The Mississippi Highway Patrol released a statement saying that three motorcyclists in north Mississippi were airlifted to a local hospital after being hit by an SUV outside Tunica. The accident involved several riders who were in Tunica for the weekend for a motorcycle festival.
Police say two separate accidents left multiple riders recovering from critical injuries over the weekend. In one accident, police say two motorcycles that were each carrying two riders turned onto Highway 61 from Highway 4 in Tunica when they were both hit by an SUV. Police say that three of the four riders had to be airlifted to a hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries while the fourth cyclist was taken by ambulance and is reportedly recovering from less serious injuries.
In another accident, the DeSoto County Sherriff’s Department says a biker was hit by a passenger vehicle while driving along Highway 713. That motorcyclist was driving alone and also had to airlifted for treatment of life threatening injuries. Police say that the four cyclists remain in critical condition.
Police say the multiple motorcycle accidents in one evening are unusual and are connected to the current gathering of some 20,000 motorcyclists in the area for an annual biker festival. Authorities are calling on members of the public to be aware of the cyclists and drive especially carefully given the thousands of bikers in the area.
According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, over half of all fatal motorcycle accidents involve another vehicle and most of the time it is the motorist, not the motorcyclist, who is at fault. The MSF says that drivers should understand that because of the small size of motorcycles, the bikes can be easily hidden in a car’s blind spots or masked by other objects outside of a car such as fences or bushes. Given this, it’s critical that drivers take a moment to look out for bikers, especially when changing lanes or entering an intersection.
Drivers should also be aware that because of a motorcycle’s size it can appear farther away than it is and it can also be difficult to judge a motorcycle’s speed. Given this, it’s safer to assume that a motorcycle is closer than it is. Motorcyclists also slow down in a different way than drivers in passenger cars. Rather than hitting the brake, bikers often downshift or let off the gas to slow down, something that does not activate the brake light. Drivers should allow more stopping distance because of this and should be aware that at intersections motorcyclists may appear to stop suddenly given the lack of the brake lights as a visual warning.
If you have been injured in a Mississippi car, motorcycle or tractor-trailer accident and think you may have a personal injury claim, please contact the Mississippi personal injury lawyers at Kilpatrick & Philley at (601) 856-7800.
Source: “Four bikers airlifted after multiple crashes in N. MS,” by, published at WMCTV.com.
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