Study Indicates Motorcycle Accident Fatalities on the Rise in US
Motorcyclists are vulnerable on the road in a way that drivers and occupants of cars, trucks, vans, and other such enclosed vehicles are not. An enclosed vehicle’s metal frame and windows create a barrier between drivers and occupants that may offer a degree of protection from harm during a collision. Additionally, these vehicles tend to be equipped with airbags, seatbelts, and various other safety features.
Motorcycles lack such features. This is one of the key reasons motorcycle riders are 29 times more likely to die when involved in accidents compared to other motorists.
Unfortunately, research also indicates fatal motorcycle accidents are on the rise in the US. Specifically, a recent study indicates that fatal motorcycle accidents increased throughout the country by 11% between 2019 and 2020. Comparatively, fatal motor vehicle accidents in general only increased by 5%.
Additional findings this research offers include the following:
- Although speeding was only a contributing factor in 18% of fatal motor vehicle accidents in general, it was a contributing factor in 33% of fatal motorcycle crashes
- Nearly half of all fatal motorcycle crashes occur on weekends
- Approximately half of fatal motorcycle accidents occur during the summer
Some of these findings are easy to explain. Someone who rides a motorcycle recreationally may be more likely to do so on weekends during warm times of year. When more motorcyclists are on the road, motorcycle accident rates will naturally increase.
Experts who have reviewed this study also note that the alarming spike in motorcycle accident fatalities may have continued into the Covid-19 pandemic. For reasons not yet clear, motorcycle sales increased during this time. However, because of Covid-restrictions, new motorcycle owners were less able to participate in live safety classes.
It’s not yet certain if this factor played a role in driving high rates of fatal motorcycle accidents. This is simply one possible explanation for the increase.
How Motorcyclists Can Stay Safe
None of this is necessarily meant to discourage someone from riding a motorcycle if they enjoy doing so and are a cautious, responsible individual. It’s simply meant to alert motorcyclists to a trend that has yet to be fully explained. Although it’s true that rates of fatal motor vehicle accidents involving all motor vehicles did increase between 2019 and 2020, the increase in motorcycle accident fatalities is nearly double that of motor vehicle accident fatalities in general.
Motorcyclists must keep this in mind on the road. They need to obey traffic laws, remain vigilantly aware of their surroundings, and ensure their vehicles are properly maintained.
They should also be familiar with their legal rights if they ever are injured in an accident. After all, even a careful motorcycle rider can be harmed in an accident resulting from another motorist’s negligence.
If this happens, a motorcyclist can seek compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and other such losses arising from their accident by filing a claim to collect from the insurance of the negligent party.
Are you considering filing a motorcycle accident claim? If so, our Charlotte, North Carolina motorcycle accident attorneys at Brown Moore & Associates, PLLC strongly recommend hiring a lawyer. Your odds of recovering proper compensation will be much greater if you have legal representation. Learn more about what we can do for you by contacting us online or calling us at 704-335-1500.