Dangers of Operating a Motorcycle
Motor vehicle accidents: cars, trucks and motorcycles, are the leading cause of injury and death in the United States. Improved vehicle safety and the advent of seat belts have significantly reduced deaths as an overall percentage of injuries sustained in accidents. Unfortunately for motorcycles, the design and safety features have not improved over the years, as a result motorcycle drivers are exposed to the same dangers of death and serious injury in a crash as they faced decades ago.
Every experienced motorcyclist knows of the constant dangers associated with operating a motorcycle or moped on our streets and highways in the United States. In fact, every time a motorcyclist gets on his or her bike, the odds of getting into an accident and being seriously injured go up significantly. Road congestion, coupled with poor automobile driving habits, is making our roads very dangerous places to drive. Every driver on our roads today is at an increased risk of being involved in an accident and experiencing bodily injury and sometimes death. Not all serious motorcycle injuries that occur are the fault of automobile, truck and semi-truck drivers. Rather many accidents are the result of poor motorcyclists driving.
Some of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents and death are the fault of the motorcyclists themselves. Motorcyclists causing their own accidents are usually the result of one or more of the following factors: speeding; weaving in and out of traffic; improper lane changing and signaling; driving at high rates of speed in unsafe traffic conditions; failing to use caution at intersections; improper turning; driving in other’s blind spots for extended periods of time; and losing control of the motorcycle. Additionally, road and weather conditions, improper proper motorcycle maintenance, worn tires, non-operating turn signals and malfunctioning brakes all contribute to increasing the risk of accidents and injuries.
Disturbing statistics on motorcycle accidents in 2015
Size really matters…..
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, between 1997 and 2015, motorcycle deaths have more than doubled and the latest statistics show in 2014 that over 92,000 motorcycle injuries occurred with almost 4600 deaths to cyclists and motorcycle passengers. Interestingly, the size of the motorcycle has a direct correlation to the amount of deaths. It is estimated that over 30% of all motorcycle drivers killed in 2014 alone drove motorcycles with engine sizes of 1400cc or larger. Supersport, Cruisers and Touring motorcycles accounted for almost 70% of all fatal crashes. Consequently as the size of the engines increased, so did the number of injuries and deaths.
When and Where do Motorcycle Fatalities Occur
According to The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, there are alarming statistics on motorcycle fatalities that occurred in 2014. The overwhelming majority of Motorcycle Fatalities occurred between May and September, with February recording the lowest monthly death totals. Weekends, with just over 57%, had higher death rate totals than weekdays and the majority of motorcycle accidents resulting in death occurred after 6pm. Roadways, other than interstate and freeways, accounted for 57% of all motorcycle fatalities. Urban settings accounted for 55% of death cases verses 44% occurring in rural areas. Alcohol and drug related fatalities accounted for 30% of the deaths and 55% of these motorcycle deaths that happened at night, between the hours of 9pm and 6am, had (BAC) blood alcohol content levels over the legal limit of 0.08%.
How can we reduce death totals
In 2014, just over 62% of fatally injured motorcycle drivers were helmeted. For people killed as motorcycle passengers, only 53% wore helmets. Almost 35% of all motorcycle fatalities occurred to unhelmeted motorcyclists.
Statistics show that in states where motorcycle helmets are required, 91% of all fatally injured motorcyclists and their passengers were helmeted. In states where helmet laws don’t require their usage, only 40% of fatally injured motorcyclists were helmeted.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Pensacola FL
If you or a loved one have been injured or someone died as a result of a motorcycle accident, you need the advice of a motorcycle accident lawyer. Artie Shimek is a personal injury specialist who has represented motorcycle accident victims and their families for over 28 years. He understands the issues involved in motorcycle accident cases and how insurance companies operate. Artie has represented over 1700 clients and recovered over 110 million dollars in settlements. Give Artie and his knowledgeable staff a call at 850-434-7995.