The month of May was designated “National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month” by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as a way of reminding motorists to share the road safely with motorcycle riders. While the month is nearly over, the campaign’s message is one that will hopefully be followed as summer approaches and more motorcyclists hit our nation’s highways and roads.
By equipping motorists with the knowledge and tools necessary to swiftly respond to motorcyclists on the road, the NHTSA strives to reduce the number of preventable motorcycle crashes and fatalities. More than 50 percent of all fatal motorcycle accidents involve another motor vehicle, and because bikers lack the protection of a steel vehicle, they are more likely to be severely injured or killed.
During the 2016 riding season, states across the country will employ social media, TV ads and radio spots to remind drivers to look twice for motorcycles.
Motorcycle injury and death statistics
In 2014, 92,000 motorcyclists suffered injuries in crashes, up nearly 5 percent from the previous year. Motorcycle deaths dropped 2.3 percent in 2014 (4,586 fatalities), though the NHTSA warns that motorcyclists are 26 times more likely than vehicle occupants to die in an accident and five times more likely to be harmed.
Considering that 8.4 million motorcycles are currently registered to travel on U.S. roads, it’s more important than ever for motorists and motorcyclists to amp up their awareness in an effort to prevent collisions.
NHTSA offers safety tips
In 2014, some 6,413 motorcyclists lived to see another day following an accident simply because they were wearing a helmet. The NHTSA reports that helmets can prevent fatal injuries to motorcycle riders in 37 percent of crash scenarios, and urges all bikers to wear conspicuous protective clothing/reflective vests and use DOT compliant helmets at all times.
Motorcyclists are also encouraged to:
- Take motorcycle training courses
- Follow through on licensing requirements
- Ride in the middle of the lane for maximum visibility
- Use hand and turn signals at every lane change or turn
- Avoid driving during poor weather
- Never ride while intoxicated or impaired by drugs
- Obey all traffic laws
- Allow yourself the time and space to react
- Avoid positioning themselves in a driver’s blind spot
When to consult a personal injury attorney
New Jersey is one of 19 states that has a universal helmet law, requiring motorcycle riders of all ages to use a securely fitted protective helmet that is DOT- approved. While helmet use can save lives, they don’t always prevent injury, which can severely hamper the victim’s ability to work, or perform daily activities.
In the wake of a motorcycle accident that results in serious bodily harm, medical bills and loss of income, many victims look to the guidance of a personal injury lawyer. An experienced attorney will investigate the crash, enlist the services of expert witnesses and ensure that negligent parties are held accountable.
A civil lawsuit can seek damages for lost earnings, physical and psychological injuries, property damage, and other losses. If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle crash in New Jersey or New York, the law firm of Eisbrouch Marsh offers legal consultations at no cost to you.
If you were harmed by a reckless or negligent driver, you may be eligible for compensation. To learn more, you can reach our offices at 201-342-5545.