Be Safe, Alabama Motorists: It’s Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
In the last few years, the annual number of motorcycle accident fatalities in the United States has averaged more than 4,600.
In addition to fatalities, hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists have been injured in wrecks in recent years, and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are about 25 times more likely than car occupants to die in a crash.
These somber facts are particularly relevant now because spring, which is motorcycle season, has arrived, and May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in Alabama and across the country.
The primary reason for higher fatality rates and injury numbers among motorcycle riders may seem obvious: a motorcycle doesn’t provide as much protection as a car or a truck.
But the reality is that motorcyclists have the same rights and responsibilities on public roadways as occupants of larger vehicles.
The general message for motorcyclists and drivers: “Share the road.”
After a car-motorcycle collision, it’s not uncommon for the car driver to say, “I didn’t see the bike.” That is why drivers need to be fully aware of their surroundings and keep an eye out for motorcycles. Additionally, it is important for drivers to keep plenty of distance between their vehicles and motorcycles in case there are changes in road conditions that could require a sudden stop.
The truth is that the same dangerous driving behaviors that cause car-to-car collisions also cause wrecks with motorcycles. As always, drivers should avoid distraction, speeding and other behaviors that could lead to devastating consequences for a motorcycle rider.
Helmets save lives.
While there is a high risk of injury in virtually any motorcycle accident, there are safety precautions motorcyclists can take to protect themselves. Wearing a helmet is perhaps the most important, as serious head injuries are common in motorcycle wrecks. Riders can also ensure that their bodies are fully covered with the proper gear to guard against road rash and other injuries.
Motorcycle accidents require thorough investigation in order for riders to obtain the maximum in compensation for injuries. For more on that, please see our overview of personal injury law. Our attorneys are highly experienced in fighting to protect the rights and interests of injured motorcyclists in negotiations with insurance companies and injury trials.