Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. This annual campaign was launched in the early 1980s. The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) started the campaign, which has since been adopted by numerous AMA-sanctioned motorcycle clubs, state motorcycle rights organizations, and government entities.
The goal of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is to promote motorcycle awareness and encourage motorcyclists and drivers to take precautionary steps to minimize the risks faced by motorcycle riders. In honor of that, the lawyers at Foley Law Firm, whose practice serves Scranton, PA, Stroudsburg, PA, and Wilkes-Barre, PA, discuss the dangers of motorcycle accidents and offer safety tips to protect motorcyclists.
Dangers Faced By Motorcyclists
Accidents are the most significant risk for motorcyclists. Any type of crash has the potential to cause personal injuries, but motorcyclists face an increased risk of catastrophic or fatal injuries. Motorcycles lack a protective shell and do not have many of the safety features that automobiles provide, such as seatbelts and airbags. It is very common for riders to be thrown from their motorcycle in a crash, leaving nothing but their protective gear to shield them from the accident impact.
Motorcycle Crash Statistics
Motorcyclists make up a small portion of commuters on the road, but they account for an alarming number of accidents. Each year the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) publishes a Crash Facts & Statistics Report outlining accident data. According to the latest report from 2021, there were 117,899 reported crashes that year. Of those, 3,580 involved motorcycles. This was a 5.5 percent increase from the previous year when 3,398 motorcycle accidents were reported.
Motorcycle accident fatalities also increased in 2021. PennDOT reported 215 fatal injuries from motorcycle crashes in 2020. In 2021, that number increased by 3.7 percent to 223 fatal injuries. Statewide there were 1,230 fatal injuries from automobile accidents in 2021, meaning that motorcycle fatalities accounted for around 18 percent of total crash fatalities, despite accounting for just around two percent of the state’s registered vehicles.
Rider Safety Tips
Motorcyclists must take precautions to minimize the risk of an accident and reduce the severity of injuries should a crash occur. As a reminder, during Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, we offer these rider safety tips:
- Take a motorcycle safety course or advanced riding course
- Always observe all traffic laws
- Avoid speeding
- Maintain a safe following distance
- Never ride while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Wear high-visibility protective gear
- Always wear a DOT-compliant motorcycle helmet
- Check the weather before riding
- Be observant of road safety hazards
Driver Safety Tips
Automobile drivers play a vital role in preventing motorcycle accidents. These safe driving practices can reduce the number of motorcycle accidents and fatalities:
- Observe all traffic laws
- Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Avoid distracted driving
- Be aware of motorcyclists on the road
- Use turn signals when turning or changing lanes
- Always check blind spots before making a lane change
- Yield to motorcyclists, especially when turning at intersections
Request a Consultation
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by another person or party, the lawyers at Foley Law Firm can help you explore your right to financial compensation for accident damages. To discuss the details of your crash with one of our knowledgeable lawyers, request a consultation online or call our law firm at (570) 342-8194.