Tips for Preventing Devastating Motorcycle Accidents

motorcycle_downWithout any kind of exterior protection in the event of an accident, motorcyclists face a greater risk of serious injury and death than the average motorist. In fact, the injuries associated with motorcycle crashes are often debilitating, permanently disabling, or deadly.

Even if a motorcyclist is fortunate enough to survive an accident, the injuries sustained may prevent him or her from working or riding again.

Motorcycle accidents come at a high price in terms of the injuries and property damage they cause, as well as the lives they take. However, when it comes to motorcycle accidents, the old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” holds true.

Learning more about motorcycle accidents and implementing crash prevention tips can help motorcyclists stay safer on the road, and save themselves and their families a world of heartache.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics

  • There were 8.6 million motorcycles on the road in the United States 2015.
  • Approximately 88,000 motorcyclists were injured in 2015.
  • Nearly 5,000 riders died in motorcycle crashes in 2015.
  • Motorcycle fatalities increased 10 percent between 2014 and 2015, according to a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association and Sam Schwartz Consulting.
  • In 2015, motorcyclists accounted for 14 percent of all traffic deaths, as well as 4 percent of all injuries.
  • Motorcyclist deaths happen 27 times more frequently than deaths in other vehicles.
  • 43 percent of motorcyclists who died in single-vehicle crashes in 2014 were alcohol-impaired at the time of the accident.
  • Motorcyclists 40 and older account for more than half—54 percent—of all rider fatalities, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
  • Motorcyclists who ride "super sport" motorcycles have driver death rates nearly four times higher than riders of other types of motorcycles.

Motorcycle Crash Prevention Tips

Driver error, whether by the biker or a vehicle motorist, is a leading cause of serious motorcycle crashes. While not all motorcycle accidents can be prevented, riders should take a number of steps to improve their on-the-road safety, including:

  • Get a motorcycle license. Texas requires people to obtain a special Class M license to operate a motorcycle. To qualify for a Class M license, an individual must meet the requirements for a traditional driver's license, as well as present a certificate of completion from a Department of Public Safety-approved motorcycle safety course, and pass vision, bike knowledge, and riding tests.
  • Take a motorcycle safety course. Completing motorcycle safety training is required in order to obtain a Class M license. It can also save lives. A large number of people injured and killed in motorcycle accidents weren't properly trained to operate the bikes they were riding.
  • Wear a helmet and other protective gear. Texas law exempts motorcyclists who've completed safety training courses from helmet requirements. However, it's always wise to wear a helmet, even if it's not legally required. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, for every 100 motorcyclists killed in crashes, nearly 40 would have survived if they've worn helmets. Goggles, long pants, a motorcycle jacket, boots, and gloves are also beneficial.
  • Don't drink and ride. Roughly 27 percent of motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes in 2015 had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or over.
  • Avoid speeding. Statistics indicate that in 2015, 33 percent of all motorcyclists involved in fatal accidents were speeding at the time of the crash.
  • Stay visible. Many motorcycle accidents occur because a motorist wasn't able to see the biker. Wearing bright or reflective clothing and using the motorcycle's headlights can help.
  • Keep up with motorcycle maintenance. If a bike breaks down due to poor maintenance, it can cause devastating accidents and injuries.

Were You Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?

If you were injured in a motorcycle accident that wasn't your fault, you may be eligible for compensation for injuries and other damages. Contact McGartland Law today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial case consultation.