Motorcycle Helmets, Fatal Crashes and Road Safety
Every summer brings not only long, sunny days, but a great increase in the rate of motorcycle accidents. Motorcycle accidents are by far the most fatal type of accident, when compared to cars or trucks.
A motorcyclist is 27 times more likely to experience a fatal injury in an accident than a driver in a standard passenger-vehicle, according to a Morning Call article. The same article also reported that 191 motorcyclists died in Pennsylvania in 2016, the most recent year for which comprehensive statistics are available.
Motorcycle safety includes defensive riding as well as safety equipment
Some of those 191 fatalities may have been prevented by the use of safety equipment. However, Pennsylvania's motorcycle helmet law only applies in limited circumstances. The law states that helmets are only required for drivers who are under 21 or who have under two years of experience riding motorcycles.
Of course, helmets and other safety devices are only part of the picture when it comes to keeping bikers safe. Motorcyclists, like all other road users, need to be responsible, drive at safe speeds and remain aware of their surroundings, and most bikers are indeed safe and responsible operators. Unfortunately, while motorcyclists are generally responsible on the roadways and aware of their surroundings, many passenger-vehicle drivers fail to pay attention or drive recklessly, causing crashes that often result in serious or fatal injuries to the motorcyclist. Wearing a helmet can reduce the chances of suffering a severe or life-threatening injury.
Helmets prevent some injuries but don't address the root of the problem
A motorcycle accident is devastating, not only to the riders involved, but to their families and greater communities. But it doesn’t have to be like this. Our Pennsylvania motorcycle accident attorneys have seen the damage caused by negligent drivers, and more needs to be done to protect motorcyclists.
Having seen the results of too many serious motorcycle accidents, we do recommend wearing helmets and other protective gear such as goggles, ear protection, and leather or denim clothing to prevent road rash. That being said, helmets do not prevent all injuries, and even if an injury could have been prevented by a helmet, that doesn't absolve a negligent driver of responsibility. The best way to prevent serious and fatal motorcycle accidents is for motorists and motorcyclists alike to practice defensive driving. Passenger-vehicle drivers need to drive at safe speeds, keep their eyes on the road and look twice for motorcycles before turning or changing lanes.
If you were injured in a motorcycle crash, you need to take two immediate steps. First, seek medical attention. Then, contact an attorney who understands Pennsylvania's complex legal system. No matter whether you were wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, you have legal rights, and we can protect them.
When the worst happens, you need someone in your corner who knows how to fight for your care and compensation. You need Marcus & Mack. If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident, don’t wait. Contact us today.