Motorcycle Accidents in the U.S., How to Avoid Them, and What to Do if You’re Involved in One

As the cool weather rolls in, there is a greater risk for motorcycle accidents because of inclement weather and shortened daylight hours. There is a chance that motorcyclists will be out on the roads one last time before tucking their motorcycles away for the winter. Unfortunately, there are a number of motorcycle accidents, injuries, and deaths each year.

By the Numbers

  • According to the National Safety Council, there were an estimated 35,200 auto-related deaths in 2013.
  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,957 motorcyclists were killed in 2012.
  • There was a 7% increase of instances of motorcycle fatalities between 2011 and 2012.
  • According to the NHTSA, 93,000 motorcyclists were injured in the U.S. in 2012.

Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
One of the most common injuries that result from motorcycle accidents are head injuries. Riders should always wear a helmet to protect their heads in the event of an impact. Another common injury that is sustained during a motorcycle crash is road rash, which comes from skin coming into contact with the roadway during a crash. An easy way to avoid this is to wear protective gear like leather clothing and protective pads. The third most common motorcycle crash injuries happen to the arms and legs, since a rider is not secured onto the motorcycle with something like a seat belt. Again, protective gear is essential here.


Avoiding an Accident
Motorcyclists should avoid riding on slick roads or any time visibility is decreased. Riders should follow the rules of the road, drive within the speed limit, and never ride in a car’s blind spot. Motorcycle riders should also be sure to tell someone where they plan to ride and when they will return. Auto drivers should always check both ways carefully before proceeding through an intersection or switching lanes. Drivers should also drive with more caution during nicer weather days in the fall, since motorcyclists are more likely to be out on their last ride of the year on those days.

If You Do Get in an Accident
If you do get in an accident while riding a motorcycle, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention, even if you are unsure that you sustained any injuries. After being checked out by medical personnel, you should gather information from any other driver involved in the accident and give a detailed statement to police before leaving the scene. Document any evidence of the crash that you can — take pictures of any injuries and damage, and record the contact information of anyone else involved in the crash.

After you have been treated for any injuries and have spoken with the other drivers and law enforcement officials, you should look for a personal injury lawyer to handle your case. You may be entitled to compensation after a crash.

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