Despite More Laws and Safety Awareness, Fatal Motorcycle Crashes Continue to Rise
Despite more states than ever having motorcycle helmet laws, there has been increased awareness through the years regarding motorcycle safety, and riders in every state are required to take a road skills test before getting their license, the number of fatal motorcycle crashes continues to rise.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Compared to accidents involving other vehicles, fatalities caused by motorcycle accidents are 28 times higher. Since 1997, the number of motorcycle-related fatalities has more than doubled.
Nearly half of all motorcycle deaths happen on the weekends, with most happening after 6:00 p.m. Most motorcyclists who die are over the age of 40.
There are many reasons that motorcycle accidents occur. The main reason is that due to their smaller size, motorcycles are harder to see. Also, motorists don’t pay enough attention when sharing the road with motorcyclists.
These factors play a part in some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents, which include:
- Head-on collisions with a motor vehicle
- Motorcyclists engage in lane splitting, where they drive between lanes
- A motorcycle hits a fixed object
- Motorcyclist is riding in inclement weather
- Motorcyclist is riding recklessly or going too fast
Another common reason for motorcycle accidents happens when a motorist makes a left turn without seeing a motorcycle. This is what caused the worst motorcycle accident in history when the driver of a truck hauling a trailer filled with cars made a left-hand turn into a group of motorcyclists on a highway in New Hampshire. The accident left seven bikers dead and three others injured.
Despite the fact that many responsible motorcycle drivers wear helmets, the rest of the body is not protected. Additionally, because motorcycles are compact, they are difficult to spot and are easily hidden in blind spots. For these reasons, motorcycle accidents are the most deadly types of crashes on the road.
Besides death, serious injury can occur as a result of a motorcycle accident. These injuries include traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, and spinal cord injuries.
Preventing Motorcycle Crashes
Motorcycle crashes can’t always be prevented, especially if other motorists are at fault. However, fatalities involving motorcycle accidents have a higher chance of being prevented if motorcyclists obey traffic laws and practice defensive riding, wear appropriate riding gear, wear a helmet, and use headlights during the day.
Automobile drivers need to slow down, understand that they are sharing the road with motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians who do not have the same protections they do and be aware of their surroundings at all times.