May 2023 is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month by the United States Department of Transportation. Motorcyclists are more vulnerable to injuries when involved in motor vehicle accidents with cars because there is so much less protection on a motorcycle. The four major marketing campaigns for motorcycle safety awareness month are:
- Motorist awareness of motorcycles. One of the biggest safety risks to motorcyclists is when drivers fail to see them. The campaign is designed to help drivers understand standard motorcycle driving behaviors and to learn how to drive safely around motorcycles.
- Ride Sober or Get Pulled Over. One of the two biggest causes of motorcycle accidents is riding while intoxicated.
- Rider safety. Defensive riding and other safety skills are an important part of rider safety.
- Share the road. When motorcycles and other vehicles share the road, the risk of motorcycle accidents decreases.
If you have been injured in an accident with a car while riding, it is vital to report the accident to the police, file a police report immediately and to seek prompt medical treatment. Document and preserve the evidence from the scene of the accident if you are able and keep receipts and transcripts from all resulting medical care. You should also notify your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible but do not speak to the at-fault insurance agency or accept a settlement without first speaking with a motorcycle accident attorney.
It’s Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month: Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Annual death rates of motorcycle accidents are much higher than they should be. With better education about how
Motorcycle accident statistics
- Motorcycles represent only three percent of registered vehicles but they account for about 15 percent of all traffic-related fatalities.
- A motorcycle rider is 27 times more likely to die in a crash than a car driver and 80 percent of all motorcycle crashes result in injury or death compared to 20 percent of all passenger car accidents.
- In 2019, 5,014 motorcyclists died in motorcycle crashes.
- 75 riders die every year in collisions on Washington roads
- Motorcyclists are also at an increased risk for single-vehicle accidents; 34 percent of motorcycle accidents do not involve any other vehicle compared to only 14 percent of car crashes.
The number one safety issue for motorcycles is vehicles not seeing them. It is vital for drivers to check their blind spots and mirrors and use their turn signals every time they change lanes or want to pass another vehicle. In addition, drivers should be extra careful to avoid distractions such as cell phone use during motorcycle season.
Riders can help to protect themselves by taking a defensive driving course and wearing protective gear including a DOT-compliant motorcycle helmet, gloves, and full-body clothing made of leather or heavy denim. Other safety tips include:
- Making themselves as visible as possible. Wearing brightly colored clothes with reflective material and/or adding reflective material to your motorcycle is the best way to make yourself more visible to drivers.
- Being aware of your surroundings is also key when you are riding a motorcycle as road hazards and bad weather conditions can be especially dangerous to motorcyclists.
- Never, ever, riding while intoxicated.*
- Obeying traffic lights, signs, speed limits, and lane markings.*
- Riding with the flow of traffic and leaving enough space between your bike and other vehicles.
*Almost half of motorcycle accidents were as a result of speeding or riding while intoxicated.
Seek the help of a motorcycle accident lawyer
If you have lost a loved one or been injured through no fault of your own, you have enough on your plate. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the justice and fair compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring, tireless and experienced wrongful death attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County and surrounding areas since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!