The number of people in the United States who have bought a motorcycle has increased exponentially in the last decade. In 2013, there were 8.4 million registered motorcycles in the country, compared to 3.8 million in 1997.
More recently, the Motorcycle Industry Council reported that 8 percent of all the households in the United States have at least one motorcycle. This means that over 10 million homes in the country have a motorcycle.
While there are only 118,000 registered motorcycles in Alabama, that doesn’t mean motorcyclists in the state are at less risk of getting injured or dying in an accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it is 28 more times likely for motorcyclists to die in a traffic crash than those riding in or driving a vehicle.
For those who love riding their motorcycle, there is usually nothing that will deter them from riding it. However, the more motorcycle lovers know about motorcycle accidents, the better they can protect themselves.
Here are 4 things to know about motorcycle accidents.
1. Know About the Kinds of Injuries Associated with Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists have very little protection, which means crashing into a vehicle or hitting something in the road can cause serious injury and even death. Over 80% of all motorcyclists who get into an accident will either die or receive a serious injury.
Some of the most common injuries associated with motorcycle accidents include:
- Road rash
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Facial fractures
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
The most severe injuries cause life-long disabilities as well as limb amputations, paralysis, and permanent nerve damage. For others, their injuries will lead to death. In 2017, over 5,000 people throughout the country died in motorcycle accidents, which is twice as many that died in 1997. In April of 2017, motorcycle accidents had already caused 87 non-fatal injuries and 12 fatalities in Alabama.
2. Know How Motorcycle Accidents Happen
A motorcycle’s size makes it hard for other drivers to see, which is one reason motorcycle accidents are so common. When drivers of larger vehicles don’t see the motorcycle, or they aren’t paying close enough attention, it often results in a head-on collision. It’s also fairly common for drivers to crash into a motorcyclist when making a left-hand turn.
Motorcycle accidents aren’t always the fault of other drivers, however. Motorcyclists who drive between lanes during slowed or stopped traffic risk getting into an accident. Motorcyclists can also get into an accident when they hit a fixed object or when they ride their bike in inclement weather.
3. Know How to Prevent Motorcycle Accidents
The state of Alabama tries to protect motorcyclists by requiring them to pass a written test before they receive their motorcycle endorsement. However, motorcyclists still need to do their part to be a responsible rider and do everything they can to avoid getting injured and injuring others. The most important thing motorcyclists can do to protect themselves is to obey all traffic laws.
Motorcyclists should also wear a helmet every time they ride and also wear the appropriate riding gear. Riding protective gear is especially important when riding long distances. Before getting on a bike, motorcyclists should never drink or abuse drugs and they should use their headlights even during the day.
It’s also important to always use turning signals. Motorcycle maintenance is equally important for preventing accidents.