Have you ever heard that you’re more likely to be involved in a car accident than in a plane crash? If you have, you’re not alone. It seems to be common knowledge that driving a car is risky business. However, as awareness of the dangers of driving has increased, important steps have been taken to reduce those dangers. As a result, fatality and injury rates have improved substantially, helping the automobile industry to rehabilitate its safety image. With cars on the road to causing fewer injuries, another personal injury issue is on the rise: motorcycle accidents.
Causes of Recent Increases in Motorcycle Injury Frequency
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, motorcycle accidents accounted for 13% of all traffic fatalities in 2007, and over 36,000 motorcyclists were killed between 1998 and 2007. Between 2000 and 2010, the percentage of traffic fatalities resulting from motorcycle accidents has risen by 123%. This drastic change can be explained by several factors:
• Increased popularity and purchase of motorcycles
• Heavier traffic in urban areas due to population increase
• Riding a motorcycle without DMV endorsement
• Drinking and riding
• More warm (motorcycle-friendly) weather throughout the year.
Prevention of Motorcycle-Related Injuries
Like car accidents, motorcycle injuries and fatalities can be prevented when riders make the effort to adhere to some simple safety principles. Motorcycle riders can:
• Be conspicuous with clothing and reflectors on bikes
• Ride defensively by keeping an eye out for potential risks posed by other vehicles
• Keep alcohol out of the equation
• Avoid speeding and exercise extra caution on undivided highways.
Since over half of motorcycle fatalities involve passenger vehicles, the general population of automobile drivers should also take responsibility for the rise in motorcycle injuries. It’s easy to brush off motorcycles because of their relatively small size, but they do share the road with passenger vehicles and must be treated as such. Motorists can help prevent motorcycle personal injuries by watching for motorcycles and by actively recognizing them as motor vehicles.
Steps to Resolution of Motorcycle Injury Issues
If you’re a motorcycle rider and have been unfortunately involved in an accident, there is help available to you. Many personal injury attorneys, including St Louis Injury Lawyer, Ben Sansone, have substantial experience with a variety of cases, including motorcycle accidents.
The U.S. government is also taking steps toward resolving the motorcycle injury issue, as reflected in Department of Transportation Action Plan to Reduce Motorcycle Fatalities, released in October of 2007. This plan introduces new national safety and training standards, measures to prevent counterfeit helmet labeling, a focus on motorcycle-specific road improvements, training for law enforcement officers to help them spot unsafe riders, and a broader public awareness campaign on motorcycle safety.
The government’s decision to address the increasingly urgent motorcycle injury issue with practical measures is a growing source of support for individual motorcycle riders. Causes of these injuries are being used to create prevention solutions with an ultimate goal of resolution.
Bio: Alexis Bonari is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at onlinedegrees.org, researching areas of online degree programs. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.