May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and, with the sun shining and the temperature perfectly pleasant, it's no mystery why this time of year inspires countless motorcyclists to take to the road. Unfortunately, more motorcycles on the road can result in an increase in serious traffic accidents. The following statistics and safety tips can help you and your loved ones stay safe on the road.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
- Motorcycle accidents injured 92,000 and killed 4,586 people in 2014, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
- In 2013, motorcycle accidents accounted for 15 percent of all traffic accident-related fatalities.
- Motorcyclists are 39 times more likely to die in a crash than the occupants of passenger vehicles.
Safety Tips for Motorists
According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, accidents involving motorcycles are often caused by the drivers of cars, trucks, or SUVs rather than the motorcyclists. Because of its smaller profile, a motorcycle can be difficult to spot on the road. The following safety tips may help:
- Never drive distracted. Focus all your attention on piloting the vehicle and make a conscious effort to watch for motorcycles. Don't forget to check your blind spots!
- Give motorcycles plenty of space. Motorcycles maneuver differently than other vehicles and it can be difficult for drivers to accurately gauge their distance or stopping speeds.
- Don't automatically trust a motorcycle's turn signal. These signals are rarely self-canceling and the motorcyclist may simply have forgotten to turn it off.
- Understand that motorcycles may shift position in their line. This is often to avoid debris, potholes, or to minimize the effects of wind.
Safety Tips for Motorcyclists
Having far less protection than the drivers and occupants of traditional vehicles, it is imperative that motorcyclists to do their part to stay safe on the road. These tips can help:
- Obey all traffic laws and signage, and never drive while distracted, drowsy, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Avoid riding in inclement weather. This can cause the maneuvering of the motorcycle to become increasingly dangerous and difficult.
- Always use turn signals and make every effort to remember to turn them off after completing a turn. Hand signals are another way of letting motorists know your intentions.
- Keep your motorcycle well maintained to avoid mechanical problems on the road.
Were You Injured in an Accident?
If you were injured in a traffic accident, you may be left with a great deal of unexpected debt due to medical bills and property damage. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney to determine if it's possible for you to pursue compensation for damages. The injury recovery professionals with Steinberg Injury Law are standing by to answer your questions.