Summer is the season that most motorcycle enthusiasts take to the road. However, riders should be aware of the risks involved in riding, not so that they do not ride, but rather that they ride with caution. I have personally known a rider who died as a result of a motorcycle accident, so this hits home for me. Unfortunately, most drivers/riders are unaware that in accidents involving a bike and a passenger vehicle, 98% of the time, the person killed in the crash would end up being the rider on the motorcycle. Also, 80% of all motorcycle accidents result in death or serious injuries.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 5,290 motorcyclists were killed and 96,000 were injured in 2008. Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists are about 37 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a traffic crash.
Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents Include:
- Alcohol - In 2008, 30% of fatally injured motorcyclists had blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels of .08g/dL or higher. An additional 7% had BAC between .01 and .07g/dL
- Speeding - In 2008, 35% of all motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes were speeding
- Lack of Safety Training - 24% of all motorcyclists who died in a traffic collision were operating driving with an invalid license at the time of the accident
- Negligence of other drivers - 70% of motorcycle accidents are caused by other drivers failing to recognize motorcyclists
- Poor road and weather conditions
- Equipment failure
Some Tips for a Safe Ride
- Wear a helmet! Helmets are estimated to be 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle drivers and 41% for motorcycle passengers
- Never drink and drive!
- Obey the speed limit
- Learn tips and techniques for safe driving
- Stay informed of safety and traffic rules
- Be aware of weather conditions before you ride
- Wear proper clothing, eye and face protection
- Use ear plugs to reduce hearing damage from wind noise
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, the most important step in protecting your legal rights is to meet with a skilled and experienced attorney to discuss your case. Please call (404) 436-1LAW today to meet with me.