Share the Road
As a personal injury attorney who has represented countless motorcyclists, I know how devastating motorcycle wrecks can be. It only takes an instant for everything to change. Unlike drivers, motorcyclists don’t have the frame of a car to protect them in a wreck. They also aren’t as visible to drivers – both because most drivers aren’t in the habit of looking twice for motorcyclists, and because motorcycles are less easy to spot – which leads to serious wrecks.
This month, let’s remind us all to share the road with motorcycles. Be alert, look twice and help keep motorcyclists safe. Similarly to all motorcyclist, keep yourself safe! Make sure you remain visible to other drivers and share the road, too.
The Five Biggest Dangers to Motorcyclists on the Road
Cars Waiting to Turn
Intersections are very dangerous for motorcyclists. Often, collisions happen when a car pulls out in front of them. Drivers should avoid intersection wrecks by putting down their cell phones and paying close attention to what’s going on around them. The extra vigilance could save a life.
Opening Car Doors
Drivers don’t always remember to look, or if they do, they aren’t looking for motorcyclists. Though this has long been a problem for bicyclists, motorcyclists face the same issue – and tend to hit open doors at faster speeds, causing worse injuries.
Cars Changing Lanes
Blind spots pose serious problems for motorcyclists, but that’s not the whole story. Drivers change lanes while distracted or without looking and can easily drive into a motorcyclist. When a car changes lanes into a motorcycle, it’s almost always the motorcyclist who loses.
Decreased visibility increases distractions and decreases reaction and stop times. Both of these things increase the chance of a wreck.
Slow Moving Traffic
It’s easy to think that high highway speeds are the most dangerous, but that’s not always the case. Slow moving traffic where cars are close to each other might be more dangerous than high speed traffic. When vehicles bunch together, all it takes is a driver getting distracted for a second to knock a rider off of their bike and into traffic.
Motorcyclists and Drunk Driving
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), intoxicated motorcycle riders are more likely to suffer a fatal accident than drunk drivers. Similarly, intoxicated motorcyclists are more likely to wreck in the first place. Drunk riding is drunk driving. It’s important that motorcyclists don’t ever drink and ride.
Crash Facts and Statistics
Motorcycle helmets do not interfere with the rider’s vision or hearing.
In 2014, 4,586 people died in motorcycle crashes, down 2.3 percent from 2013 (NHTSA).
The number of motorcyclists injured in wrecks went up 4.5 percent in 2013 to 92,000 motorcyclists.
Motorcyclists are about 26 times more likely to die in a wreck than a driver.
There are approximately 8.4 million motorcycles on the road.
Motorcyclists over the age of 55 account for more than half of all fatal wrecks. Similarly, riders over this age tend to sustain more injuries than younger riders. According to research from Brown University, declines in vision and reaction time account for this.
Drive safe, look twice and ride sober!