but the lights often don’t change for motorcycles because they’re only a fraction of the size of a car or truck.
This causes motorcyclists to have to pull into moving traffic, putting them at serious risk of motorcycle accidents. Officials are working to address the problem, but no solutions have been pinpointed.
November 10th, 2014|
One of the most preventable contributing factors to crashes today are faulty roadways. Recently, a defective road here in Tennessee has not only led to numerous accidents, but is also causing local and state officials to face public scrutiny for failing to address the issue.
Just last week, a Tennessee motorcycle accident occurred at the intersection of Highway 109 and Academy Road in Lebanon, Tennessee. The fatal collision occurred just days after two local teenagers died in a crash along Highway 109 in Gallatin. Now, many local citizens have come forward saying the roads have heavy traffic on a daily basis and need updating. However, local officials are saying that the state is responsible for any maintenance that needs to be done.
The Wilson Post reports the Tennessee Department of Transportation has stated that plans to widen Highway 109 in the problematic areas are being developed, but no timeline has been created for the completion of the project.
This news leaves many wondering what to do after accidents caused by defective roadways. At Ponce Law, our team of Nashville personal injury lawyers would suggest discussing your legal rights with a qualified attorney as soon as possible.
Our legal team is available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week—just dial 615-244-4325.
October 27th, 2014|
The sun is beginning to rise later and is setting earlier across Middle Tennessee as we prepare for the clocks to fall back. This time of year can be especially dangerous for motorcyclists as visibility decreases.
Just this past weekend there was a Tennessee motorcycle accident that was the result of a motorist’s failure to recognize a biker’s right-of-way. Reports indicate the crash happened at approximately 2:15 p.m. on Sunday, October 26, along Hampshire Pike in Columbia, Tennessee.
According to an article from the Columbia Daily Herald, the motorcyclist was heading westbound along the highway when the driver of a Chevrolet HHR attempted to turn left and failed to recognize the oncoming bike. The two vehicles collided and the motorcyclist was left with injuries that required transport to a local hospital for treatment.
The incident highlights the importance of motorists always looking out for motorcycles on the road. Additionally, motorcyclists following these tips to prevent accidents:
- Wear a helmet and safety gear.
- Drive defensively
- Never drink and drive
- Obey the posted speed limit
- Eliminate distractions when driving
At Ponce Law, we know the risks motorcyclists face each time they hit the road, which is why our Nashville personal injury lawyers hope these tips help to keep you safe when on a motorcycle in the future.
September 19th, 2014|
Helping people in our community is something the Nashville personal injury lawyers at Ponce Law take seriously. That’s why we would like to tell you about an event taking place this weekend that will benefit underprivileged children here in Middle Tennessee.
The 33rd Annual Leslie W. Watson Memorial Toy Run and Benefit Party will kick off at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 20, at the Clarksville Speedway. Registration begins an hour prior to the ride, which will make its way to the Governor’s Square Mall. A concert will be held at the conclusion of the ride that will feature the acts Moccasin Creek and the Jeff Vaughn Band.
The Leaf-Chronicle explains the cost to participate in the ride is one new and unwrapped children’s toy or a monetary donation from each participant. The toys will be distributed to families in need this Christmas.
The weekend’s events are being put on by the organization Bikers Who Care.
The legal team at Ponce Law would like to recognize the efforts being made to support needy families in our community. We would also like to remind those attending these events to ride safe to help avoid Tennessee motorcycle accidents.
May 2nd, 2014|
The high number of motorcycle accidents in Tennessee is a serious concern to many citizens. The state reports that last year alone, there were 2,800 Tennessee motorcycle accidents that led to 135 fatalities. So far this year, there have already been 337 crashes that have led to 14 deaths.
In an effort to help curb the number of accidents involving motorcycles, May has been declared “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. ” Several events are scheduled to kick things off in the city of Nashville.
An article from News Channel 5 explains the month-long safety campaign will host a safety event on Friday, May 2, at Opry Mills. Several state officials will be on hand to discuss the importance of motorcycle safety and what citizens can do to help the cause. Those officials will include the director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Office, Kendell Poole, Transportation Commissioner John Schroer, and commander of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Col. Tracy Trott.
The Lifesavers National Conference on Highway Safety Priorities just wrapped up down the street at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. There, participants discussed what can be done to improve highway safety, including several aspects that pertained to motorcycles.