According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics, nearly 100,000 motorcyclists were injured and 5,290 were killed in 2008, the last year for which figures are available.
Because motorcycles offer little protection in a crash, motorcycle accidents often result in catastrophic injuries and death. Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcycle riders are about 37 times more likely to die in an accident than passenger car occupants. As the number of motorcycles on the road increases, it is important for motorcycle riders to have a good understanding of how to protect themselves.
Although accidents do happen, there are some basic steps motorcyclists can follow to protect themselves on the road:
- Wear a properly fitting helmet with a full face guard. According to the NHTSA, helmets are 37 percent effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle operators and 41 percent effective for motorcycle passengers.
- Wear properly fitting, brightly colored personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves, a jacket, pants and boots made of leather, Cordura, Kevlar or other heavy material. Properly fitting PPE can help to prevent road rash and other serious injuries.
- Do not drink alcohol and ride. In 2008, 30 percent of all fatally injured motorcycle riders had blood alcohol concentrations of .08 or higher.
- Stay alert and watch other drivers carefully. Car and truck drivers often have difficulty seeing motorcycles on the road. Be prepared to avoid cars coming into your lane suddenly.
- Do not tailgate other vehicles or attempt to weave through traffic.
- Choose a motorcycle that fits your abilities. Do not ride a motorcycle that you are unable to maneuver without difficulty. Take the time to attend motorcycle training and to learn local laws governing motorcycles.
Following these safety tips can help assure your safety and increase the likelihood that you will continue to enjoy riding for years to come.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, experienced legal counsel is essential. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano can assess your case and help you recover the compensation you deserve. To learn more, visit our website at www.sgglaw.com.