Although motorcycle riders have the same privileges and rights as automobile drivers, they aren’t always respected on the roadways. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) “Share the Road with Motorcycles” campaign is trying to spread the word about motorcycle safety and awareness. Motorcycle riders don’t have the safety benefits of steel cages, side-curtain airbags or seat belts. They are at the mercy of other drivers on the road. Even when riders wear protective gear, they can still become seriously or fatally injured in crashes. Sharing the road is an important part of keeping riders and drivers in Boston safe.
Share the Road
Motorcyclists absolutely must be treated with respect. Drivers need to have an understanding of the safety limitations involved with riding motorcycles. Additionally, motorcycles don’t handle roadway issues like larger passenger occupant automobiles do. A little debris in the roadway can be a deadly serious problem for a rider. Riders need extra room to maneuver around pot holes and other obstacles in the road. It’s also critical for drivers to “look twice” for motorcycles. Motorcycles are much smaller than cars, and some drivers will overlook them. Looking twice and checking blind spots are two great ways to keep riders safe.
Motorcycle Crash Statistics
• Between 2001 and 2008, over 34,000 motorcycle riders were killed.
• In that same time period, an estimated 1,222,000 people were treated for non-fatal-motorcycle-related injuries.
• 20 to 24 year olds had the highest death and injury rates.
• Over half of nonfatal injuries were to the leg and feet or head and neck.
• From 2001 to 2008, the motorcycle rider death rate increased by 55 percent.
• In 2011, 60 percent of all fatally injured riders and 49 percent of all fatally injured passengers were not wearing helmets at the time of the crash.
• The NHTSA estimates that helmets saved 1,617 riders in 2011.
• Over the past ten years, the age group with the largest increase in rider fatalities has been the 40-years and older age group.
Riders can take a number of measures to increase their safety. It’s important to remember that even when all of the safety precautions are taken, one distracted driver can ruin it all. Even with helmets, boots and gloves, riders are still vulnerable to devastating and fatal injuries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a number of tips for riding safely.
Riding Safely Tips
• Always wear a DOT approved helmet.
• Never drink and ride.
• Don’t let friends drink and ride.
• Wear protective safety gear.
• Wear high visibility clothing or reflective gear.
• Don’t tailgate.
• Exercise additional caution when riding over slippery surfaces or gravel.
• Maintain a safe speed at all times.
What to Do After a Wreck
Since riders are at an increased risk for serious and fatal injuries, many motorcycle accidents end in death. If you have lost a loved one in a motorcycle crash, contact an experienced Boston personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Even when all of the proper safety precautions are being taken, riders can still get hurt. Drivers need to “look twice” and “share the road.” If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact the experienced Massachusetts personal injury attorneys at Altman & Altman, LLP for a free consultation today.