May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
Share the Road campaign reminds all drivers to follow the rules of the road and be alert for motorcyclists
Riding a motorcycle is a popular pastime for thousands of individuals. However, motorcyclists are at an increased risk for serious injury and even death in the event of an accident. By their very nature, motorcycles offer less protection than other passenger vehicles and riders must take extra precautions to protect against injury. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), there were more than 4,600 motorcyclists killed in 2015 alone. This accounts for 13% of all automobile accident deaths. These statistics illustrate just how important motorcycle safety is.
In many cases, motorcycle crashes are caused by negligent or reckless drivers that fail to adhere to the rules of the road. Because motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable, it is essential for all drivers to be aware and alert to prevent crashes. Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Failing to look before changing lanes
- Pulling out in front on oncoming motorcyclists
- Following too closely
- Turning in front of motorcyclists
- Improper braking
These types of accidents often lead to serious injuries that require extensive medical treatment and long-term physical therapy. Many accidents are entirely preventable if drivers simply remain vigilant and adhere to traffic laws.
Another aspect of motorcycle safety involves the use of personal protective equipment. Research shows that wearing a motorcycle helmet prevents roughly 37% of deaths and reduces traumatic brain injuries by approximately 67%. Due to this fact, motorcyclists of all ages are required to wear helmets in 19 states and the District of Columbia, including here in New Jersey and New York. In some states, however, helmets are only required to be worn by riders under the age of 21. Three states, Illinoi, Iowa and New Hampshire do not have any type of motorcycle helmet law.
Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is a great way to remind both drivers and riders of the need to utilize safe driving practices all year long. Unfortunately, even a minor mistake can lead to a devastating accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact the knowledgeable New Jersey motorcycle accident attorneys at Leonard Legal Group for a free and confidential consultation. Send an email or call 973-984-1414 today.