With spring in the air, it may come as no surprise to Massachusetts’ residents that May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Though it may seem to motorists that motorcycles are suddenly everywhere, the reality is that they only accounted for three percent of all registered vehicles on the road in 2016 and amount to only .7 percent of all miles traveled in the country.
Despite this, motorcyclists accounted for 13 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2016 and 91 percent of those were male riders. Since the vast majority of vehicles on the road are not motorcyclists, motorists rarely think about them and this is the problem. In a motorcycle accident, it is usually the motorist who violates the rules of the road. Motorists often don’t see these riders, perhaps because motorcyclists are in a driver’s blind spot, which, when motorists change lanes into a motorcyclist, is sometimes how they end up violating a motorcyclist’s right of way.
In 2016 alone, the National Safety Council reports that almost 5,000 motorcycle riders and passengers died in motorcycle crashes. Another 88,000 non-fatal injuries occurred in that same amount of time. This means that each year thousands of individuals and families are negatively affected by motorcycle accidents. The damages suffered by these victims can be overwhelming, including physical, emotional, and financial losses.
Everyone shares the responsibility for roadway safety. This means that those who act recklessly or negligently often put innocent individuals at risk of being injured or killed. Fortunately, legal action may allow victims to impose liability and recover compensation for their losses. Proving fault, though, is often complicated. It might therefore take the help of an experienced attorney to prove one’s case, recover compensation, and obtain the closure needed to move on with one’s life.