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Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

With motorcycle riding season officially underway, it’s time to call attention to the importance of safe driving to reduce unnecessary road fatalities this season. May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the perfect time to take stock of your driving behaviors and encourage family and loved ones to do the same. The more active we are at preventing motorcycle accidents in our community, the more lives we can save from driver error and negligence. 

Although motorcyclists only make up 3% of all motor vehicles on the road, an estimated 14% of traffic fatalities involve motorcycles. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to sustain fatal injuries in an accident than occupants of any other vehicle, making it crucial to help protect these vulnerable riders in any way possible. 

Motorcycle Fatality Statistics

Americans are driving more since the pandemic than ever, and motorcyclists are reaping the consequences. According to the NHTSA, an estimated 42,795 people died in traffic accidents in 2022, a 0.3% decrease compared to 2022 and 2021, but still far above the number of fatalities we should see with modern safety technology. 

In the latest data report on motorcycle fatalities by the National Safety Council examining fatality rates from 2007 to 2021, 5,506 motorcyclists were killed in 2021, higher than any other year in the study. Approximately 83,000 motorcyclists were injured in accidents in the same year. 

Other key motorcycle accident trends in 2021 to know include: 

  • 83% occurred in good weather conditions 
  • 67% occurred on urban roads 
  • 50% occurred during nighttime driving hours
  • 53% involved more than one vehicle 
  • 59% involved drivers wearing helmets
  • 72% of accidents did NOT involve alcohol

Speeding, distracted driving, and impaired driving pose a significant safety risk to motorcycle riders who are already at an elevated risk of accidents. Between 2020 to 2021, the NHTSA saw the following upticks in these deadly behaviors: 

  • Speeding: up 7.9%
  • Distracted Driving: up 12%
  • Impaired Driving: up 14%

How to Participate in Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month 

You can do tons to participate in Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, but the most effective step, to begin with, is evaluating your personal driving behaviors. Are you looking for motorcyclists on the road? Do you drive distracted? Are you going too fast to make safe adjustments when motorcyclists approach?

As drivers, we can all do our part to operate our vehicles safely on the road. Here are a few ways to start: 

  • Look for motorcyclists before switching lanes, in your blind spots, or just in general as you’re driving. 
  • Always use your turn signal to give motorcyclists ample warning on your intentions. 
  • Reduce distractions and keep two hands on the wheel. 
  • Give motorcyclists space. Do not tailgate or ride too close. 
  • Never throw trash out the window! Motorcyclists do not have the same protections to protect them from debris. 

Additionally, you can help spread awareness by using social media to encourage friends and family to drive safely this Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Follow the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and NHTSA for ways to stay updated on the latest news and platforms you can connect with for more information and materials. 

Image Credit: https://nhtsaimages.zenfolio.com/p297625274

Pazer Epstein Jaffe Fein & Gozenput, P.C. NYC Motorcycle Accident Attorneys 

At the law firm of Pazer Epstein Jaffe Fein & Gozenput, P.C., we have been fighting for New York City motorcyclists for over 60 years. If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury in a motorcycle accident, our experienced trial attorneys are here to help. Contact us for a free case evaluation via our online form or call 212-227-1212 to speak to one of our attorneys.

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