Fatal motorcycle accidents are a growing problem nationwide
July 11, 2016
Motorcycle fatalities are surging and becoming a major problem in New Jersey. Hundreds of people are dying every year in motorcycle accidents, many of them victims of the negligence of other drivers. If you drive a motorcycle, you need to understand this problem and what you can do if it happens to you.
The statistics are disheartening
The sad truth is that motorcycle deaths skyrocketed in 2015, jumping by 10 percent nationally from 2014. To put a more concrete number on it, that was 5,000 motorcycle fatalities. This is part of a trend that has been noticed since 1997, with the only decrease in motorcycle fatalities coming in 2009. One possible explanation for this increase is the fact that registered motorcycle users jumped from just shy of four million to eight million in less than 10 years.
How much worse is this increase than the increase in other motorcycles? Almost astronomical, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Association. They estimated that motorcycle fatalities occurred at a rate 26 times higher than that of any other passenger vehicle type. These kinds of numbers indicate a serious epidemic.
Why are accidents increasing?
Beyond the increase in registered users are a variety of other influences that have pushed up the motorcycle fatality rate. One rarely discussed influence is the increasing age of riders. As riders age, they lose reaction time, suffer from decreased vision, and experience greater bodily damage when they do crash. Motorcycle drivers over 60 years old were three times more likely to suffer motorcycle injuries, and potentially fatalities, than any other age group.
Other influences include excessive alcohol consumption (affecting 29 percent of all motorcycle fatalities), decreased motorcycle helmet laws and usage (only 46 percent of drivers use helmets), speeding (around 34 percent of all cases), and poor behavior from other drivers, including head-on collisions, sudden left turns, driving into a motorcycle lane, or abusing alcohol.
The sad truth is that while motorcycle drivers often cause their own accidents, they are also often a victim of aggressive and angry drivers in larger vehicles. In accidents with these beasts, motorcycle drivers are protected by almost nothing, and are much more likely to suffer serious injuries and death as a result.
What you can do if you are in an accident
The best way to avoid motorcycle injuries and fatalities is to drive carefully, wear your helmet, and obey all traffic laws. However, if driver negligence causes you or someone you love serious injury, you should contact [nap_names id=”FIRM-NAME-1″] right away. We are one of New Jersey’s most respected law firms and we will fight for your right to receive compensation when another driver’s negligence impacts your life.