According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,985 people were killed in motorcycle accidents in 2018. While this number is down from 2017, it is a reminder of how dangerous it can be to ride a motorcycle. Families of people killed in crashes should speak with motorcycle accident attorney Stephen G. Charpentier. He has helped numerous people in the greater Melbourne, Cocoa, and Titusville, FL areas following serious motorcycle collisions.
Below, we’d like to consider some of the most common causes of fatal motorcycle crashes. This should give you and idea of various dangerous activities you need to avoid.
Excessive speed is a major factor in numerous auto collisions. NHTSA statistics from 2016 note that 33 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents were the result of speeding; by comparison, 19 percent of fatal passenger car accidents were the result of speeding.
Speeding is just one of many different reckless behaviors that can lead to motorcycle crashes. Other reckless driving behaviors that are dangerous include frequent lane changes, cutting others off, and not observing the right of way.
Street racing on a motorcycle is perhaps the most reckless of all behaviors. Not only are racers speeding, they also put others on the road at risk. Never engage in races, especially on city streets or on highways.
Drunk driving is a major cause of catastrophic traffic injuries and fatalities. The NHTSA found that 25 percent of motorcyclist killed in 2016 had alcohol levels at or above the legal limit (0.08) in their system. An additional 7 percent of motorcyclists killed in crashes were found to have at least some alcohol in their system.
NHTSA numbers have noted that age is a major factor in fatal motorcycle accidents. Interestingly, motorcyclists age 40 and older made up 49 percent of all motorcycle accident fatalities. This means that the average age of a motorcyclist killed in a crash during 2016 was 43 years old.
Lack of Experience
Even though many motorcycle accident fatalities occurred among the middle-aged, younger motorcyclists still comprise a large number of fatalities each year. This is often due to a lack of judgement and a lack of experience. Younger motorcyclists are more likely to take unnecessary risks and engage in potentially deadly behaviors, such as drinking and driving or racing.
Poor weather makes driving far more dangerous. Wet roads mean a greater likelihood of a motorcyclist losing control. Rain and fog can also reduce visibility, which makes it more difficult for a motorcyclist to recognize and avoid hazards that can lead to a crash.
Not Wearing a Helmet
Helmets save lives. The NHTSA estimates that if all motorcyclists wore helmets, more than 800 lives in 2016 could have been saved. Sadly, not everyone wears a helmet. To protect yourself from serious injuries, be sure to wear a helmet and proper protective gear while on your motorcycle.
Contact Charpentier Law Firm, P.A.
If you would like more information about your legal options following a serious motorcycle crash, be sure to contact a skilled injury and fatal accident attorney. You can reach Charpentier Law Firm, P.A. in Melbourne by calling (866) 615-7868, in Cocoa by calling (321) 631-5446, and in Titusville by calling (321) 308-8025. We are here to help.