Many Massachusetts residents find riding a motorcycle to be relaxing and fun. Many also find it as a cost effective way to get around town to see family, go to school, or get to work. Yet, despite its benefits, motorcycle riding can also have its drawbacks. Specifically, motorcyclists are often subjected to the negligent acts of other motorists. And, since they lack many of the safety features afforded to those in passenger vehicles, these motorcyclists often suffer serious injuries or death.
The problem doesn’t seem to be getting any better. According to recently released data, 2015 saw a more than eight percent jump in motorcycle accident deaths, reaching nearly 5,000. This means that motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to be killed in a wreck than those in a passenger vehicle. This is worrisome, particularly because an approximately 600,000 more motorcyclists took to the road in 2015 than in 2014.
Although it is true that some of these deaths are caused by the negligence of the victim, in many fatal motorcycle accidents, as well as in many injurious one, other motorists are at fault. This is why it is key that motorcycle awareness is encouraged as much as possible. Doing so may prevent motorists from failing to yield when making a left turn, force them to double-check their mirrors before changing lanes, and encourage them to control their emotions when they feel road rage creeping on.
Of course, there is only so much public initiatives and the criminal law system can do to protect motorcyclists. The sad truth of the matter is that these bikers will continue to be hurt by negligent drivers. In an attempt to cover their damages, which may include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, these victims may be able to pursue compensation through a personal injury claim. Such a claim may also help shine a spotlight on the importance of motorcycle awareness and thereby prevent some from acting negligent in the future.
Source: Insurance Information Institute, “Motorcycle Crashes,” accessed on May 19, 2017