May is Motorcycle Awareness Month

motorcycle personal injury

Every motorcyclist should be concerned with safety. While riding a motorcycle can be economical, convenient, and fun, it is also an inherently dangerous way to travel due to a biker’s lack of protection should a crash occur. Even a helmet cannot prevent 100 percent of head injuries, and the rest of your body is almost completely exposed in a collision. For these reasons, the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) aims to bring awareness for drivers on how to drive safely around motorcyclists during the month of May each year.

Motorcycle Crash Statistics

Because they are so vulnerable to severe injuries, motorcyclists make up a substantial percentage of traffic-related injuries and fatalities. The following are some statistics regarding motorcycle collisions on the national level and in North Dakota for a recent year:

  • 5,286 motorcyclists were killed in crashes nationwide
  • 88,000 motorcyclists suffered crash-related injuries nationwide
  • 13 motorcyclists died in crashes in North Dakota
  • 201 motorcyclists suffered injuries in crashes in North Dakota

The number of motorcyclists injured or killed has been increasing in recent years, demonstrating the need for safety refreshers, even for experienced riders.

Information for Drivers

If you are in a car or truck, it is important to remember that motorcyclists have the right to share the road. Smaller vehicles may be more difficult to see, so drivers should follow these safety tips to avoid a collision:

  • Slow down and never follow a motorcycle too closely
  • Always stay alert and aware of all vehicles around you, including motorcycles
  • Never turn left in front of a motorcycle, as it can be more difficult to assess their speed
  • Check blind spots very carefully before changing lanes

Staying Safe on Your Motorcycle

While you can never control the actions of other drivers who may crash into you, it is possible to take steps that may increase your safety when you are out on the open road. Consider the following:

Take a safety course – Every motorcyclist should take a safety course that teaches them how to safely operate their bikes, as well as how to react to potentially hazardous situations. Even if you have been riding for many years, it is wise to sign up for a refresher course every so often.

Always wear a helmet – 77 percent of motorcyclists who died in North Dakota were not wearing helmets. You cannot fully protect yourself from head trauma, but a helmet can significantly reduce your chances of fatal head injuries.

Ride smart – Always remember that your motorcycle may be difficult to see and assume that drivers are not paying close attention. Ride defensively, not aggressively.

Stay sober – Alcohol increases the risks of a motorcycle crash and serious injuries. Never operate your motorcycle after drinking, and avoid riding with a drunk passenger, as that can also be dangerous.

Consult with an Experienced Fargo Motorcycle Crash Attorney Today

In the event that you do suffer injuries in a motorcycle crash, you should discuss your legal options and the best course of action with an experienced motorcycle crash lawyer in Fargo. Contact one of our experienced personal injury attorneys, Tim O’Keeffe, Tatum O’Brien or Sara Monson, by email, or call O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss at 701-235-8000 or toll-free at 877-235-8002.

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