Anyone who rides a motorcycle is aware of the inherent danger of the vehicle and lack of protection in an accident. Motorcycle riders and passengers pay for the freedom of their rides in physical exposure to cars and hazards of the highway. A recent report underscores the growing risks of bikers on American roads.
In April, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) released a preliminary report on motorcycle accident and injury during 2012. While motor vehicle deaths have declined in the last several years, annual motorcycle fatalities are close to a record high. In 2012, 168 motorcyclists died in North Carolina, while 5,000 died across the nation the same year.
Points to consider from the GHSA report:
- With currently available data, the GHSA estimates the fatality rate from motorcycle accidents increased 9 percent in 2012. This estimate exceeds the fatality projections made by the National Safety Council (NSC) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
- Potential causes for the increase include more motorcyclists on the road as the economy has improved and good weather bringing out more individuals interested in motorcycle touring. The cost of fuel continues to provide motivation for people to find less expensive means to travel and commute.
- The GHSA encourages states to adopt universal helmet laws, increase enforcement of impaired driving laws, provide rider education and actively encourage motorists driving any vehicle to safely and considerately share the road.
In North Carolina, the universal helmet law is again under attack. Ride safe, and do not ride impaired. Wear your helmet. If injured by the negligence of others, speak with North Carolina attorneys who support motorcyclists and understand the need for compensation to get you back on the road.