While recent statistics are showing an improvement in fatal car accidents on the roads, the exact opposite response is being said for motorcyclists. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) states motorcyclists are among the small group of motorists whose accident rates have not increased over the years.
In 2012 there were an estimated 5,000 motorcyclists killed in road accidents, a 9 percent increase from the year before. The chairman with the GHSA, Troy Costales, claims that this number of deaths is disheartening as these are real lives that are being placed in danger; they are people who will never be able to return home to their families or their jobs because of the accident.
Motorcyclist deaths increased in 34 states when comparing the first nine months of 2011 to 2012, and 16 states had a decrease in fatalities while only the District of Columbia remained the same. What is so interesting is the fact that in many states the jump in fatalities was extreme; for example in Indiana it went up by 29% and by Oregon 32%. The reason for people choosing to buy motorcycles varies immensely.
For riders, the mere feeling of freedom and the road may be what led them to buy their bike, while others may be looking for a more fuel efficient method of transportation. Studies show another possible cause has to do with the improving economy, and people having more of a disposable income; leading people to buy the motorcycle they have always wanted.
Costales also notes as the weather conditions continue to improve, more and more riders are making their way back out on the road; making the likelihood of accidents increase significantly. However, this is very dangerous when the number of states requiring the riders to wear helmets at all times is decreasing.
According to reports, in 1997 there were 26 states which made it the law to wear a helmet, whereas today only 19 states enforce helmets. Sadly, the motorcyclist’s helmet is often times what makes the difference in a fatal accident and one that just has severe injuries; as it protects the brain.
The Tennessee represented with GHSA shares that there are a number of ways to improve the safety of riders on the road; not all riders will see the same fatal end as another person who chose not to carry out safety measures.
These methods include making sure that the riders are property trained and licensed to ride a motorcycle, more riders are required to wear certified helmets, reducing speeding and drunk riding, as well as encouraging those in cars and trucks to share the road.
If you or a loved one have been a victim of a motorcycle accident, contact the Whitley Law Firm today to discuss your case!