During the spring and summer months, thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts take to the roads and highways throughout New York State. In fact, the New York Department of Motor Vehicles estimates that there are approximately 345,000 motorcycles registered for use in New York State, making New York the sixth most popular state for riders in the nation.
Riding a motorcycle is a wonderful way to experience the beautiful scenery of the Hudson Valley and beyond, but motorcyclists are also exposed to a significant amount of risk when sharing the road with other passenger vehicles. In fact, the biggest danger faced by motorcycle riders on the road is not driver inattention, unsafe speed or unsafe road conditions.
The largest contributing factor to accidents involving motorcyclists is negligence on the part of the other drivers around them. To make matters worse, when cars and motorcycles are involved in collisions, it is almost always the motorcyclist that comes away either seriously or fatally injured. The risk of serious or fatal injury is for motorcycle riders compared to motorists in passenger vehicles is startling:
• The Insurance Information Institute estimated that in 2013, motorcycle riders were roughly 26 times more likely to die in a traffic accident compared to drivers in passenger vehicles.
• According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the fatality rate per registered vehicle was 6 times greater for motorcyclists than for drivers of passenger vehicles.
• The single most dangerous situation faced by motorcyclists was drivers of passenger vehicles making left turns at intersections. These types of collisions accounted for roughly 42% of all collisions involving motorcycles.
Motorcycle accidents are a major cause of injuries and fatalities in New York State. It is important that riders and motorists of all types of vehicles try to avoid collisions. Here are some statistics that show how many riders are victims of motorcycle accidents every year in New York:
• In New York in 2013, there were a total of 5,190 crashes involving motorcycles resulting in 5,017 injuries.
• In 2013, there were 164 fatal motorcycle crashes resulting in a total of 171 rider deaths.
• In terms of the age groups of injured riders, the motorcyclists at highest risk of being involved in a fatal collision were not young and inexperienced. In fact, the age group most likely to be involved in a fatal motorcycle accident was riders over the age of 50, who accounted for 34% of all rider deaths nationwide in 2013.
It is important that motorists in all types of vehicles safely and properly share the road in order to avoid these types of tragic and deadly accidents. There are some very basic safety precautions that all motorists can take in order to avoid accidents with motorcycles. Some tips for drivers include:
• When turning at an intersection or changing lanes, you should always make a habit of checking your blind spot. Due to their size, it is easy to miss motorcycles around you.
• Always take an extra moment to check your blind spot for motorcyclists before turning or changing lanes.
• Motorcycles face a much greater danger from common road obstacles such as downed branches or potholes, and may have to make necessary adjustments at the last moment to avoid an accident.
• Motorists should leave more space between them and motorcycles than they would for other passenger vehicles.
• It can be difficult for drivers to accurately judge a motorcycle’s speed on the road. A good rule of thumb is to assume that motorcycles are closer than they appear in your rear-view mirror.
Follow these safety precautions and we can all help prevent future vehicle accidents involving motorcycles. All drivers in New York have a right to safely and responsibly share the road.
If your or a loved one has been injured while riding a motorcycle in an accident that was not your fault, you will need an experienced New York and New Jersey Motorcycle Accident lawyer by your side.
Call Fellows Hymowitz Rice right away at 845-639-9300 to receive a FREE, confidential and no-obligation consultation about your case from a compassionate and experienced attorney. Our legal team will examine the details of your case and help provide the answers you seek.
Motorcycle accidents can be complex matters and are often devastating for victims and their families. Trust the lawyers of Fellows Hymowitz Rice to defend your rights as a victim to the fullest. When you trust Fellows Hymowitz Rice with your serious injury case, you will never pay an attorney’s fee unless we achieve a recovery for you.
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