Did you know that May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month? Motorcycles have been commonplace on our roads since the early 1900s. From leisurely rides around town to daredevil stunt racing, motorcycles are all but boring. While they are exhilarating to ride, they can also have dire consequences.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,957 motorcyclists were killed in 2012, a 7% increase from the previous year. The injury rate from motorcycle accidents also saw a significant increase- 15% in the same time span. Motorcycles make up 3% of all registered vehicles in the United States, but motorcyclists account for 15% of all traffic fatalities. Why is it that these vehicles are such a cause for concern?
Part of the reason is a disregard for motorcycle safety. In the majority of motorcycle-related accidents, a better regard for safety procedures and precautions could have resulted in a better outcome. Here are a few tips to keep you safe on your bike:
- Wear your helmet. From 2012 to 2013, the use of DOT-compliant helmets remained at 60%, unchanged during the year. This means that, despite the growing number of motorcyclists, fewer people are taking proper precautions to protect themselves. NHTSA estimates that helmets saved the lives of nearly 1,700 motorcyclists in 2012 alone. An additional 871 lives could have been saved, had the rider been wearing their helmet.
It is crucial to wear a properly fitting, DOT-compliant helmet. For more information on choosing the right helmet, watch the NHTSA video on the subject here.
- Licensing and Education. Another critical step is to be sure to always have a valid license for operating a motorcycle. Of the motorcycle operators involved in fatal motorcycle crashes in 2012, approximately 24% did not have valid motorcycle licenses.
Ensuring proper motorcycle education is also essential. The state of New Mexico offers a Motorcycle Safety Program for beginner and advanced riders that you can find more about here.
- Ride Sober. One final suggestion that we have is to always be alert and in the proper state of mind when operating any motor vehicle, motorcycles included. NHTSA reports that the number of intoxicated motorcycle riders on the roads is higher than the number of intoxicated drivers for any other vehicle. Furthermore, 43% of motorcycle riders who died in single-vehicle crashes had BAC levels over the legal limit. Driving under the influence is always a bad idea, no matter what type of vehicle. Rather than put yourself and others at risk, don’t ride drunk.
These are just a few tips to keep safe while on your bike. As another reminder, please always remain alert on the roads, whether in a car or on a motorcycle. We want all New Mexicans to stay safe! If you or someone you know has been in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Ring Jimenez for a free consultation and visit our Albuquerque motorcycle accident attorney practice page to learn more about what we can do for you.
Additional Information: http://www.nhtsa.gov/Safety/Motorcycles