The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is always striving to improve motorcyclist safety. One way in which this organization spreads awareness is through National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Motorcycles are some of the most vulnerable vehicles on the road. Motorcyclist fatalities occur 28 times as often than other motorist deaths, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This May, honor the lives of those who have lost their lives in motorcycle accidents by learning how to improve motorcycle safety – no matter what type of vehicle you drive.
How Important Is Motorcycle Safety?
The statistics regarding motorcycle accidents are a frightening look into the dangers motorcyclists face daily. In 2016, 5,286 motorcyclists in the U.S. lost their lives in traffic accidents. This was a 5.1% increase from 2015. Motorcyclists made up 14% of all traffic fatalities in 2016. The majority (94%) of deceased motorcyclists were riders, rather than passengers. In 2015, 88,000 motorcyclists suffered serious injuries in wrecks. This was a rate of 1,028 injuries per 100,000 registered vehicles.
Per registered vehicles, the death toll for motorcyclists was six times the rate for passenger vehicle occupants in 2016. Motorcyclist fatalities occur more often due to rider vulnerability. Even with a helmet, a motorcyclist could suffer severe injuries to the head, brain, neck, spine, and internal organs in a collision. Motorcycle safety is so important because even a collision that is minor in nature could permanently injure a vulnerable motorcyclist. Practicing motorcycle safety is the key to preventing serious injuries, permanent disabilities, and deaths.
Avoiding Motorcycle Accidents in Florida
Distracted and negligent drivers cause a large percentage of fatal motorcycle accidents. In 2017, 3,166 people died because of distracted drivers. Many of these victims were motorcyclists. If you drive a passenger vehicle, it is your legal duty to pay attention to the road, obey traffic laws, and watch for motorcyclists. Texting and driving or engaging in other dangerous behavior could cost a motorcyclist his or her life. Put the phone down, keep your eyes on the road, and look twice for oncoming motorcycles. Safe driving saves lives.
If you are a motorcyclist, you have the power to prevent collisions. In 2016, 37% of motorcyclists who died in accidents were under the influence of alcohol. Another 27% were operating without valid motorcycle licenses. It is up to you to obtain the proper training and license, obey posted speed limits, and to never drink and ride. Wearing a helmet can also reduce your risk of fatal injury if you do get into a crash. In 2016, 802 motorcyclists likely would have survived had they been wearing helmets.
Protecting a Motorcyclist’s Rights After a Collision
Motorcycle accidents happen every day in Florida. Participating in Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month can inspire a change for the future. If you or someone you love has recently been in a motorcycle accident in Jacksonville, the attorneys at Harrell and Harrell, P.A can help. Standing up for motorcyclist rights during a personal injury claim takes help from an attorney. Contact us to speak to a lawyer during a free consultation if you believe you have a case.