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In the fall, bikers at risk for motorcycle accidents

Motorcycle accidents can be traumatic and tragic events. Due to their lack of bodily protection, motorcycle riders are much more vulnerable than other motorists to suffer more severe injuries and deaths when accidents occur. This time of year, as drivers are viewing the beauty of the fall colors around them, they may not be paying as much attention as they should to the road.

Motorcycle fatalities rose for the third consecutive year in 2012, with 4,957 riders killed according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 2012, the most recent completed report, also shows that 93,000 motorcyclists were injured in crashes.

It has been reported that collisions with another vehicle account for about half of all motorcycle accidents. Information provided by the Insurance Information Institute stated that motorcyclists were about 26 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled and five times more likely to be injured.

Collisions between a motorcycle and another vehicle often occur because the other driver of the other vehicle did not see the biker, and failed to properly yield to the motorcycle. Drivers of cars and trucks sharing the road with motorcycles need to remain alert and take some extra time to check blind spots before merging or turning. They also need to be aware of their speed if a motorcycle is in the lane in front of them.

A motorcyclist must also be alert and completely aware of the traffic around them, as well as road conditions and objects on the road, such as gravel. Motorcyclists should watch for signs of a vehicle that may be turning ahead or merging. Motorcyclists must also follow all of the rules of the road, including posted speed limits and never drive while intoxicated.

Alcohol is a major factor in motorcycle accidents, with 27 percent of riders intoxicated at the time of a crash, according to the NHTSA. Motorcyclists killed in nighttime accidents are three times more likely than other drivers to have been intoxicated.

The NHTSA reported that speeding has also been a major factor. In 2012, 34 percent of all of the motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes were speeding, compared with 22 percent for drivers of passenger cars. Another common factor, almost one out of four motorcycle riders, or 24 percent, who were involved in fatal crashes were riding without a valid license.

Head injury is the leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes, and the declining use of helmets may be partial to blame for the increase in injuries and deaths. According to the NHTSA, helmet use dropped from 66 percent in 2011 to 60 percent in 2012.

The Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) found that in the 14 years from 1997 to 2011, motorcyclist fatalities more than doubled, while traffic fatalities dropped. The GHSA encourages states seeking to reduce motorcyclist fatalities to adopt strategies to increase helmet use, reduce alcohol impairment, reduce speeding, and ensure all motorcyclists are properly trained and licensed.

The personal injury lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys encourage drivers of all vehicles to focus on being more aware of the road while driving and to share the road safely with those around them.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, the Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys can help. The attorneys at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys have successfully represented motorcyclists who have been injured due to the negligence of others. For a free consultation, call Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys at 855-866-5529.

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