There’s no better feeling than hitting the open road on your motorcycle and taking in the beautiful North Carolina scenery as the wind gushes past you on a beautiful day.
Unfortunately, this adventure is becoming more dangerous. New research suggests that motorcyclists are at more risk than ever of being hurt or killed while riding in North Carolina. In fact, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), motorcyclist fatalities rose by 21% between 2017 and 2018.
In this blog, we explore this dangerous trend in motorcycle fatalities and explain what you can do to protect yourself on the road.
Motorcycling in North Carolina Is Riskier Than Ever
In 2018, 176 motorcyclists died on North Carolina roads. Some experts argue that an increase in ridership is to blame for the rise in North Carolina motorcycle crashes, but another critical factor is driver distraction. In 2018, distracted driving in some form was cited as a contributing factor in 4,523 crashes statewide. When asked about the cause of their accident, drivers who hit motorcyclists cited “not seeing them” as the most common reason for their negligence.
Motorcycles are smaller than cars, and when drivers are paying attention to their cell phone, radio, or cheeseburger rather than the road, it’s all too easy for a wreck to happen. Drivers can merge into a motorcycle rider, collide with them in an intersection, or sideswipe them when passing — all because the driver’s eyes aren’t on the road.
Tips for Motorcyclists to Stay Safe on North Carolina Roads
According to the NCDOT, the majority of motorcycle crashes happen during warmer months. The period between May and September is especially dangerous. And as spring and summer approach, more riders than ever will be on North Carolina roads.
But don’t hang up your helmet just because there’s more traffic on the road during this beautiful time of year. Instead, learn how to protect yourself and others.
- Be sure to double check intersections and slow as you approach. One of the most common motorcycle crashes occurs when cars turning left fail to check for other vehicles and collide with them.
- Avoid splitting lanes whenever possible. Lane splitting (navigating your bike between lanes of traffic) isn’t illegal in North Carolina, but it is still extremely dangerous.
- Always wear a motorcycle helmet and appropriate safety gear. In North Carolina, all riders and passengers must wear helmets, and we strongly recommend that bikers wear appropriate clothing, shoes, and protective gear.
- Understand your legal rights on the road. Motorcycles are vehicles too, and motorcyclists are afforded the same rights and responsibilities as any other driver. When you understand the law and your rights, you can protect yourself with confidence.
Motorcycle Safety Is Everyone’s Responsibility
Unfortunately, even the safest motorcycle riders who take every precaution can still fall victim to other drivers’ negligent actions. If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle crash because of another motorists’ irresponsible or reckless behavior, you could be eligible to receive compensation.
Contact an experienced North Carolina motorcycle crash attorney today to get a better understanding of your unique situation.
Myers Law Firm: Fighting for Motorcycle Crash Victims in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County
If you or someone you love has been hurt while riding a motorcycle in the Charlotte area, you need an experienced personal injury attorney on your side. At Myers Law Firm, safety is our top priority. When people like you get hurt in circumstances beyond their control, we fight to get them the justice they deserve.
If you have questions about your legal options or your case, please reach out today to schedule your free consultation. During our discussion, we’ll listen to your story and provide advice about your next steps and what to expect.
Kennedy, K. (2019, June 18). NCDOT: Motorcycle fatalities rose 21 percent in 2018. CBS 17. Retrieved from https://www.cbs17.com/news/local-news/ncdot-motorcycle-fatalities-rose-21-percent-in-2018/
North Carolina Department of Transportation. (2018). North Carolina 2018 traffic crash facts. North Carolina: North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles. Retrieved from https://connect.ncdot.gov/business/DMV/CrashFactsDocuments/2018%20Crash%20Facts.pdf
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.