The weather is really heating up across the country and it’s bringing many riders out to enjoy a sunny, open-air ride on their motorcycles. The summer months also bring an increase in motorcycle crashes and motorcycle fatalities. There is news of motorcycle accidents and fatalities almost daily in Pennsylvania and throughout the country.
Just last week, a motorcycle rider was killed in a motorcycle crash on White Haven Road in Bear Creek Twp., PA. The 27-year-old man lost control of his motorcycle, struck a guardrail and was thrown from his bike. A quick scan of the news just this week found motorcycle fatalities on I83 in York County, Pennsylvania and across the country in Jackson, Chicago, Detroit and Kansas City. These tragic losses of life are a stark reminder of just how vulnerable a motorcycle rider is when a crash occurs.
Motorcycle Crash Statistics
Motorcycle accident statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Safety Administration found that in 2013 4,668 people lost their lives on motorcycles and 88,000 people were in injured. Motorcyclists were about 26 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled and five times more likely to be injured.
Alcohol also plays a major factor in motorcycle accidents. The NHTSA found that of the 4,668 motorcycle crash deaths, 1,296 involved an alcohol-impaired driver. Another startling motorcycle crash statistic involved the use of motorcycle helmets when riding. There were 11 times as many unhelmeted motorcycle fatalities in states without universal helmet laws as in states with universal helmet laws. Motorcycle riders already lack protection in the event of a motorcycle-car crash or a motorcycle-truck crash, when they are not wearing a helmet, the motorcycle accident is often fatal. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found traumatic brain injury to be a leading cause of motorcycle crash deaths. Even when the injury does not result in death, traumatic brain injuries can be debilitating and mean a lifetime of rehabilitation for the motorcycle accident victim. The CDC said that wearing helmets is the single most effective means of reducing the number of motorcycle crash injuries and deaths.
10 Tips to Avoid a Motorcycle Accident
- Always wear a helmet: The proper, department of transportation approved headgear is imperative for protection from head injuries.
- Dress for protection: Wear eye protection and clothing to protect your arms and legs. Wear glove and footwear that provides ankle and foot protection. It may be hot driving in the summer, but you need to cover up for safety.
- Be Visible: Use reflective decals on your motorcycle and helmet. Wear bright clothes that can be easily seen by other drivers. Try to stay out of vehicle blind spots, especially trucks. Use your headlight, even when driving during the day.
- Make sure your motorcycle is in proper working order: Do a check of the bike before riding.
- Obey the speed limit: Speeding often results in crashes
- Follow the rules of the road: Use the proper signals when turning and do not weave in and out of traffic or tailgate other vehicles.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Be aware of the weather: Do not drive during heavy rain or thunderstorms. Your visibility will be impaired, your motorcycle will be much less visible to other drivers and roads will be slick and dangerous.
- Be aware of the vehicles around you: Avoid distractions. Never assume other drivers see you and be cautious when passing or driving near other vehicles. Don’t make any sudden moves and be aware of other drivers making sudden moves.
- Take a safety course: Be sure to learn how to properly operate your motorcycle before getting out on the road. There are motorcycle safety classes available that will give you necessary riding skills. Be sure to practice in a safe area before driving in heavy traffic. Also, be sure to educate your passengers on safe riding.
The personal injury and motorcycle attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli in Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre are committed to providing information to help prevent accidents and save lives. For motorcycle enthusiasts, we just want to ensure you have both a fun and a safe riding season.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident, call the motorcycle injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli. We can help you get the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, call our motorcycle crash attorneys in Philadelphia at 215-575-9237 or talk to a motorcycle accident lawyer in Wilkes-Barre at 570-714-HURT.
With more than 40 years of combined experience, the personal injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli strive to provide the best service to clients in Philadelphia, Northeast Pennsylvania, and throughout the Keystone State.