Every year, the return of spring and warm weather brings out hundreds of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts to Maryland’s roads and highways. Riding a motorcycle is a wonderful way to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Baltimore and the surrounding areas. However, with more motorcyclists returning to the road, spring is also an extremely important opportunity to discuss some basic facts about motorcycle safety.
- Nationwide, 4,957 motorcyclists were killed in traffic accidents in 2012.
- In Maryland, there were 62 motorcyclist fatalities in 2013, the most recent year for which data is available. The number of fatalities in Maryland decreased from 78 in 2012.
- Of those 62 fatally injured riders, only 5 were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that a total of 34 lives were saved in Maryland motorcycle accidents through the use of helmets.
Maryland is one of 19 states in the U.S that currently enforces universal motorcycle helmet laws on all of its citizens. In Maryland, riding a motorcycle without a helmet can result in a fine of up to $500. While wearing a helmet cannot prevent traffic accidents from happening, they are a motorcyclist’s most crucial piece of safety equipment. Choosing the correct motorcycle helmet for you or your loved one is the first step towards practicing proper motorcycle safety.
There are three types of helmets to choose from:
- Full Face: Covers the entire head and provides the maximum amount of protection. Full Face helmets also offer eye protection and reduce wind noise.
- Three Quarter: Covers the back, top and side of the head but not the whole face. Most models also feature eye shields.
- Half Helmet: Cover the top of the head only and offer the least protection.
Wearing and properly securing your helmet is far from the only factor that impacts the safety of motorcycle riders. As with all motor vehicles, the proper training and experience is a vitally important factor in ensuring that motorcyclists arrive at their destinations safely. Before getting on a motorcycle, be sure you undergo the proper training with a licensed Maryland motorcycle instructor.
Another crucial part of motorcycle safety places shared responsibility on both motorcyclists and passenger vehicle drivers. Driver inattention is a tragically common factor in many motorcycle accidents. All motorists must remember that motorcycles have a right to safely utilize roads and highways as well.
Car drivers should:
- Be aware of motorcyclists at all times on the roads
- Check your blind spots frequently
- Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and any motorcycles in front of you
- Especially watch when making a left hand turn
Remember, small road hazards such as potholes, downed tree branches or other debris don’t mean much for passenger vehicles, but could mean the difference between life and death for a motorcyclist.
Below are a few other key statistics to keep in mind as motorcycle season kicks into high gear:
- Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists were 5X more likely to be injured or killed in a crash than other drivers.
- Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists were approximately 26X more likely than passenger car occupants to be killed in a crash.
- 1 in 25 motorcycle accidents results in a fatality.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a motorcycle accident that was caused by another driver, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain & suffering and more.
Dealing with insurance companies and expensive medical bills is a difficult and draining process. When injured, you need to focus on your recovery, which is why you need to turn to the experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at The Yost Legal Group. Our legal team is highly experienced in all Maryland driving laws and statutes, and will compassionately and thoroughly advocate for your rights as a victim.
Call The Yost Legal Group, Baltimore, Maryland Accident and Personal Injury law firm today at 1-800-YOST-LAW (967-8529). When you call, you will receive a FREE, no-obligation consultation with one of our legal experts. We will help you understand the details of your case, and will stand with you from the start of your claim through to the finish.
The Yost Legal Group – Experienced Attorneys Dedicated to Protecting Your Rights