New York Motorcycle Accidents Claim Far Too Many Lives
Every year, thousands of New York motorcyclists ride their bikes to and from work and plan special weekend trips and longer vacations through beautiful scenic valleys. On other occasions, numerous motorcyclists head out together in hopes of sharing journeys down their favorite back roads. Unfortunately, too many riders, especially young men in their 20s, keep losing their lives in the Hudson Valley area explains an attorney at Frekhtman & Associates, New York motorcycle accident lawyers.
Although many injured cyclists are hit by careless motorists in congested traffic areas, others lose their lives by taking highway turns too sharply. Volunteer groups like the New York Motorcycle and Scooter Task Force are urging the New York state government to take further action and provide all motorcyclists with better safety training. However, in responding to such requests, the state points out that it spent over $225,000 on multiple grants addressing motorcycle safety in 2016 alone.
Before referencing some of the greatest dangers faced by motorcyclists and safety tips that can help them, it’s useful to review recent accident statistics.
How Many Motorcyclists Are Being Injured, Hospitalized or Killed Each Year?
- Nationwide, recent death rates have risen. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that during 2015, approximately 4,976 people died in motorcycle accidents across the country — indicating an 8.3 percent increase over 2014;
- New York ER visits for motorcyclists. Between 2012 and 2014, injured motorcyclists made 4,458 trips to ERs following traffic accidents with other vehicles;
- New York hospitalization rates for injured motorcyclists remain high. Between 2012 and 2014, there were 1,558 annual hospitalizations for traffic-related motorcycle injuries;
- Deaths often occur when riders fail to wear helmets. During 2014, thirty-nine percent (39%) of motorcyclists killed were not wearing helmets;
- Older American riders are dying in higher numbers. Between 2005 and 2014, motorcyclists age 40 and older have seen their fatalities rise by 14 percent. All other age groups have only seen a one percent increase in deaths;
- Motorcyclists are six times more likely to die. Compared to motor vehicle occupants, those riding motorcycles have a mortality rate six times greater than those riding in cars, trucks and other large vehicles;
- Young male New York motorcyclists’ lives are at special risk. Men between the ages of 20 and 24 are the most likely to die while riding their bikes in this state.
Are There Any New York Safety Programs Helping to Decrease Accidents?
During 2016, over 17,000 riders completed the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s intensive safety courses. Those who successfully complete that course (that costs approximately $400) are allowed to waive the DMV’s basic road test.
In response to this course’s comprehensive training, different motorcycle advocacy groups are urging the state to provide it for free to all riders. Interested parties can contact the DMV to obtain the names of other highly recommended motorcycle safety training programs.
General Safety Tips Designed to Help New York Motorcyclists Avoid Injuries/Fatalities
- High-quality helmets, sturdy boots, leather jackets and other protective gear like gloves and goggles should always be worn;
- All riders, regardless of their lengthy road experience, should take refresher safety courses every few years – concentrating on defensive driving;
- Only well-made motorcycles should be purchased and ridden – and comprehensive rider insurance should be carried by everyone;
- Riders must avoid all dangerous activities like speeding and taking curves too fast;
- No one should ride a motorcycle after drinking alcohol or consuming any drugs that can alter an individual’s clear thinking or physical reaction time;
- Antilock braking systems (ABS) are strongly recommended. These can decrease the chances that your brakes will “lockup” and they help maintain steadier brake pressure;
- Super sport motorcycles increase the chances of being seriously injured. Part of the problem is that these lighter bikes can reach up to 190 miles per hour, tempting too many younger riders to go over the speed limit.
If you’ve been seriously injured in a New York motorcycle accident, you need to contact your New York personal injury attorney right away.