Although motorcycle accidents are on the decline, recent data shows there’s still a long way to go when it comes to ensuring total motorcyclist safety on America’s highways. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle fatality rates are 28 times higher than fatality rates from other vehicle accidents, and although negligent drivers frequently cause accidents with motorcycles, up to 33% of all fatal motorcycle accidents may be caused just by rider speeding alone.
At Hare Wynn, our motorcycle accident attorneys can take on personal injury cases nationwide, and we’re here to help with your serious injuries. If you believe that a negligent vehicle driver was responsible for your accident, or for the death of your loved one, it’s possible that you could be eligible for damages.
However, even the most diligent motorcycle riders need to keep safety at the top of their minds – and in this blog post, we’ll review some of the most important safety precautions you should take while riding a motorcycle.
Preventing Motorcycle Accident Fatalities
Motorcycle accidents have a number of causes, just like those accidents that involve only motor vehicles. However, what distinguishes motorcycle accidents most from these other varieties is their exceptionally high rate of fatality. By design, motorcyclists are more vulnerable to the elements than any vehicle driver, and yet many riders don’t realize that danger until it’s too late.
The Governors Highway Safety Association reports that more than 802 motorcyclist lives could have been saved in 2016, had the riders simply adhered to this one safety principle: Wearing a helmet. It may sound unbelievable, but observing this age-old safety precaution can truly save your life, especially in the first crucial moments of an accident.
Here are some other potentially life-saving safety precautions for motorcycle riders:
- Drive the speed limit. Many motorcycle riders love how freeing it can feel to zoom down the highway on their bike. Nevertheless, speeding is an all too common cause for motorcycle accidents, and higher speeds lead to higher risks of fatality. Sticking to the speed limit is always a good idea, and can save your life.
- Never drive under the influence. Alcohol impairment is one of the most common factors across all motor vehicle accidents. According to NHTSA, 25% of motorcycle riders who die in a crash are alcohol-impaired. While it can be tempting to get on your bike after only one beer, it’s never safe to drink and ride.
- Commit to learning new skills. Although popular culture paints most motorcycle riders as young, the truth is that many riders are older, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently found that 36% of motorcycle fatalities happen to riders aged 50 or over. If you’re a “re-entry rider” returning to your bike, make sure to spend lots of time practicing, and becoming familiar with the new challenges faced by motorcyclists.
- Put away your cell phone. Distracted driving affects everyone on the road, and after years of declining road fatalities, cell phones have slowly increased fatality rates in most areas. Because motorcycle driving requires so much focus and attention, it’s imperative that you put the phone away during your entire ride.
Representing Injured Motorcycle Riders Nationwide
Although passenger drivers are far more likely to cause motorcycle crashes than the riders, there are still many unfair assumptions and stereotypes out there about motorcyclists. That means vehicle drivers can use these biases to their advantage when fending off personal injury lawsuits in Birmingham.
However, if you were observing all applicable laws during the time of your crash, the negligent party may be legally responsible for your medical costs and treatments, and you have the right to seek compensation. At Hare Wynn, we’re dedicated to fighting for your rights in the event of an accident, and with more than 130 years of combined experience, we can give you the aggressive advocacy you need.
Call us today at 855-965-1688 to speak with a skilled motorcycle accident attorney!
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