A newly published government report from this week calls on would-be motorcyclists to think twice before buying a shiny new Harley-Davidson or Ducati.
The report from the Government Accountability Office claims that direct costs from deaths and injuries among motorcyclists following an accident totaled $16 Billion in 2010. In reality, this number is probably higher, due to the unpredictable nature of long-term medical expenses.
Motorcyclists are involved in fatal accidents much more frequently than their vehicle-driving counterparts. Motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to die in a traffic accident than those who are in a car accident driving a passenger car. (National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration)
Although motorcycles represent only 3% of all registered vehicles in the United States, fatalities among their riders accounts for nearly 15% of all traffic deaths, and the number of people who have been treated in emergency rooms for bike accidents since 2001 is nearly 2,000,000. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)
Despite many traffic safety organizations best efforts to the contrary, people are still buying motorcycles, and statistics indicate that this trend isn’t changing any time soon. Despite an increase in bike crashes and fatalities, people still crave the thrill of owning a motorcycle. In 2011, the number of motorcycles was 441,000, an increase from the previous year.
At Levin & Perconti, we have lawyers who understand the allure of riding in the open air, and the pride that comes with being a part of the biking culture. Therefore, we aim to provide you with some tips for keeping safe, whether you are a drivers or a rider:
• Wear a helmet-While Illinois presently has no helmet law for motorcyclists, the NHTSA estimates that they save 1,550 riders lives each year. If you own a motorcycle, consider purchasing a helmet, it could save your life.
• If you are a driver, keep an eye out-It is important that drivers keep an eye out for motorcyclists and stay attentive behind the wheel to keep themselves and everyone else on the road safe.
• If you are a motorcyclist, be responsible-Lastly, if you are a biker, it is important to ride safely, avoiding abrupt lane changes and excessive speeds. The lack of visibility for smaller motorcycles and the shorter reaction time caused by high speeds are two of the main causes of many motorcycle injuries and deaths.
Riding a motorcycle can be a great time, but it is also dangerous. Sometimes even the safest bikers can become victims of negligent and reckless drivers, and motorcycle accident lawsuits often involve some of the most serious injuries our lawyers encounter. If you or a loved has been injured or killed due to someone else’s carelessness, call us for a free consultation to explore your options.