Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month May 14, 2022
Each year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recognizes Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. With summer about to begin and temperatures steadily rising, the NHTSA is preparing for more motorists, including motorcyclists, to flood the American roadways. With research showing that motorcyclists are significantly overrepresented in traffic fatalities and traffic crashes each year, the NHTSA’s campaign provides a sobering reminder to motor vehicle drivers and motorcyclists alike about how important it is to practice safe riding and driving practices in order to reduce deadly collisions.
The NHTSA’s Fact Sheet on Motorcycle Crashes
There are more than 8.2 million registered on-road motorcycles in the country. According to the NHTSA’s most recent data, there was an 11% increase in deadly motorcycle crashes from 2019 to 2020. Altogether, 5,579 motorcyclists were killed in traffic accidents that year. During that same year, more than 82,500 motorcyclists sustained crash-related injuries. Here are some other important facts that you should know about motorcycle crashes from the NHTSA:
- In 2020, motorcyclists accounted for 14% of all highway fatalities
- Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists are 28 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a crash and 4 times more likely to sustain injuries
- Motor cycle crashes happen more often on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays than on weekdays
- Motorcyclists age 55 and above represented nearly 30% of the fatalities in 2020
Safe motorcycling takes a lot of dedication and practice. Riders need to have coordination, to be able to stay balanced, and to use good judgement. But, even when people are cautious, accidents can still happen. Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to sustaining bodily injury due to how exposed they are to the many elements on the road: other vehicles, adverse weather conditions, posted signage, physical road conditions, and more. Some of the most common injuries that motorcyclists sustain in an accident include:
- Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs
- Spinal injuries, including paraplegia
- Broken ribs
- Broken or amputated limbs
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Facial disfigurement
According to the NHTSA, some of the top contributing factors to motorcycle accidents are speeding and alcohol impairment. In 2020, alcohol impairment was a factor in more motorcycle accidents than accidents that involved any other type of vehicle. Speeding, too, plays a significant role in motorcycle accidents. For example, 34% of motorcycle riders involved in a fatal crash in 2020 were speeding when the incident took place.
Safety Reminders for Motorcyclists and Passenger Vehicle Occupants
A major component of the NHTSA’s Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is to promote awareness on how everyone can help to keep motorcyclists safe. Motorcycle riders and passenger vehicle occupants need to be aware of their surroundings, and to always keep an eye out for each other on the nation’s roadways. Here are some other tips from the NHTSA on how to avoid a preventable accident:
- Obey all traffic laws
- Do not speed
- Do not drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- Avoid all distractions. Distractions include actions like using a cell phone, eating, drinking and using the GPS
- Drive – and ride – defensively
- Yield to motorcyclists, particularly when turning at intersections
- Wear high-visibility personal protective gear and a DOT-compliant helmet
- Motorcyclists should complete a rider education class along with a training course in order to ensure having a safer riding experience
Often, the injuries that people sustain in a motorcycle accident are so severe that they are life-changing. Along with these injuries, victims may also miss extended periods of time from work. Some accident victims require surgery, physical therapy, or other forms of long-term medical treatment and care. At Galfand Berger, our attorneys have been representing victims of motor vehicle accidents for decades. If you were involved in an accident and would like to speak with someone about filing a claim to recover damages for your injuries, someone at our firm can help. To learn more, contact a representative online now.
Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP, Representing Injured Victims Since 1947
If you have a question about filing a legal claim, contact the Philadelphia motorcycle accident lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP today. Call us at 800-222-USWA (8792) or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Allentown and Harrisburg.