Motorcycle accidents are a startlingly frequent occurrence on the nation’s roads. In fact, almost 5,000 people died in motorcycle accidents in 2017. The fatality rate for motorcycles is 28 times higher than passenger vehicles, and according to the Governors Highway Safety Association, motorcyclists make up 14% of all motor vehicle-related fatalities nationwide. In Florida, 18% of traffic fatalities in 2014 were motorcyclists.
Contributing Factors in Motorcycle Accidents
There are multiple reasons that motorcycle accidents are more common and often more serious than crashes involving other types of motor vehicles. Alcohol impairment is a prominent factor in many crashes, and 25% of motorcyclists involved in fatal accidents in 2016 had a blood alcohol content (BAC) above the legal limit. Cell phones and other distractions can also make it harder for motorcyclists and drivers of passenger vehicles to stay focused, which puts riders at greater risk.
Another risk – and one that motorcyclists can’t control – is how drivers of other vehicles handle themselves on the road. Motorcyclists often report that drivers don’t notice them on the roadways or look for them when changing lanes. Reports have found that close to two-thirds of motorcycle accidents happen when a driver violates a rider’s right of way. As a result, motorcyclists are required to take evasive action to avoid crashes.
While many states have public education programs in place to remind drivers to watch out for motorcyclists, change is slow going, especially during a time when distracted driving is on the rise.
Tips for Staying Safe
While you can’t change how other people drive, you can take extra steps to protect yourself. Remaining vigilant can decrease your risk of being involved in a crash.
- Wear a Helmet. Using proper protective head gear, eyewear, and a face shield can protect you from head injuries during a crash.
- Ride Defensively. Assume that the cars around you don’t see you and aren’t paying attention. Remaining aware of their actions can help you take evasive action in time to avoid an accident.
- Follow All Traffic Rules and Pay Attention to Signs. Give yourself extra time to get to work, appointments, and other obligations.
- Attach Reflective Tape to Your Clothing. Reflective tape makes you more visible to drivers, especially if you’re driving at night.
- Stay Focused and Avoid Distractions. Don’t drive while under the influence or if you’re feeling drowsy. Focus your attention on the road, as well as the people around you.
- Keep Your Motorcycle in Top Condition. Get your motorcycle checked out by a licensed mechanic on a regular basis. Replace tires and perform other maintenance tasks as recommended.
Have You Been Involved in a Motorcycle Accident?
The effects of a motorcycle accident can last years, from the physical impact of the crash to the mental and emotional stress of its aftermath. Experienced representation is essential when motorcycle accidents affect you or someone you love. Call Fetterman & Associates at 561-845-2510 to discuss the specifics surrounding your accident, as well as a free evaluation of your case.