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Motorcycle Crashes Decrease but Fatality Risk Remains High

Motorcycle Crashes Decrease but Fatality Risk Remains High

June 11, 2018

A summer day. An open road. The tires are filled and you are ready to ride. While there is nothing like an exhilarating ride in the sunshine after a long snowy winter, take heed of the latest statistics on motorcycle crashes before revving up that engine.

The good news is that motorcycle crashes decreased by 14.7% in 2017; there were 2,886 compared to 3384 in 2016. However, the number of motorcyclist fatalities dropped by only 3%, from 141 in 2016 to 137 in 2017. While any reduction in accidents and deaths is a positive step, this recent decrease does not compensate for the staggering 23% increase in motorcycle deaths that occurred between 2014 and 2015, from 112 to 138.

According to preliminary data from the Governors Highway Safety Association, Michigan ranks among the top ten states for motorcycle fatalities. Adding to the danger is the fact that motorcyclist deaths occur 27 times more frequently than fatalities in other vehicles, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Out of the 2,886 motorcycle crashes that occurred in Michigan during 2017, in 1,730 of these crashes, the motorcycle driver was not wearing a helmet. Of these non-helmet wearers, 85 died and 1,645 were injured.

The majority of the crashes, 1,769, took place on city streets or local roads.

Avoid Motorcycle Crashes With These Safety Tips

While motorcyclists are more vulnerable to injury in the event of an accident, the odds can be improved by following some simple safety tips:

  • Wear a DOT-approved helmet, even for short rides, and check it periodically for proper fit and damage.
  • Inspect your motorcycle and keep it maintained. Make sure lights and mirrors are in good working order.
  • Learn and follow the rules of the road.
  • Stay alert and prepared for the unexpected.
  • Follow the posted speed limits, and slow down for rainy, snowy or icy conditions.
  • Check your blind spots, especially around big trucks.
  • Allow enough space since other drivers cannot accurately judge your speed.

Car and truck drivers should stay alert, check blind spots and allow more following distance. A motorcycle may seem to be farther away or moving faster than it actually is.

Complicated Motorcycle Insurance Laws Require Expert Advice

Motorcycles are not considered passenger vehicles under Michigan no-fault law. Therefore, most motorcycle insurance policies do not provide the same standard coverages and protections as those for passenger vehicles. Unlike a typical no-fault policy for an automobile, motorcycle insurance policies generally do not provide unlimited personal injury protection coverage, including payment of medical bills and rehabilitation in case of an accident.  

“The no-fault laws and legal issues for motorcyclists in Michigan are different and much more complicated than those pertaining to automobile drivers and passengers,” said Mark Bernstein of The Sam Bernstein Law Firm. “That is why it’s so important to call us immediately if you or a loved one are involved in a motorcycle accident.”

Get the Bernstein Biker Advantage.  Call 1-800-CALL-SAM today for a free consultation.

Sources

  • https://www.nhtsa.gov/search?keywords=motorcycles
  • https://www.michigan.gov/msp/0,4643,7-123-72297_64773_64776-467163–,00.html
  • https://www.michigan.gov/documents/msp/2016_YE_Report_568742_7.pdf
  • https://www.ghsa.org/sites/default/files/2018-05/ghsa_motorcyclists18.pdf
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