Riding a motorcycle can be a very freeing experience for the tens of thousands of people who use a bike as their main mode of transportation. Motorcycles aren’t without drawbacks though. The risk of serious injury increases significantly when riding a motorcycle. Many motorists are not used to sharing the road with motorcycles and are more likely to cut them off or sideswipe them. Motorcycles themselves offer no protection in an accident and the equipment that is worn can only offer minimal protection. How dangerous is riding a motorcycle? Below are some injury statistics for motorcycle crashes in North Carolina.
Does Riding a Motorcycle Increase the Chances of an Injury?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has studied automobile accidents and has concluded that the rider of a motorcycle is 37 times more likely to die in an accident compared to the occupants of a standard car. In an average year there are around 96,000 people injured in motorcycle accidents across the country. The inherent problem with motorcycles is that even a small accident can result in a serious injury; you are more likely to suffer a long-term injury while riding a motorcycle than you are in any other mode of transportation.
Motorcycle Deaths in North Carolina
In 2008 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a report on motorcycle accidents in the United States of America and found that out of the 5,290 motorcycle fatalities, 159 of those took place in North Carolina. A report put out by AAA studying motorcycle traffic fatalities by state found that in the first 9 months of 2010 there were 147 motorcycle fatalities, and in the first 9 months of 2011 there were only 116. Although the numbers are significant enough to be one of the highest by state, they are still decreasing. This could be due to more riders wearing safety gear or even motorists becoming more aware of motorcycle riders.
How to Protect Yourself
Although motorcycles themselves offer no protection, riders can still be protected by the equipment they wear. Wearing a motorcycle helmet can decrease the chance of death in an accident by as much as 29 percent and decrease the chance of a traumatic brain injury by 67 percent. Even though motorcycles are more dangerous than cars, you can still take precautions to protect your well-being while riding them.
In the state of North Carolina, 7.1 percent of all traffic fatalities come from motorcycle accidents and for every 10,000 people who ride a motorcycle 11.9 of them will be involved in a fatal accident. The numbers are hard to ignore; riding a motorcycle is a dangerous thing to do. However, there are steps you can take to protect yourself, such as wearing adequate safety gear and paying attention to other motorists. In case of an accident, it is necessary to make sure you are properly insured so that you can cover any medical bills that you may incur. Being safe should always be the top priority of any motorist, motorcycle riders included.
If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in a motorcycle accident as a result of another motorist’s negligence, seeking the advice of legal counsel is essential. Hardison & Cochran, Attorneys at Law are motorcycle accident lawyers located in North Carolina. For more information about motorcycle accidents and injuries, visit the website at www.LawyerNC.com.