Motorcycle Safety Is Everyone’s Responsibility

Posted on behalf of Jeff Pitman on May 11, 2020 in Motorcycle Accidents
Updated on April 25, 2024

Female motorcycle riderSince 1998, the number of deaths involving motorcycle riders has been steadily increasing. In 2018, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported that 4,985 riders were killed in traffic accidents.

There is always a lot of debate about who is accountable when it comes to preventing accidents involving motorcycles, but PKSD reminds us during motorcycle safety awareness month of how we can all contribute to keeping the roads safer.

Why Are Motorcycle Accidents So Deadly?

When you take the size of a motorcycle into consideration, it is easy to imagine that a rider would not have much of a chance for survival if they were involved in a crash. In addition to traveling at the same high speed as other larger vehicles, there is virtually no protection for a motorcycle rider.

Motorcycle crashes typically cause injuries that are serious, life-altering or fatal. Some of the most common injuries riders suffer include:

  • Lower extremity fractures
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Severe abdominal injuries
  • Chest injuries

There is no arguing that motorcycles often offer high performance in a lightweight vehicle. However, these vehicles also are less stable and more difficult for other motorists to see. When you add other contributing factors, such as distracted, impaired or aggressive driving, either by motorcycle operators or other motorists, the roadway can become a dangerous game of chance.

Motorcycle Rider Responsibility

Riding a motorcycle can be thrilling, however, before an individual makes the decision to get on one, it is his or her responsibility to be aware of Wisconsin motorcycle laws and recommendations for vehicle safety:

  • Complete a motorcycle driving course – This step helps provide more driving experience while also increasing a rider’s skill set for handling the vehicle. This is an important step in helping to prepare riders for handling unexpected circumstances on the road.
  • Apply for and obtain a Class M operator license – it is the law in Wisconsin.
  • Get insurance. Statistics reveal that as much as 20 percent of motorcycle operators ride without insurance.
  • Wear protective gear, such as an approved safety helmet, eye gear and other protective clothing. Statistics show that riders have an increased (37 percent) chance of survival if they suffer a crash while wearing a helmet and 67 percent chance of avoiding a brain injury.
  • Familiarize yourself with the traffic laws for motorcycles and other motor vehicles on the road. This includes not operating a motorcycle while:
    • Fatigued
    • Impaired by alcohol or drugs
    • Driving in inclement weather
    • Exhibiting reckless or aggressive driving behavior

Another type of dangerous motorcycle behavior involves lane splitting, because it is difficult for the driver of a car or truck to see or anticipate a motorcycle driving in such close proximity to their vehicle.

Following traffic laws and other state laws for motorcycles can help increase your safety as a rider and keep motorcycle riding fun.

Motor Vehicle Operator’s Duty of Care

Motorcycle operators are only part of the road safety solution. Drivers of other vehicles also owe motorcycle operators a duty of care.

The two most dangerous – and fatal – types of accidents for motorcyclists are head-on collisions and left-hand turn crashes. Both of these often result in a fatal or life-altering injuries for the motorcyclist. These kinds of crashes may happen when either the car, motorcycle or both vehicles are either speeding, distracted or rushing to get through an intersection without properly confirming the road is clear.

Blind spots around your vehicle or poor visibility due to sunshine or inclement weather can also make it more difficult to see a motorcyclist on the road. Allowing the recommended distance between your vehicle and others, as well as paying attention to the road, sounds too simplistic, but it can help to avoid you causing a serious or fatal accident.

Contact Our Trusted Attorneys If You Have Been Injured In an Accident

If you were injured in a motorcycle accident due to another’s reckless behavior or negligence, our Milwaukee motorcycle accident lawyers are prepared to help.

We offer a free legal consultation and are prepared to answer any questions you may have about the motorcycle accident legal process. There are no upfront charges for us to represent you, and since we operate on contingency, you pay us nothing unless we recover compensation for the damages you suffered.

Call PKSD for legal help today. Ph: 414-333-3333

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