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Governors Outlook on Motorcycle Safety

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Highway Fatalities Across America

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) has long been a champion of motorcycle safety. Georgia’s governor is a member of this organization and also provides a great deal of motor vehicle safety information on the site Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. According to the GHSA, there is possibly good news mixed in with not-so-good news on traffic safety for motorcyclists.

First, some good news — the number of overall fatalities on American roads is down from 40,000 in past decades to 35,000 in 2015. This should seem like a fine improvement. But the reductions we have seen across the country for many decades are now moving in the wrong direction. An eight percent increase in traffic fatalities in 2015 is a very concerning trend. But even worse is the upward trend in pedestrian and motorcycle fatalities which amounts to about ten percent.

Why Motorcyclists are More Vulnerable

One of the reasons for the higher level of fatalities for motorcyclists is not difficult to identify. The numbers that show decreases in traffic fatalities are based on safer vehicles, public education efforts and law enforcement. The GHSA notes a significant drop for these fatalities between 2005 and 2014. But motorcyclists (and pedestrians) are more vulnerable to being seriously injured or worse in a crash or collision. The challenge is on to increase safety for motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians. And the challenge will be made more difficult due to the rise in our country of distracted driving and the inappropriate use of technology while driving, which could well exceed DUI now and in the future.

As the GHSA has reported, nearly 5,000 bikers were fatally injured in 2015. They also note that in those states that do not have universal helmet laws in place, the statistics on fatal accidents are much higher. They point to the estimates reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that in 2013 alone, over 1500 lives were saved by helmets and that over 700 more could have been saved if the rider had been wearing a helmet.

What Riders Can Do to Be Safer 

There are other steps riders can take to better ensure their safety in the presence of caged drivers, whether they are in cars or trucks. These include such things as getting basic riding training, training for unexpected road conditions and technical advanced riding training. Such things as how to handle intersections safely, ensuring that caged drivers see you and knowing how to manage different road conditions are among the many things riders can learn to ride more safely. Other potential issues that are within the control of individual bikers, but present risks, include riding without a proper license or training, riding under the influence and speeding. Speeding alone accounted for nearly 35 percent of all motorcycle fatal crashes.

Scholle Law supports those bikers and cyclists who have been injured in an accident. We have represented many in the biking and cycling community and know there are special issues that arise in these cases. For example, the tendency of the insurance carriers to blame the rider in an intersection crash. We are here to help you and our evaluation is free. In most of the cases we handle, we do not get paid until you get paid. So please give us a call and we are happy to talk with you about your injury and how it happened.

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