Motorcycles Can Be Great Fun; But Be Careful!
March 4th, 2016
Experienced and Compassionate Attorneys Serving Motorcycle Victims across RI & MA
While motorcycles make for lots of fun, unfortunately, they can be deadly. According to a study published last year by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 4,500 persons are killed in motorcycle accidents each year. According to NHTSA, the statistics have improved a bit in recent years; the number of persons injured and killed peaked around 2007 and 2008, but has fallen slightly since that time.
Alcohol Involved in Far Too Many Accidents
As is the case with automobile accidents, alcohol often plays a role in fatal motorcycle accidents. The NHTSA study included a number of important findings (based on statistics gathered for calendar year 2013), including the following:
- A motorcycle driver or rider is some 26 times more likely to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled than an occupant of a passenger car.
- Motorcycle drivers involved in fatal crashes have the highest percentage of alcohol-impaired drivers than any other vehicle type (27 percent for motorcycles, 23 percent for passenger cars, 21 percent for light trucks, and 2 percent for large trucks).
- 40 percent of motorcycle riders killed in single-vehicle crashes were alcohol-impaired.
- Motorcycle riders killed at night were almost four times more frequently alcohol-impaired than those killed in the day.
Fatalities in MA and RI Comparable to Other States
Indeed, the study reported that in Massachusetts, 39 persons were killed in motorcycle accidents in 2013. Forty-four percent had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) greater than 0.08, the legal limit. During the same period, 11 were killed in Rhode Island. Forty-nine percent of the motorcycle drivers had a BAC greater than 0.08.
With Care, Motorcycles Can Be Relatively Safe
In some respects, the opportunity for safety comes as standard equipment with most motorcycles. That is to say: A properly maintained motorcycle has powerful brakes and is quite maneuverable. While the driver is exposed, that same level of exposure produces obstruction-free vision.
If you want to avoid becoming a fatal statistic, here are some thoughts:
- Wear a helmet. According to the NHTSA, they saved 1,630 motorcyclists’ lives in 2013; more than 715 persons more could have been saved if all motorcyclists wore helmets. In states without universal helmet laws, 59 percent of motorcyclists killed were not wearing helmets, as compared to eight percent in states with universal helmet laws.
- Get some good training and education. Some advanced courses are offered at many racetracks. The tuition can be a lot less expensive than a long hospital stay (or worse).
- Wear bright colors. This can help improve your and your motorcycle’s visibility for other drivers around you.
- Be on the lookout at all times. One of the most common motorcycle accidents occurs when the driver of a car fails to see you and turns left in front of you. Be aware that drivers are watching for oncoming cars; their brains may fail to register the presence of a motorcycle.
- Drive within your skill and conditions. Drive only as fast “as you can see.” Use visual clues like telephone poles and signs to judge a road’s direction. There is nothing worse than cresting a hill, only to realize the road veers left or right.
- Be aware of “lane changers” around you. It is easy to find yourself on your motorcycle, but in a driver’s blind spot.
Have You Been in a Motorcycle Accident?
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you need skillful, energetic, and experienced attorneys to help you prepare your case. The injury lawyers at Bottaro Law Firm have the resources to investigate the accident and fight to protect your legal rights. We pursue our cases at no cost to the client until we win. We can also help you – without charge – obtain top dollar for the damage to your bike. Remember that delay can harm your case. For a free consultation, give us a call at 866-529-9700, or complete this convenient online contact form.