According to a government survey conducted in 2013, the number of deaths on motorcycles was over 26 times the number of fatal car accidents. This figure increased in a 2015 survey showing motorcycle deaths had risen by 10%. As a matter of fact, 2015 was one of only three years in recorded history where there were more than 5,000 motorcycle deaths in the USA.
Why is this number so high?
Motorcycle fatalities are common because they are narrower than the width of cars, and with limited visibility, motorcyclists are nearly invisible to the eye of a car driver. Car drivers only perceive what they expect to see on the road, which is mainly cars; most don’t look for slender, smaller motor vehicles. This is why many car drivers involved in motorcycle-car accidents say, “[the motorcycle] came out of nowhere.”
How can we prevent these accidents?
- Use a light-colored helmet and wear bright colors
- Make sure your daytime-running lights are on if your bike is equipped. You must of course use your lights at all times during darker hours, even if the sun hasn’t set yet. It’s generally a good practice to turn on your main headlight(s) if you’re on the road after 6pm.
- Go through an approved rider training session
- Plan an escape path in case a car violates your right-of-way. Remember that you have much more mobility than a regular vehicle, so it would be smart to use that to your advantage. If you know you’re going to lose control and go off the road, try to aim for a patch of grass or a bush. These things will result in much less of an impact than running into another vehicle or a tree.
- Take time to regularly practice braking and swerving maneuvers.
- Be proactive and respond as early as possible to hazards so you aren’t forced to react instantly to an emergency.
- Ride defensively; learn to notice all details of your surroundings
- Alert a driver who doesn’t see you by using your horn
Parvey & Cavenago attorneys specialize in motorcycle accident cases and provide free consultations. If you or a family member has been injured or killed while riding a motorcycle, it might not be your fault. If you are a victim of someone else’s carelessness, Parvey & Cavenago will help you receive compensation you can put toward your recovery. Don’t Go It Alone, contact us today.