Motorcycle fatalities rose 10% in 2015, a near all-time high, according to Consumer Reports.
With motorcycle-related deaths on the rise, these 10 surprising facts about motorcycle crashes could help keep you and your loved ones safe.
- Nearly two-thirds of multiple-vehicle accidents are caused by the other vehicle unintentionally violating the motorcycle’s right-of-way. More often than not, this is due to the other driver’s inability to see the oncoming motorcycle.If you are a motorcycle driver, one way to decrease your chances of being involved in a collision is to increase your visibility. Make yourself known to other drivers by using motorcycle headlamps during the day, wearing highly visible or reflective gear (such as bright yellow or orange jackets), and ensuring the front of your motorcycle is easy to see.
- Motorcycle drivers who don’t wear eye protection are more likely to be involved in wrecks. Unprotected eyes are more susceptible to wind, road debris, flying insects, and more, which can impair vision and delay response time. If you are a motorcycle driver who chooses not to wear a helmet (which is against the law here in North Carolina), you should, at minimum, wear eye protection.
- Contrary to popular belief, wearing a helmet does not impede a motorcycle driver’s vision or hearing. According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), helmets limit less than 3% of a motorcycle driver’s peripheral vision and have no negative impact on a driver’s ability to hear. The NHTSA also reports that wearing a helmet decreases the risk of dying in a motorcycle crash by 37%. Under North Carolina law, motorcycle drivers and passengers must wear a helmet and have the chin strap fastened.
- According to the Motorcycle Industry Council, fewer than half of motorcyclists today have completed formal motorcycle safety training, but were instead self-taught or learned from family or friends. Seeking out formal training is an excellent way to familiarize yourself with both the nuances of the laws governing motorcycle operation as well as unique safety concerns that motorcyclists face.
- An alarming number of all motorcycle accidents (92%) involve drivers who did not complete formal motorcycle safety training. These untrained motorcycle drivers are also less likely to wear helmets, which increases their risk of injury and death. (According to The National Highway Traffic Safety administration, wearing a helmet decreases the risk of dying in a motorcycle crash by 37%.)
- More motorcycle accidents occur during the first few minutes of short trips involving shopping, errands, or friends than during long journeys. It’s important to always stay alert and wear protective safety gear, even if your trip is a short one.
- Age plays a factor in motorcycle crashes. Riders between the ages of 20 and 29 as well as 50 to 59 year olds are most likely to be involved in motorcycle accidents. These numbers suggest that the lack of skill of new, inexperienced motorcycle drivers and the “rusty” skills of middle-aged motorcycle drivers who haven’t ridden in years may be a factor in many collisions.
- High–performance motorcycles are more likely to be involved in crashes. These motorcycles are built for racing but modified for highway use, and their high speeds can prove treacherous. Drivers of these “super cycles” are four times more likely to be involved in fatal accidents than drivers of standard motorcycles.
- Almost half of all fatal motorcycle accidents involve alcohol. Motorcycle riders under the influence show significant collision avoidance problems, such as over or under-braking and an inability to counter-steer or swerve effectively. While these facts may not be surprising, it bears repeating: never drink and drive, no matter what type of vehicle you’re operating.
- Less than 10% of motorcycle riders involved in accidents had insurance of any kind to provide medical care or replace damaged property. Oftentimes, this adds an overwhelming financial burden to an already stressful situation as you deal with your injuries after a crash.
The effects of a motorcycle accident can be devastating, and the legal system can be frustrating to navigate. If you or someone you know has been involved in a motorcycle accident, Myers Law Firm is here to help. We’ll handle your case aggressively and communicate with you at every turn about how your case is going and what you can expect next.
To schedule your free consultation, please call our Charlotte office toll-free at 1-888-376-ATTY (2889) or fill out and submit our online contact form. Statutes of limitations do apply to personal injury cases, so please don’t hesitate — reach out to us today.
Little known facts about motorcycle accidents. (2016). Hg.org. Retrieved from https://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=31124
Motorcycle helmets. (1996). National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Retrieved from https://tntrafficsafety.org/sites/default/files/motorcyclehelmets1.pdf
Motorcycles. (2016). Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute. Retrieved from http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/motorcycles/fatalityfacts/motorcycles#Alcohol-involvement
Rechtin, M. (2016, May 20). Motorcycle fatalities rose 10 percent in 2015. Consumer Reports. Retrieved from http://www.consumerreports.org/motorcycles-scooters/article-on-motorcycle-fatalities/