With spring quickly turning into summer, it is motorcycle season. It is especially appropriate, then, that May has been designated Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month by groups like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The goal of the month-long campaign is to raise awareness about the problems motorcyclists face on the road and to discuss what each of us can do to improve safety. In today’s post, we’ll share some basic but important information about motorcycle accidents and injuries.
Motorcycle Accidents Are Almost Always More Serious Than Car Accidents
Motorcycles are much smaller and lighter than cars and trucks, and they offer no external protection to riders. Because of these factors, crashes that might be considered minor in a car are often catastrophic or deadly to motorcyclists. Riders are also more likely to suffer serious and disabling bodily harm in the form of traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord and neck injuries and paralysis.
Although riders should always protect themselves by wearing a helmet and appropriate riding gear, these items alone will not do enough to protect motorcyclists in the event of a crash. That’s why crash prevention is every traveler’s job and should always be the goal.
Many Motorcycle Accidents Caused By Simple Driver Inattention
Because motorcycles are smaller, it is difficult for drivers of larger vehicles to accurately judge how far away a motorcyclist is and how fast he is traveling. And in many cases, drivers fail to notice motorcyclists altogether, leading to collisions while passing, changing lanes, turning left and other basic maneuvers.
The phrase “start seeing motorcycles” has layers of meaning, and it is a message that all of us should heed.
Statistics Are Grim, But We Can All Make A Difference
In a side-by-side comparison of vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclists involved in a crash are five times more likely to be injured than occupants of larger vehicles, and 27 times more likely to be killed. Motorcycles make up just 3 percent of registered vehicles in the United States, yet motorcyclists account for almost 14 percent of traffic deaths.
Whether you ride or drive, please remember that we all need to share the road. And the larger your vehicle, the more you need to keep an eye out for others who may be more vulnerable in the event of a crash.
If you are a motorcyclist who has been injured by a negligent driver, you should take the time to understand all of your rights and legal options. Please speak with an experienced personal injury attorney here in Louisville or wherever you happen to live.