The National Safety Council has declared May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness month. Whether you are a driver of a motor vehicle or a motorcyclist, take this opportunity to learn a bit more about motorcycle safety.
MOTORCYCLE COLLISION STATISTICS
More than 88,000 people reported injuries in motorcycle crashes in 2016. Additionally, almost 5,000 motorcycle riders and passengers died in motorcycle crashes. While motorcycles make up only 3% of all registered vehicles, motorcyclists account for 13% of all traffic fatalities. Just over a quarter of the riders who died in motorcycle crashes in 2016 were impaired by the use of alcohol.
INFORMATION FOR DRIVERS
The slogan, “Start seeing motorcycles” isn't just a catchphrase. It is a mandate. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, (NHTSA) in most car/motorcycle accidents, the driver of the car typically is the one violating the motorcyclist's right of way. The NHTSA attributes this to a few factors, including:
- Motorcycles, being smaller than cars, are less visible;
- Drivers are less likely to anticipate a motorcyclist's movements;
- A driver's view of motorcycles is often obstructed by other vehicles or the motorcycle is in a driver's blind spot; finally,
- Distracted driving (texting, using the phone, eating, etc.) contributes to not seeing motorcycles.
Taking just a few minutes to raise your awareness about the possible presence of motorcycles can help drivers “start seeing motorcycles.”
INFORMATION FOR MOTORCYCLISTS
The National Safety Council wants motorcyclists to know that skill and gear can protect you from injury or death. A helmet, for example, is estimated to be 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries for operators, and 41% effective for preventing fatal injuries for passengers on motorcycles. Given that over 80% of all reported motorcycles crashes involve either injury or death, there are other safety precautions motorcyclists should take, including the following:
- Select a bike that fits your body
- Purchase a bike with anti-lock brakes
- Take a motorcycle safety course if you are new to riding
- If it has been a while since you have ridden, even if you are experienced, take a refresher course
- Understand and observe the rules of the road
- Don't drink and ride
- Drive defensively
- Be aware half of all motorcycle collisions occur at intersections, and approach them accordingly
- Presume you are invisible to other motorists
- Take steps to make yourself more visible
- Wear bright and reflective clothing
- Wear long sleeves and long pants made of durable materials
- Wear durable boots that cover the ankles
- Use googles, glasses, or a face shield
EVERYONE WANTS MOTORCYCLISTS SAFE
Whether you drive a car or a motorcycle, we all want you to be safe. By raising your awareness as a car driver, and taking some precautions as a motorcyclist, we hope you will reduce the potential you will be in a motorcycle crash.
IF YOU HAVE BEEN INJURED IN A MOTORCYCLE CRASH
If you have been injured in a motorcycle crash, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. This can include lost wages, including lost opportunities for overtime, the cost of medical bills, prescriptions related to your injuries, and pain and suffering. Contact the attorneys at Frost & Kavanaugh. Our attorneys have experience handling motorcycle collision cases. However, you should know the law limits the amount of time you have to make a claim. Contact us today.