A newly released Governor’s Highway Safety Association report notes that motorcycle rider fatalities were up 10% in 2015 compared to the year before. Just as alarming, while motorcycles are only 3% of all registered vehicles in the US and travel only 1% of all of the vehicle miles in the country, they account for 15% of vehicle deaths.
If you or a loved one is a motorcycle enthusiast, be sure to follow these simple safety tips that can prevent you from being seriously injured or killed in a motorcycle crash:
- Wear a good helmet. All helmets that are approved by the Department of Transportation have to meet standard safety criteria and maximize your chances of surviving a crash. While 32 states do not require motorcyclists to wear helmets, it is foolish to not wear one. The National Highway Safety Administration shows that more neck and head injuries occur when no helmet is worn.
- Buy anti-lock brakes. Anti-lock brakes prevent brakes from locking up and can help you maintain control in a sudden braking situation. As personal injury attorneys in Virginia, we have seen many terrible motorcycle accidents where a driver pulled out in front of a biker. Anti-lock brakes can prevent some of these tragedies. Anti-lock brakes allow you to brake hard but still allow you to maintain control so you do not fall.
- Get a license. Riders with no license account for 25% of fatalities on motorcycles. It goes without saying that you should be licensed so that you can drive safely. There is very little margin for error on a motorcycle, so get your license and practice your driving skills in lightly trafficked areas.
Our experience as motorcycle accident attorneys has shown us that very serious accidents occur to experienced bikers who follow all of the above recommendations. So it is very important for all motorcyclists to be sure they follow all safety rules so they can avoid serious accidents.
We represented a client in 2013 who was riding on the back of a friend’s motorcycle. A college student was driving a car and pulled into the path of our client, never having seen the bike. The bike driver was experienced and was able to move onto the shoulder but he ran off into the grass and hit a culvert, which threw the driver and passenger from the bike.
She suffered major injuries, including a C-7 neck fracture, rib fractures and several abdominal injuries. Also, she developed constant nausea that made her lose a lot of weight. All of these injuries were devastating to her and took her months of recovery. We were able to show through a detailed medical cost projection what she would have to spend for her care for the rest of her life. A $1 million settlement was negotiated that at least provided her with the funds to give her the care she needs.