More people ride motorcycles every year, even though it’s the most dangerous way to travel. Riders can’t say enough the pleasure of being on the open road. Still, motorcyclists are five times more likely to be injured in a crash than occupants of other vehicles, and 26 times more likely to die. If you’re involved in an accident, get the information and support you need by contacting a reputable motorcycle accident attorney. Trumbull offers many pleasures for a motorcyclist; being aware of the risks can help keep you safe.
Trends in Motorcycle Fatalities
Thankfully, deaths in motorcycle accidents fell 6.4 percent in 2013 compared with 2012. However, that still means 56 out of every 100,000 registered motorcycles were in a fatal crash (compared with only 9 out of every 100,000 passenger cars). Fewer deaths is a good trend, especially since there are more bikes on the road all the time: 8.4 million in 2013, up from 8 million in 2009, only four years before.
Rural vs. Urban Riding
There are an almost equal number of fatal motorcycle accidents in the country and the city, but mile by mile, rural riding is more dangerous. Rural accidents account for 46 percent of motorcycle deaths, but the per-mile accident rate is 2.6 times greater than in urban areas. This makes sense since roads in rural areas are often narrow and undivided and might be less attentively maintained. There are natural hazards, too, such as animals or plant debris in the roadway. County rides are a blast, but stay alert.
Helmets vs. No Helmets
The studies hold up year after year: helmets save lives. If you are wearing a helmet and are in a crash, you are 37 percent less likely to die than if you didn’t wear a helmet. The old myth that helmets cause neck or spine injuries has been disproved many times. Multiple studies have shown that riders are more likely to suffer severe neck and spinal injuries if they don’t wear a helmet.
Type of Bikes
Supersport motorcycles, designed to be lightweight and very fast, are the most dangerous. Their victims are the youngest: the average rider killed in a supersport crash was 27. Standard bikes, cruisers, and touring bikes are four times safer, statistically, but that’s understandable. Accident rates are affected by how a vehicle is used, and supersports are built for speed.
Young riders vs. older
For many years, most injuries and fatalities were among young riders, but this is changing. In 2013, 55 percent of motorcyclists killed in crashes were 40 or older, a 39 percent increase since 2004. Injury rates are rising for all ages, but riders 60 or older are more likely to be seriously injured than any other age group. Several factors might contribute to this: ridership among older people is on the rise, older riders often prefer heavier touring bikes which are more likely to roll, reaction times slow with age, and bodies become more fragile. Riding continues to be fun as you get older, just be careful.
Day and Night
Most motorcycle accidents happen during the day, between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Interestingly, just after dark (not late night) on the weekend is the most dangerous time of the week: 23 percent of weekend fatalities happen between 6 and 9 p.m. Weekdays, the most dangerous time is the afternoon commute: 21 percent of weekday motorcycle fatalities happen between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Almost half of motorcycle deaths in 2013 occurred on weekends, and a higher percentage of weekend crashes were at night.
Single-Vehicle vs. Multiple-Vehicles
Historically, 45 percent of motorcycle accidents are single-vehicle, meaning no other vehicle was involved in the crash. Most of these happened in curves, at high speeds, or when the driver was affected by drugs or alcohol. In multiple-vehicle accidents, most often the other vehicle turned left in front of a motorcycle that was going straight.
More motorcycle riders killed in crashes have high blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) than drivers of any other kind of vehicle. In 2012, among motorcyclists in fatal accidents, 27 percent had BACs above .08. Almost all of these deaths could have been prevented. Don’t drink and ride.
In 2012, 34 percent of motorcycle fatality reports cited speed as a contributing factor in the crash. A crash is considered speed-related if an officer determines the driver’s speed was too fast for conditions, even if the driver was going below the posted speed limit. Drive for your skill and for the road.
After a Crash, Get Professional Support
Motorcycles account for only 3 percent of registered vehicles in the U.S. and drive only 0.7 percent of vehicle miles traveled—but are involved in 15 percent of total vehicle fatalities.
If you ride a bike in or around Trumbull, be safe, but if something happens, be sure to contact an attorney you can rely on. Jim Miron is an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. Trumbull area residents are fortunate to have an advocate who provides compassionate support and strong representation when they need it most. Ride safe, ride sober, and when you need help, call Jim at (203) 339-5991.