Motorcyclists assume a much greater risk than other motorists every time they leave the driveway. A motorcycle’s small size and lack of enclosure make the rider more vulnerable to serious injury and death when involved in an accident. However, nothing compares to the freedom of the open road, and there is no better way to enjoy it than on a motorcycle. In honor of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, we are highlighting the many ways to make riding safe and enjoyable for everyone on the road.
Head Injuries and Helmets
Considering that head injuries are one of the most common motorcycle injuries, there is no safe time to ride without a helmet. Unfortunately, not everyone is paying attention. There are only 19 states with the “universal helmet law” that requires motorcyclists to wear a helmet. In 28 states, there are laws requiring only certain motorcyclists to wear a helmet. Illinois, Iowa, and New Hampshire have no helmet law to speak of. In 2011, there were a total of 677 motorcycle fatalities and 48,000 motorcycle injuries that involved other motor vehicles. The following statistics were taken from those 2011 figures.
- Approximately 8,000 of the injuries involved minors age 14 and younger
- Almost 75 percent of the fatal accidents involved head injuries
- More than 80 percent of the fatally injured were not wearing a helmet
- Approximately 80 percent of motorcycle accidents occur during daylight
The good news is that you have the choice to avoid becoming a statistic. Always wear your helmet. Motorcycle accidents are common, and injuries are much more likely to be fatal. Wearing a helmet significantly improves your chances of walking away from an accident.
Safe Riding Practices
Wearing a helmet is not the only way to utilize safe riding practices. There are many risk factors of riding that can be reduced or eliminated. First and foremost, understand that the small size of your motorcycle makes it harder for other motorists to see you. Leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles at all times.
Distracted driving is also a much greater concern than it used to be. As dangerous as it is, car and truck drivers are often texting, eating, changing the radio stations, or looking at their GPS. To drive safely, you must drive defensively. This is especially true for motorcycle riders. The following is a list of common causes of motorcycle accidents. Familiarize yourself with these dangerous situations and take proper precautions to reduce the risk to yourself and those you share the road with.
- Road hazards (potholes, icy or wet roads, dead animals, uneven pavement, debris)
- Excessive speed
- Lane splitting (driving between two lanes of traffic)
- DUI / DWI
- Cars making left-hand turns
- Distracted drivers
Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC | A Kentucky Motorcycle Accident Law Firm
At the Gladstein Law Firm, we know the dangers of inexperienced and irresponsible riding. However, we also understand the bias toward motorcycle riders. In many cases, the accident is the fault of the car or truck driver, not the rider. Our legal team has experience representing clients in every kind of motor vehicle injury case. We know the importance of education and safe riding practices for reducing injury and death. Call us today for a free consultation.