May is National Motorcycle Awareness Month, and now that we’re in the middle of spring with longer days and warmer weather, we can all expect to see more motorcyclists on the road.
And this motorcycle season is somewhat different, because motorcycle sales dramatically increased throughout the year of 2020, as people longing to get out into the open air searched for new ways to do it.
This increase in interest in motorcycles, presumably driven by frustrations stemming from months in quarantine due to the pandemic, means that not only will there be more motorcyclists on the road, a large number of them will be new riders, so it’s important that we learn to see motorcyclists so that we can all do our part to avoid a tragic accident.
Be Prepared and Ride Defensively
Whether you’re a seasoned motorcycle veteran or fairly new to riding, participating in a rider training course is always a good idea. You must be properly licensed with a motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license. And before you take your bike for the first spin of the season, perform a tune-up and safety inspection of the lights, tires, and mechanical systems.
Motorcyclists should take the initiative to reduce their risk of being in a fatal accident. They can do this by:
- Never driving impaired or distracted
- Increasing visibility by using headlights even during the day and wearing brightly colored or reflective clothing
- Practicing defensive riding techniques- be prepared to take evasive action, if necessary
- Always signaling your intentions
- Wearing protective clothing
- Wearing a helmet. A properly fitting DOT-approved helmet will not interfere with a rider’s ability to see or hear.
While Colorado only requires helmet use for riders and passengers under the age of 18, it is strongly recommended for all operators and passengers. According to the Governors Highway Safety Administration, there is a statistical correlation between non-use of helmets and rider mortality. Wearing a helmet is the single most effective means of preventing a catastrophic motorcycle accident injury.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
In an accident, motorcyclists are more vulnerable to the effects of the collision. With no seat belts or airbags to lessen the impact for them, riders- and all motorists- need to take extra care to avoid motorcycle accidents.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in per vehicle miles traveled in the entire year of 2019, motorcycle riders were 29 times more likely to be killed, and four times more likely to be injured in a motor vehicle collision than passengers in other types of automobiles. In addition:
- 26% of all of the motorcyclists killed in fatal traffic accidents in 2018 were intoxicated.
- In 2019, 5,014 motorcyclists were killed in accidents, which is a very slight decrease from the previous year, by 0.5%.
- Use of Department of Transportation-approved helmets was 71% in 2019, which is an increase over some previous years.
How Drivers Can Impact Motorcycle Safety
Despite their smaller size, motorcycles are recognized as vehicles with all the same privileges and responsibilities as other cars and trucks. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration encourages all drivers to remember this and share the road responsibly with motorcyclists. Drivers should allow riders a full lane width and never tailgate or improperly pass a motorcycle. Stay aware of your blind spots and use caution when turning at an intersection in front of an oncoming motorcycle.
Contact Our Denver Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you need a law firm on your side that can help. Our Denver motorcycle accident lawyers have the resources and experience needed to tackle these large and complex cases. We can help you obtain maximum compensation for your injuries and help you on the road to recovery. Contact Gregory A. Gold of the Gold Law Firm today for a free consultation at (303) 694-4653.