The weather is getting warmer and motorcyclists are returning to the roads. May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, so it’s a good time for everyone to review motorcycle safety.
Did you know that according to Injury Facts 2017, nearly 5,000 motorcyclists/passengers died in crashes in 2015? There were another 88,000 nonfatal injuries that year. While motorcycles account for approximately 3% of all registered vehicles in the United States, nearly 14% of all traffic fatalities in 2014 were motorcyclists.
Motorcycle accidents are much like car accidents in that there are several risk factors, such as speeding and alcohol use, that can cause an accident. However, motorcyclists have a few bigger challenges to face. A motorcycle driver is not an enclosed space like the driver of a car, meaning that injuries are often more serious—what might have been a minor fender bender in a car could mean a broken leg on a motorcycle. Motorcyclists also struggle to be seen on the road. In fact, the NHTSA stated that, “When motorcycles and other vehicles collide, it is usually the other (non-motorcycle) drive who violates the motorcyclist’s right of way.”
Distracted driving is a very real problem for motorcyclists. Drivers who aren’t paying attention to their surroundings may not see a motorcycle, even if the motorcyclist is signaling and driving responsibly. The best thing a motorcyclist can do for protection is to wear a helmet; helmets are estimated to be 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries for motorcyclists. Full coverage helmets offer the most protection; look for the DOT sticker to ensure that the helmet meets safety standards as required by law.
Here are a few other tips for motorcyclists from the National Safety Council:
- Drive a bike that fits you
- Take a motorcycle safety course
- Don’t drink and ride
- Invest in antilock brakes
- Drive defensively; exercise extra caution at intersections (where half of all collisions take place)
- Watch for hazards like potholes and oil slicks
- Use your headlights, night and day
- Don’t speed
- Wear bright/reflective clothing
- Assume that drivers do not see you, and position yourself so that you will be seen
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact the Schuerman Law team today. Schuerman Law has been working with personal injury claims for over 40 years. John Schuerman will compassionately advocate for injured individuals as well as their families while fighting for full compensation of their claims. Schuerman Law offers evening and weekend appointments in addition to home and hospital visits. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 1-800-274-0045.