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Motorcycle accident rates continue to increase

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2024 | Car Accidents

With warmer weather upon us, many residents in the St. Cloud area are taking to their motorcycles. This can be a peaceful, relaxing, and enjoyable way to get around town and enjoy the outdoors, but it can also be extraordinarily dangerous. That’s why it’s critical that you exercise defensive driving when out on your bike, otherwise you could be left with serious, perhaps even lifelong injuries.

When do motorcycle accidents occur?

While a motorcycle accident can occur at any time of day or night and under any weather conditions, there are some common circumstances associated with the majority of motorcycle accidents, at least according to the NHTSA. Perhaps surprisingly, the majority of these wrecks, 57%, occurred during the day in 2021, with 97% of them happening during clear or cloudy conditions compared to rainy condition. Another unexpected statistic is that 92% of motorcycle accidents occurred on non-interstate roads. The weekdays also see more motorcycle accidents than the weekend, which may be attributable to higher traffic volume and traffic congestion.

Which direction are motorcycle accidents trending?

Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents appear to be trending in the wrong direction. 2021 saw more than 400 additional motorcycle accident fatalities compared to 2020, with nearly 6,000 motorcycle crashes leaving riders dead in 2021. There was also a 5% increase in the number of riders who were injured in a motorcycle accident, with more than 82,000 people ending up hurt in one of these wrecks.

What’s contributing to higher motorcycle accident rates?

It’s hard to say for sure, but speed and alcohol continue to be problematic. Alcohol can severely decrease one’s response time, concentration, and balance, which can prove deadly when mixed with motorcycle riding. But even those who are sober can be tragically injured or killed in a motorcycle accident. In some instances, these riders get moving too fast, thereby preventing them from slowing in time for stopped traffic or intersections.

But it’s certain that not all the blame lays at the feet of motorcyclists. In fact, many drivers fail to recognize when motorcyclists are around them, causing them to turn into these riders or fail to prevent a rear-end collision. Any of these circumstances can throw a rider from their bike, resulting in serious, perhaps even catastrophic injuries.

What can you do to stay safe on your bike?

You need to be as defensive as possible when riding your motorcycle. This means maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other vehicles, following all traffic laws, and positioning yourself in your lane so that you’re more visible to other drivers. Anticipate other drivers to act in an erratic fashion, too, that way you’re prepared to take evasive maneuvers to protect yourself. Also, be sure to wear a helmet, as studies have shown that doing so can drastically increase your chances of surviving one of these accidents. Other protective gear can also protect you from serious injuries.

What if you’ve already been injured in a motorcycle accident?

If you’ve been hurt in one of these wrecks, then you should consider taking legal action against the negligent driver who caused your harm. If you’re successful, then you might be able to recover the compensation you need to offset damages like lost wages, medical expenses, disfigurement, and pain and suffering. Taking this action can also highlight the importance of motorcycle awareness and safe driving practices, which may deter other motorists from putting motorcyclists in harm’s way in the future.

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