More care by motorists and more helmets on motorcyclists could cut down on injuries and deaths says Philadelphia car accident attorney Rand Spear.
Motorcyclists are 26 times more likely to have a fatal accident per mile driven than those in passenger vehicles and while motorcycle fatalities were down by 2% nationwide in Pennsylvania they rose slightly. Philadelphia car accident lawyer Rand Spear in a podcast available on YouTube says increasing popularity of motorcycles plus inexperienced riders may be creating the trend.
Fatalities for car occupants have declined 30% since 1997 while the fatality rate for motorcycles has increased 122%. Auto accident attorney Spear says there are many factors that may explain the difference. “I think there’s greater popularity for motorcycles among, let’s say weekend warriors, who are riding these very fast bikes known as pocket rockets. They are less experienced riders who are riding too fast. About 34% of the deaths were from speeding.”
“Other problems include a lack of a universal helmet law. There really should be a federal law in my opinion but, unfortunately, there’s not. Only 19 states have these laws,” Spear says. In 2015 in Pennsylvania there were 179 motorcycle fatalities, 48% or 86 of these riders were not wearing helmets. Of the 332 bikers that were not killed in the crashes 217 were wearing a helmet, almost two-thirds of the riders. New Jersey requires helmets when riding a motorcycle. Pennsylvania only requires helmets for motorcyclists 21 and younger.
“You need to wear a helmet. It makes too much common sense to wear a helmet but you know some people are going to continue riding motorcycles without them. It’s very unfortunate. The statistics speak for themselves and it’s just crazy to be driving around in this day in age without a helmet,” Spear says.
Spear says he rides a motorcycle and has some suggestions for other riders. “Be very careful of cars turning left in front of bikes. They make up 42% of all crashes; almost half of the crashes are from cars making a left-hand turn in front of the bike. Keep an eye on the wheels of the car. You can’t always tell just by looking at the car what their intentions are so if you can look at the wheels so you can anticipate turns that like.”
“Never ever ride between an active traffic lane and parked cars, not just because of the dangers of doors opening, but because pedestrians step out between cars. For that and a million other reasons you just don’t want to be there, that’s a very dangerous area.”
Spear says most accidents involving vehicles and motorcycles are the fault of the vehicle drivers. “Sixty percent of car crashes with motorcycles are the fault of motorists. It’s the motorists who have to pay attention. Look twice before you turn. Always be aware of bikers and their proximity to your car. Give them more room than if you would if it was a car near you. Stay away from the motorcycles. They stop faster and they have more reasons to stop quickly. Fully signal your turn and lane changes and check your blind spots.”
If you or a family member are injured in a motorcycle accident in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, contact Philadelphia vehicle accident lawyer Rand Spear today at 888-373-4LAW or by form for a free consultation. You can discuss what happened, how the law may apply and your best options for obtaining compensation for your injuries.