With summer around the corner, more motorcycle riders are enjoying time out on the open roads. However, it’s important for motorcyclists to understand the unique risks that they face and what riders can do to protect themselves and passengers.
How Prevalent Are Motorcycle Fatalities?
Motorcyclists face a high risk for injuries and fatalities in the United States. According to a report issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 5,286 motorcyclists were killed in 2016, which is 5.1% more than the 5,029 motorcycle fatalities in 2015.
To demonstrate the risks that motorcyclists face in comparison to car drivers, motorcyclist fatalities occurred approximately 28 times more often than passenger car accident fatalities in 2016.
It may not come as a surprise that the most common cause of fatal accidents is collisions with motor vehicles. Due to the structure of the motorcycle, an accident with a motor vehicle can be debilitating to riders and passengers. Motor vehicle occupants have more protection due to the size of the car, seat belts and air bags.
Often, motor vehicles do not see motorcycles, especially when turning. This lack of awareness on the motor vehicle drivers’ part can lead to accidents. Let’s take a closer look at the most common causes of motorcycle accident fatalities.
What Are Common Causes of Motorcycle Fatalities?
Turning in the Path of the Motorcycle: Nearly one-third of accidents are caused by motor vehicle drivers who turn in the motorcycle’s path
Speeding: 33% of motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes were speeding at the time of the accident in 2016.
Alcohol Use: 25% of motorcyclists who were killed in crashes had a BAC of .08 or higher in 2016.
Invalid License: 27% of motorcycle accidents in 2016 involved riders without valid motorcycle licenses. Without a license, riders have not proved to the licensing agencies that they have the necessary skills to operate the motorcycle.
How Can You Stay Safe on the Roads?
Have Proper Training: Riding a motorcycle can be dangerous and requires skills that are different from driving a car, which is why motorcyclists should be properly trained and licensed to ride.
Drive Defensively: Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents can be caused by vehicles not seeing the motorcyclists. That is why it is important to be as visible as possible, and to drive defensively. Motorcyclists should be aware of their surroundings and make sure they have time to react.
Wear Protective Clothing: As a rider or passenger, make sure you wear clothing that covers your body, such as jeans, boots and gloves. This can help reduce the severity of your injuries.
Wear a Helmet: Helmet laws and increased helmet usage have greatly reduced the chances of a cyclist suffering severe head trauma. In fact, wearing a helmet is 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries to the rider, and 41% effective in preventing injuries to passengers.
According to the NHTSA, helmets saved 1,859 motorcycle rider lives in 2016. In the state of Alabama, motorcyclists must wear helmets at all times according to the Universal Helmet Law.
By following these helpful tips, we hope that motorcyclists can enjoy the thrill of riding in the summer weather, while keeping themselves and passengers safe.
Protect Your Rights
If you or a loved one are seriously injured in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, call the experienced Montgomery Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at Floyd Hunter at 334-452-4000.
When you call, you’ll receive a FREE case evaluation by an experienced Alabama motorcycle crash injury lawyer. There is never an attorney’s fee due upfront and we don’t get paid until you do. It’s that simple.
We will fight to protect your right to the fair insurance settlement that you deserve for your motorcycle accident claim. Call Floyd Hunter Injury Law for a Free Legal Consultation at 334-452-4000.
Call Floyd Hunter Injury Law, because the right lawyers make a real difference.