The motorcyclist community has developed into a significant sub-culture in the United States. Many people find riding motorcycles to be therapeutic. Riding motorcycles can also be a social experience with many motorcycle enthusiasts joining motorcycle clubs and embarking on cross-country journeys to large motorcycle rallies. Additionally, with gasoline prices rising in the United States, many people find motorcycles to be a cheaper alternative to traditional passenger vehicles. However, motorcycles continue to be one of the most dangerous modes of transportation. Motorcyclists tend to drive faster than other vehicles. Motorcycles are also much smaller than other motor vehicles on the road, and motorcycle safety gear can only provide minimal protection in the event of a motor vehicle crash. As a result, motorcyclists involved in collisions are much more likely to be killed or suffer serious injuries. These consequences can be financially costly and physically debilitating to the victims, and often the families of the victims feel the affects as well. Thus, victims of motorcycle related vehicular collisions may be entitled to significant recovery.
A report published by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that a motorcycle is 30 times more likely to experience a deadly accident on the road than a passenger car. In 2010, 4,502 motorcyclists were killed in motor vehicle crashes. An additional 82,000 motorcyclist were injured in vehicular crashes. Motorcyclist fatalities in 2010 accounted for14 percent of all traffic fatalities. While motorcycles account for a fraction of all motor vehicles on the road, motorcyclist deaths and injuries make-up a significant portion of all deaths and injuries from motor vehicle accidents.
According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 51 percent of all motorcycles involved in fatal crashes collided with another type of motor vehicle. According to the report, 39 percent of these crashes occurred when the other vehicle was turning right and the motorcycle was going straight. The relative size of motorcycles compared with that of other passenger cars leaves motorcyclists less visible to other drivers, and thus more vulnerable to motor vehicle accidents.
In order to reduce the chances of death or serious injury, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that riders wear safety helmets. In fact, 20 states have enacted legislation that requires riders to wear safety helmets while operating motorcycles. It is estimated that in 2010, helmets saved the lives of 1,550 motorcyclists and an additional 706 lives could have been saved by the use of helmets.
If you or someone you know has been killed or suffered serious injuries as result of a motorcycle crash, call a Coweta County accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Shane Smith at (770)-484-8999 and ask to schedule a free legal consultation.