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Motorcycle Crashes By the Numbers — Safety Tips for Avoiding a Motorcycle Accident

Motorcycle riding carries with it the idea of the thrill of adventure and freedom. However, the vehicles themselves do not have any protection for the rider and passenger in an accident. Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that deaths from motorcycle crashes were down in 2013, there were still 4,668 deaths. Out of the 8.5 million motorcycles on the road, 88,000 motorcyclists were injured, a number that is also down 5.4% from 2012.

The Journal of Injury Prevention noted that older riders tend to sustain more injuries than younger riders. The higher rate of death in older drivers might be attributed to several factors, including the decline in vision, decreased reaction time and the tendency for the larger-sized bikes that older riders prefer to roll over. Older riders, according to study data, were two and a half times more likely to sustain serious injuries in a motorcycle crash.

In 2012, 27 percent of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes had a B.A.C. of over 0.08 percent, which is the national limit for drunk driving. In the same year, 34 percent of motorcycle riders involved in an accident were speeding, and 24 percent of drivers involved in fatal crashes were driving without a license. Helmet use in motorcycle drivers who had at least a B.A.C of 0.08 percent and were involved in a fatal crash was 45 percent, as opposed to 66 percent for those who had no measurable blood alcohol content according to the NHTSA.

The numbers show that a large percentage of fatal motorcycle crashes can be prevented by following some basic safety measures. The behavioral choices of the above-mentioned motorcycle drivers who were involved in fatal crashes contributed in some portion to their deaths.

The NHTSA has published a booklet with safety tips for motorcycle riders. The most basic recommendation is to get a motorcycle license and safety training. The lack of driver training can contribute to accidents.

Consumer Reports lists the following ten tips for staying safe on a motorcycle:

  1. Don’t buy a bigger motorcycle than you can handle.
  2. Invest in anti-lock brakes.
  3. Practice and keep your skills sharp.
  4. Wear a helmet.
  5. Wear protective clothing.
  6. Drive defensively and maintain a safe following distance.
  7. Avoid riding in bad weather conditions.
  8. Keep an eye out for hazards in the road.
  9. Do a quick safety inspection of your bike before you take a ride.
  10. Don’t drink and drive and obey posted speed limits.

Some accidents are unavoidable, but to the extent that it is in the motorcycle driver’s power, paying close attention to safety can save their lives and the lives of those with whom they share the roads.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident you likely have questions about how you can recover damages for your losses. Contact our law firm today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Texas personal injury attorney.

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Attorney J. Kent McAfee