WFJ Presents: Motorcycle Safety
Below are some startling statistics regarding motorcycle crashes and some tips on how to increase your safety when riding. If you or someone you know is in a motorcycle crash, contact WFJ immediately to talk to an experienced personal injury attorney.
In 2013*, 4,668 motorcyclists died in the United States. It was down nearly 300 from the year before, but motorcycle fatalities have not drastically decreased in the last thirty years. In 2013, 55% of the motorcycle fatalities were to adults over 40 years old. 28% of the fatalities involved riders who were alcohol impaired at the time of the crash. It was estimated that wearing a helmet saved an additional 1,670 lives. If everyone in a motorcycle crash in 2013 wore a helmet, an extra 715 lives would have been saved.
One of the best ways to reduce motorcycle crash fatalities is for states to pass mandatory helmet laws. Take Florida and Louisiana for example. Both states repealed their mandatory helmet laws around the year 2000. After repealing the law, Florida saw an 81% increase in fatalities. Louisiana saw a 108% increase in fatalities! Louisiana reenacted the helmet law in 2004 and saw a significant drop in fatalities. Motorcyclists may not like it, but the helmet laws do save lives.
Some Safety Tips for Motorcyclists
- Wear a helmet. Wear a helmet! WEAR A HELMET!!!! According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), helmets are proven to be 37% effective at preventing fatalities to motorcycle drivers and 41% effective for passengers.
- Reduce alcohol impairment – NHTSA reports that in 2013 28% of motorcycle fatalities had a bac of .08 or higher. That is the highest impairment rate of all vehicles on the road.
- Reduce speeding – the most recent data shows 34% of motorcycle riders killed on the roads were speeding.
- Provide motorcycle operator training to all that need or want it – most states offer training programs, but some do not provide convenient times or locations for the riders to attend.
- Encourage all drivers to share the roads with motorcyclists
*These are the most recent comprehensive statistics available at this time.
Attorney Michael C. Demo