Those who enjoy the freedom of the open road can often be seen cruising on their motorcycles throughout greater-Atlanta. It's unfortunate that many drivers of passenger cars fail to see motorcyclists or show any regard for them. Driving distracted, aggressive, impaired, or tired are all habits that put motorcyclists at risk of being injured or killed in a crash.
Unlike drivers, motorcyclists must rely on helmets, protective gear, and adequate riding skill to stay safe. In some cases however, it may be impossible to evade a crash caused by a negligent driver.
Prevalence of motorcycle crashes
In 2016, motorcyclists were 28 times more likely to experience fatal crashes than those in passenger cars. Additionally, 80 percent of motorcycle crashes result in injury or death to the rider. In total, there were 5,286 motorcyclist fatalities across the United States in 2016, a rate of 60.90 deaths per 100,000 registered motorcycles. While the total of motorcyclist fatalities decreased to 5,172 in 2017, these numbers are still too high.
According to the Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety, since 2007, more than 10 percent of all traffic fatalities in Georgia were motorcyclists. In 2018, our state saw a significant increase in motorcyclist deaths from the previous years, totaling 264.
Statistics show that more motorcyclists may be wearing helmets when riding. Motorcyclists weren't wearing helmets in only three deadly crashes that occurred in 2018. That means that despite wearing protective gear, motorcyclists are still likely to sustain fatal injuries in a crash.
Why sharing the road is critical to motorcyclist safety
It's important for passenger car drivers to understand that motorcyclists and other road users have just as much right to access the same roadways. Drivers should take the following precautions when around motorcycles:
- Maintain a safe distance.
- Stay attentive and alert.
- Stay sober.
- Maintain a safe speed.
Motorcyclists can reduce their chances of being injured in a crash by doing the following:
- Brush up on riding skills.
- Always wear a properly fitted helmet.
- Wear protective eye wear, gloves, boots, long pants, and a jacket.
- Avoid riding during inclement weather.
- Keep a safe distance from drivers who appear to be reckless or distracted.
- Keep your bike maintained and free of defects.
- Ride sober and alert.
Should you or a loved one be injured in a motorcycle crash caused by someone else's negligence, don't hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Gary Martin Hays & Associates, P.C. for your free case evaluation. You may be eligible to pursue compensation from the driver's insurance company. Our attorneys are dedicated to helping through the process.