May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
April 17, 2019
Remember that May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. As any experienced rider will tell you, motorcycles offer far less protection and are less visible and stable than other motor vehicles. In fact, the federal government estimates that motorcyclists are at least 6 times as likely to be injured as drivers of other vehicles. This May, take some time to brush up on motorcycle safety tips and learn how to take precautions that help everyone stay safe on the road.
Motorcycle Safety: Fast Facts
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) reported 5,172 motorcycle fatalities in 2017. The fatalities accounted for 14% of all motor vehicle-related crash deaths that same year, and the numbers were more than two-times as high as they were in 1997. Here is more DOT data on motorcycle crashes:
- 31% of fatally injured motorcycle drivers in 2017 were unlicensed;
- 62% of motorcycle deaths happened in multiple vehicle collisions, and:
- 38% of motorcycle deaths occurred in single-vehicle crashes
Certain people are at a higher risk for motorcycle crash-related injuries, such as individuals under 30-years-old or riders above 50. Men are killed in motorcycle vehicle crashes at a much higher rate than female motorcyclists. Altogether, more than 90% of motorcycle deaths are males. When it comes to motorcycle passenger deaths, female motorcyclists account for 91% of the total number of all passenger fatalities.
One major risk factor for fatal motorcycle-related injuries is not wearing a helmet. Motorcyclists who do not wear helmets are also more vulnerable to serious and traumatic head and brain injuries. According to the DOT, only 61% of fatally injured motorcycle drivers in 2017 were wearing helmets, and only 39% of people who lost their lives as passengers were.
Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month And Safety Tips
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that helmets save nearly 2,000 men and women from fatal motorcycle accidents every year. Overall, helmets can reduce the risk of death by 37% and the risk of head injury by nearly 70%.
Here are a few other motorcycle safety tips:
- If you must ride in poor weather conditions, make sure you have the right gear (e.g. jacket, goggles, helmet shield). Riders should drive at slower speeds in the rain, and may want to consider stopping altogether if it is heavy;
- Always wear a helmet and require passengers to do so as well;
- Always obey all traffic laws and ride defensively. Motorcyclists can be particularly difficult to see, so it is critical to stay away from driver’s blind spots, and:
- Drivers who are not familiar with their motorcycle or its controls should avoid riding until they learn.
Although this Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is a good excuse to learn more about motorcycle safety, every day is a good time to look out for one another. Drivers should always keep an eye out for motorcyclists and give them plenty of room on the road. Even though accidents happen, many of them are preventable. If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident and you would like to speak with an attorney about your injuries, please call our firm directly.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Represent Motorcycle Accident Victims
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, please contact our Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at Galfand Berger. With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Reading, and Lancaster, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.