How to stay safe as motorcycle accidents continue to rise
This article looks at why motorcycle fatalities are rising and what riders can do to stay safe.
Riding a motorcycle can be a dangerous activity, especially given that bikers who are involved in a collision are much more likely to be seriously injured or killed than drivers who are relatively protected within the confines of a car or truck. In fact, as CBS News reports, fatal motorcycle accidents have been rising across the country, with low gas prices, an improving economy, and the growing popularity of motorcycles among older riders all contributing to the climb. However, motorcyclists can take steps to protect themselves when out on the road so that they do not become another statistic.
Motorcycle deaths rising
Motorcycle deaths in 2015 across the nation exceeded 5,000, the first time they had done so since 2008. That figure was up by 450 from the number of motorcycle fatalities in 2014. Furthermore, middle-aged men are now far more likely to be killed in a motorcycle accident today than in the recent past. As the Richmond Register points out, in 1982 just three percent of motorcycle fatalities involved a rider who was over 50, but by 2014 that figure had soared to 36 percent.
Low fuel prices and an improving economy are both contributing to the rise as both factors enable people to ride for longer and more often. Furthermore, as Baby Boomers enter retirement many of them are choosing to enjoy that retirement by getting back on their bikes. The problem, however, is that for many middle-aged people riding a motorcycle may be something they are unfamiliar with or may be a hobby they have been out of practice with since their younger days.
Staying safe while riding
Whether for new or experienced riders, it never hurts to brush up on safety advice for being out on the road. One of the best things riders can do is wear a helmet, which significantly reduces the likelihood that one will be seriously injured or killed in an accident. Furthermore, because motorcycles are much smaller than most other vehicles on the road, they can be harder to spot for other motorists. As such, motorcyclists should wear reflective clothing, particularly at night, and should ensure that all signal lighting is working properly. Additionally, installing enhanced lighting on one’s motorcycle is also a good idea. Enhanced lighting not only makes one more visible to other motorists, but it also helps reduce one’s liability if an accident does happen.
Personal injury law
Motorcyclists should know that if they are involved in an accident that help is available. In many cases involving car and motorcycle collisions it is the driver of the car who is at fault. A personal injury attorney can assist motorcyclists who have been hurt in a crash in a number of ways, including by helping them pursue compensation especially if the crash was caused by another driver’s recklessness or negligence.