Archive for the ‘Motorcycle Accidents’ Category

Staying Safe from Summer Motorcycle Collisions in Columbia

Recently a motorcyclist was killed and two others were injured in a Tennessee accident. According to News Channel 5, the accident may have started because of a blown out tire that sent a truck into the motorcyclist’s lane. The collision, unfortunately, is likely to be one of many motorcycle accidents that occur over the summer. 

The risk of motorcycle collisions during the summer months cannot be understated. As recent reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicate, the number of motorcycle accident deaths has been steadily on the rise. Motorcyclists also face a significantly greater chance of being killed in a collision than those in passenger vehicles or trucks.

Both motorcycle riders and those in cars and trucks should do their part to try to prevent motorcycle collisions. When accidents do occur, victims or their family members need to consult with a personal injury attorney to understand their legal options.

Bad News for Motorcycle Riders

The NHTSA report on 2012 motorcycle accidents had lots of bad news for motorcycle riders:

  • In 2012, 4,957 people were killed in motorcycle accidents. This was a seven percent increase over the 4,630 people who lost their lives in 2011.
  • The motorcycle driver was most likely to be killed in motorcycle crashes. Operators of motorcycles accounted for 93 percent of people killed on motorcycles and passengers made up just seven percent of the fatalities.
  • The majority of deadly motorcycle collisions involved another vehicle. In total, 52 percent of deadly crashes were multiple vehicle accidents.
  • Accidents were likely to occur when drivers in the other vehicle were turning left. A total of 41 percent of deadly motorcycle accidents happened under these circumstances.
  • In 23 percent of motorcycle collisions, the motorcyclist and the other vehicle involved in the accident were both going straight.

Motorcycle accident deaths have been on an upward trajectory and motorcyclists account for a disproportionate number of people who are killed in collisions. Although motorcycles account for only 3 percent of registered vehicles in the country, 15 percent of people who die in motor vehicle crashes are on a motorcycle at the time. Motorcyclists are 26 times as likely to die in a collision as people in other vehicles.

The roads are a risky place for bikers but they don’t have to be. Both motorcycle riders and drivers can try to take steps to reduce the risk of accidents. For example:

  • All drivers and motorcyclists should avoid high-risk behaviors such as driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving while distracted or driving while they are drowsy.
  • Drivers and motorcyclists should travel at a safe rate of speed for current conditions and should ensure they do not exceed the speed limit.
  • Motorcycle riders need to use both turn signals and hand signals to ensure drivers understand their intentions. Riding in the center of the lane is also advisable to maximize the chances a driver will see you.
  • Drivers should look twice before changing lanes or making a left turn to ensure that they are not cutting off or striking a motorcyclist. Motorcycles are smaller and more difficult to see and drivers need to be on the lookout.

If motorcyclists and drivers make it a point to be as careful as possible on the road and to obey all safety rules, hopefully the number of collisions will decrease.

Contact Columbia injury lawyers at Matthews & Megna LLC by calling 1-803-799-1700 or visit http://www.matthewsandmegna.com

South Carolina Motorcycle Accident An Important Safety Reminder

A motorcycle accident in South Carolina has left behind a 4-year-old girl after both her parents were killed in the crash. The accident occurred on the Highway 17 Bypass when the motorcyclist reportedly lost control of the bike and struck a Chevrolet Trailblazer. Neither the motorcyclist nor his wife were wearing helmets and both were killed in the crash. ABC 13  reports that the motorcycle accident was the second the couple had been involved with, as a prior crash several years earlier had severely injured the man. 

Personal injury lawyers in South Carolina know that motorcycle accidents are common, with 1,819 crashes occurring in 2010 alone. Motorcycle riders are 30 times more likely to die and five times as likely to be injured in motorcycle accidents. Riders need to understand the risks and take steps to protect their safety.

Motorcycle Crashes Dangerous for Motorcyclists in South Carolina

The number of motorcycle accidents has been on the rise both nationwide and in South Carolina. The SC Department of Public Safety reports that there was a 5.8 percent increase in the number of motorcycle crashes in the state from 2009 to 2010. During this same time period, there was also a 10 percent increase in the number of motorcycle accident deaths.

While motorcycles accounted for just 1.7 percent of traffic accidents in South Carolina in 2010, a total of 10 percent of all traffic fatalities over the course of the year happened in motorcycle accidents.  The average age of those killed on a motorcycle was 41. There were 81 deaths among riders and passengers on motorcycles in 2010.

Motorcycle riders need to be aware of the risks of riding and should do everything possible to avoid being injured or killed in a motorcycle crash. Motorcyclists should:

  • Wear helmets when riding. Helmets aren’t required for motorcyclists over age 21 in South Carolina, but riders who do wear helmets are 71 percent less likely to incur a traumatic brain injury than those who do not have helmets on.  Motorcyclists with helmets are also 37 percent less likely to die in a motorcycle accident.
  • Wear brightly colored clothing and use bike reflectors to make it easier for drivers to see them.
  • Make eye contact with drivers and use hand signals and turn signals to communicate their intentions to drivers.
  • Avoid higher-risk behavior such as speeding and lane splitting.

While these behaviors can make motorcycle riders safer, drivers also play a major role in causing motorcycle accidents and motorists should make a commitment to drive safely in order to reduce the risk of causing a motorcycle crash. To help motorcyclists stay safe, drivers of passenger cars should:

  • Pay attention to the road and avoid behaviors such as drowsy, drunk or distracted driving that make it more difficult to see a motorcycle rider.
  • Give motorcyclists the right-of-way when required. Motorcycles should be treated just like any other car on the road.
  • Avoid speeding or tailgating behind a motorcycle rider.
  • Remember motorcycle riders are more affected by changes in the road surface than passenger cars.

If every motorcyclist and driver does his or her part to be safer on the roads, hopefully the number of tragic South Carolina motorcycle accidents can decline.

Personal injury lawyers in South Carolina can help motorcycle accident victims. Contact the attorneys at Matthews & Megna today at 877-253-7705.