Now that summer is approaching, it’s time for all drivers to recall motorcycle safety tips. Because motorcycles are smaller and lighter than almost all other vehicles on the road, they’re at greater risk. Motorcycle drivers are also more exposed than other drivers. For all drivers, whether they’re driving a car, truck, SUV or van, it’s important to keep motorcycle safety in mind. Even with caution, accidents do happen. If you happen have been involved in one, a motorcycle accident lawyer can advise you on your options.
The number of traffic accidents remains high
The total number of traffic accidents in the U.S. remains alarmingly high. The total number fatalities due to traffic accidents was 21,132 in 2013. Another 2.05 million people were injured in crashes in the same year. There are many causes of traffic accidents: weather, drink or distracted driving, heavy traffic or road conditions.
Distracted driving, usually because the driver is texting or talking on a cell phone, is almost as dangerous as drunk driving. In 2013 alone, distracted drivers were responsible for crashes that killed 3,154 people and injured 424,000 others. People think that they can get away with multitasking, but when driving, even a split second error in judgement can lead to serious consequences.
Motorcycles are especially vulnerable
Motorcycles are especially vulnerable to traffic accidents. That’s because motorcycles are sometimes difficult for other drivers to see, because they’re smaller. They’re also much lighter than other vehicles on the road, and the driver’s position is much more exposed. As of 2013, motorcyclists were 26 times more likely to be killed in a traffic accident than a person in a car, as measured per vehicle mile travelled.
Motorcycle riders are five times as likely to be injured as passenger car occupants. In 2013, the number of people killed in motorcycle accidents was 4,668, compared to 4,986 in 2012, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This 6.4% decrease may be due to the greater caution used by other drivers in sharing the road with motorcyclists.
What to do if you’ve been in an accident
With around 8.4 million motorcycles on the road as of 2013, accidents do happen. If you or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle accident, the first step is to consult a motorcycle accident lawyer. A personal injury attorney can advise you on filing a claim, and help to make sure that it is done before the statute of limitations runs out.
Having a law firm on your side can also help you get the best possible settlement. Very few personal injury cases actually go to trial, since 95 to 96% are settled pretrial.
Whether or not your case is one of the 5% or so personal injury cases that make it to trial, having an experience motorcycle accident lawyer on your side can make all the difference to the outcome. Experienced lawyers can help to make sure that you get the full compensation to which you are entitled in settlement cases for personal injury.