May was Motorcycle Awareness Month. The purpose of which is to emphasize that, as motorists, we share the road with motorcycles. Specifically, Motorcycle Awareness Month reminds motorists not only to be aware of motorcycles on the road but also reminds those who ride motorcycles to regularly use measures that improve their safety and welfare, as well as the safety and welfare of others on the road, while enjoying their motorcycles.
One of the biggest factors in motorcycle accidents is motorists who fail to see a motorcycle. Drivers must be vigilant in looking for motorcycles on the road. More importantly, motorists must be prepared to allow motorcycles extra space on the road.
The National Safety Council’s data shows that, when motorcycles and other vehicles are involved in an accident, it is the vehicle that failed to give the right away, often because the driver is unaware of the motorcycle’s presence. The most common reasons motorists may fail to see a motorcycle are:
- They were distracted.
- They did not anticipate the motorcycle changing direction.
- The motorcycle was not visible because it was in a blind spot of the vehicle operator’s field of vision.
Federal law controls maximum gross vehicle weights and axle loads on our nation’s freeway system. Federal law limits trucks to 80,000 pounds gross vehicle weight, but larger loads are possible. All of us share the road with these mammoth vehicles. Any accidental interaction with these vehicles weighing several tons has the potential for serious injury and death, especially for a motorcycle.
Here are some simple facts about motorcycles using the most recent data from 2017:
- 5,172 motorcycle riders and passengers died in crashes in 2017. Fatalities among motorcycle riders and passengers have more than doubled in number since 1997.
- Motorcycles make up 3% of all registered vehicles and only .6% of all vehicle miles traveled in the U.S.
- Motorcyclists accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities in 2017.
- 28% of riders who died in a motorcycle crash in 2017 were alcohol-impaired.
- 91% of riders who died in a motorcycle crash in 2017 were male.
As more motorcycles will be on the road during California’s summer months, it is important to always remain vigilant for their presence on the road. If you ride a motorcycle, be aware that wearing a helmet may prevent fatal injuries by 37% for riders and up to 41% for passengers! Ride safely!
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, Maison Law will fight for you! We provide the highest level of legal service in the Fresno and Visalia areas. Maison Law is located on W. Main Street in Visalia, about 50 minutes from the Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT). Pick up the phone (24 hours a day, 7 days a week and speak with a Maison Law representative. Our Central Valley personal injury attorney is here to help you! Call Maison Law at (559) 203-3333.