Defensive driving is important not only for automobile drivers, but also for motorcycle riders, as Gainesville drivers learned on Wednesday, March 16.
On the afternoon of March 16th, a man, later to be identified as Eric Michael McManus, 32, was travelling eastbound on his motorcycle on Northeast 23rd Avenue when the driver of a Cadillac, facing North on Second Street, tried to turn left onto 23rd Avenue, directly into McManus’s path.
Spokesman for the Gainesville Police Department, Officer Ben Tobias, said that the motorcyclist saw the Cadillac pulling out and tried to stop, which locked his brakes up. After his brakes locked, the rider went down, and struck both the pavement and the vehicle.
Sadly, McManus suffered significant trauma, as he was not wearing a helmet on this day. He died at the scene; the driver of the Cadillac was unharmed. Police say that his speed was likely a factor in the accident.
The first officer responding to the motorcycle accident, Officer James Franklin, was also involved in a crash. Officer Tobias said that Officer Franklin was en route to the accident with his sirens and lights on. Unfortunately, a truck pulled into his path, and the officer had to take quick evasive action to avoid hitting it. His maneuver managed to keep him from running into the truck; he did, however, end up crashing into a light pole in front of the post office on North Main Street.
Although both McManus and Officer Franklin practiced defensive driving by trying to stop, or by trying to evade the other vehicle, they were still involved in crashes. This incident is a good example of how important it is to maintain situational awareness on the road. Had the drivers of the truck been paying closer attention, they would have seen or heard Officer Franklin, and he could have avoided crashing; in the case of Eric McManus, had the drivers of the Cadillac been paying closer attention, they might have seen him coming on 23rd Avenue and could have waited for him to pass before turning disastrously into oncoming traffic.
This is also an example of the importance of wearing a DOT-approved helmet while riding a motorcycle. Not only are they mandated by law, but they could also potentially keep you or someone you care about from being critically injured in an accident.
At Steven A. Bagen & Associates, we care about your safety first and foremost. Even the most cautious of drivers can get into dangerous accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact us here, or call us at (800) 800-2575. We are available to talk with you about your case 24/7.