Understanding the dangers motorcyclists face

As spring fast approaches, more and more motorcyclists will be out sharing the roadways with passenger vehicles and other types of motorists and vehicles. The impact of a motorcycle accident can take a physical, emotional and financial toll on motorcycle accident victims and families.

National Traffic Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data reveals that the lives of 5,154 motorcyclists were claimed by motorcycle accidents in 2007. The number of motorcycle-accident victim lives lost during 2007 was a 7 percent increase from the 4,837 motorcyclist lives that were lost during 2006. Also during 2007, 103,000 motorcyclists were injured in motorcycle accidents. The risks to motorcyclists are real. In 2006, the fatality rate for motorcyclists was 5.5 times greater than the fatality rate for occupants of passenger vehicles and the injury rate was 1.2 times greater than the injury rate for occupants of passenger vehicles. In Oklahoma, 67 motorcyclists were killed during 2007.

Overall, during 2006, the NHTSA reports that motorcyclists were approximately 35 times more likely than occupants of passenger vehicles to die in motor vehicle accidents and were 8 times more likely to be injured in motor vehicle accidents than occupants of passenger vehicles. The fact remains the motorcyclists can be vulnerable on the roadways when operators of passenger vehicles and other types of vehicles fail to attentively observe them. As such, in two-thirds of motorcycle accidents involving another vehicle, the driver of the other vehicle caused the accident by violating the motorcyclist's right of way.

The danger presented by inattentive drivers is just one of the many dangers motorcycle riders may face on the roadways. Because of the many dangers they face, there is an increased need for protection for motorcyclists and their families that is provided through the legal system which offers resources and remedies for victims of motorcycle accidents.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "Traffic Safety Facts 2007 Data, Motorcycles," Accessed March 12, 2015

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