Authorities have said that an off-duty member of the Mississippi Highway Patrol was killed in a motorcycle accident early last week in Senatobia, MS. Authorities say the officer, Sergeant Eric Lentz, was driving his 2005 Harley when he collided with a 2006 Dodge Charger. According to investigators at the scene who spoke to eyewitnesses, the driver of the truck attempted to make a left turn on West Main Street when he crossed into the path of the motorcycle.
Authorities say that Sergeant Lentz was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident while the driver of the Dodge Charger sustained only relatively minor injuries. The police department in Senatobia is working with the Mississippi Highway Patrol Crash Team to reconstruct the accident and says that until the investigation is complete no criminal charges will be filed.
Tragically, thousands of people die on roads across the United States each year in motorcycle accidents similar to this one. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 4,600 people were killed in motorcycle wrecks in 2011. Though this is bad enough, what’s even more worrisome is that many experts say the numbers of motorcycle fatalities will only continue to rise. In fact, the latest report from the Governors Highway Safety Association projects that motorcycle deaths are on track to increase nine percent, putting the total above 5,000 for the first time since records have been kept.
This trend of increasing motorcycle fatalities is an especially sad one that has forced thousands of families to come to grips with the pain of losing a loved one. Studies show that fatality rates have increased in 14 of the past 15 years, a terrible trend that is in dire need of being reversed.
Though the fact remains motorcycle riders are far more vulnerable to Mississippi car accidents than occupants in a passenger vehicle, there are things that riders can do to increase their chance of surviving or avoiding an accident. For one thing, always wear a helmet that fits you properly. You need to choose one that fits snuggly against your head and make sure it has been approved to meet federal safety standards. Follow all speed limits and never tailgate other vehicles, as even small bumps can prove fatal to those on motorcycles.
Given the small size of motorcycles, riders should be careful to avoid driving in others’ blind spots. Always use headlights to make yourself more visible and generally be wary of other vehicles. Motorcyclists should also brake smart, being sure to use both brakes at the same time and applying them slowly and steadily to avoid skidding.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, the first thing you should do is get the medical attention you need. After that, please contact the Jackson personal injury attorneys at Kilpatrick & Philley at 601-707-4669.
Source: “MS Highway patrolman killed in motorcycle crash,” published at WLOX.com.
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