Motorcycle Accidents Facts
For countless motorcyclists in the US, beautiful weather means more excuses to ride, and summertime is the perfect season for motorcycle riders to get their fix. However, the summer is also a time when motorcycle accidents peak.
2019 data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reveals that 63% of motorcyclist deaths occurred between May and September, with fatalities peaking in August of that year. The summer season in the United States starts in June and ends in September, meaning motorcyclists are at a higher risk of getting into fatal crashes in the summer. To demonstrate this pattern, the IIHS reported the following motorcyclist deaths by month in 2019:
- January: 142 deaths
- February: 176 deaths
- March: 328 deaths
- April: 418 deaths
- May: 581 deaths
- June: 630 deaths*
- July: 647 deaths*
- August: 673 deaths*
- September: 616 deaths*
- October: 386 deaths
- November: 245 deaths
- December: 172 deaths
10 Possible Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
As you can see, motorcyclist deaths were the highest between June and September of 2019, exceeding 600 fatalities. Why is that? Well, various factors can lead to motorcycle accidents and subsequent injuries or deaths, such as:
- Vehicle differences (motorcycle vs. passenger vehicle)
- Lack of experience
- Lane splitting
- Unsafe lane changes
- Road conditions
- Improper or lack of motorcycle license
- No helmet
- Cars making left-hand turns
The factors above are essential to consider before going out for a ride. Motorcyclists are inherently more at risk for getting into fatal accidents due to the limited size and capabilities of motorcycles. To exemplify this, in 2018, the federal government estimated that motorcyclists were 27 times more likely to die in a crash than passenger car occupants per vehicle miles traveled.
Safety Tips for Riding a Motorcycle
Considering the staggering information above, you are better off being safe than sorry. Your life depends on it. That’s why our personal injury lawyers compiled a handful of motorcycle safety tips that every rider should know and practice.
Wear safety gear: Helmets, jackets, boots, pants, gloves, and guards for your elbows, shins, and knees are essential in protecting you from serious injuries and even death. Nothing is more important than your safety, so you should invest in your safety by getting the right gear.
Follow traffic rules: Far too many motorcyclists think they are above the law and make assumptions about their surroundings. Assuming a driver can see you when they are actually texting while driving could be fatal. Not to mention, having the ability to weave in and out of traffic does not mean you should, as you could end up getting seriously injured or killed. Other examples of fatal motorcyclist mistakes include failing to use turn signals, tailgating, speeding, and more.
Ride defensively: Just like vehicle drivers, motorcyclists should ride defensively at all times. Even if you obey all the traffic rules and believe you are safe does not mean you will avoid a crash. As a motorcyclist, you are not as visible on the roads as drivers and pedestrians are, so it is in your best interests to assume the worst and prepare accordingly. In other words, you should ride defensively at all times.
Take rest breaks: Never underestimate the power of a break, whether it be 5 minutes long or 30 minutes long. If you are embarking on a long journey especially, rest breaks are critical to your safety as a motorcyclist. When your body feels even the slightest bit of fatigue, pull over and stretch, eat, hydrate, and relax for a minute. You will thank yourself later.
Ride sober: Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is one of the leading causes of death for drivers and motorcyclists alike. Riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs will significantly increase your chances of getting into a collision and, as a result, hurt or killed. As such, you should avoid getting on the roads intoxicated under all circumstances.
Do a pre-ride check: Run a mental checklist before hitting the roads. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation suggests using the acronym T-CLOCS to help you remember what to do in your motorcycle pre-ride check:
- T: Tires and wheels
- C: Controls
- L: Lights and electrics
- O: Oil and other fluids
- C: Chassis
- S: Stands
What Should You Do After a Motorcycle Accident?
If you got into a motorcycle accident, you have some responsibilities to take care of. Every step you take following your accident could make a significant difference in the outcome of your personal injury case, therefore, we urge you to take the following steps after your motorcycle accident:
- Call the police to file a police report (required in order to file a claim with your insurance company).
- Gather the other party’s contact details, insurance information, and driver’s license information.
- Record the accident.
- Take pictures and videos of the accident scene and your injuries (if applicable)
- Get medical help: Regardless of how injured you feel, you should get medical help right away. Medical issues may develop days or weeks following an accident, so getting medical attention immediately after the accident could not only strengthen your personal injury claim but also reveal an underlying injury that you weren’t aware of.
- Obtain copies of your medical, motorcycle repair, and insurance bills/reports.
- Call our motorcycle injury lawyers.
When you contact our office at (573) 240-8866, our team can help you navigate your situation and walk you through your next steps. Don’t go at this process alone, as doing so could substantially impact your chances of getting a favorable outcome. Instead, equip yourself with our Missouri motorcycle accident lawyers today!