With numerous collisions involving motorcycles on Pennsylvania highways, the state’s governor declared May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month to ensure proper motorcycle training, reduce fatalities and provide motorists with safe driving tips when sharing the road with motorcyclists.
In 2015, at least 3,400 motorcycle collisions were reported, along with 179 deaths. The number of fatalities actually decreased to 179 in 2015, despite an increase in crashes. Motorcycle lobbyists were shocked by the decline in deaths since better weather conditions gave motorcyclists more time to ride and run into potentially deadly consequences.
However, statistics reveal the state has not totally recovered from the spike in motorcycle fatalities after Pennsylvania relaxed its helmet law. Pennsylvania only requires helmets for riders age 21 or under. Approximately half of the 2015 Pennsylvania motorcycle fatalities were due to helmets not being worn.
Despite the relaxed law, riders who forgo helmets are at serious risk of suffering an injury as helmets are 67 percent effective in preventing traumatic brain injuries.
Pennsylvania Driver Tips to Share the Road
Although distracted driving is a large factor in motorcyclist deaths, motorists can help prevent collisions with motorcycles in various ways. The following are just a few ways to prevent motorcycle accidents and share the road with riders:
- Do not drive while impaired.
- Acknowledge that motorcycles have the same rights as four wheeled vehicles and permit motorcyclists a full lane’s width to maneuver.
- Leave more following distance when behind a motorcycle.
- Check your mirror for blind spots and safely turn your head before switching lanes.
- Use your turn signals.
Motorcycle accidents caused by distracted drivers can cause severe injuries or even death. At Schmidt Kramer, we know that more tires do not equate to more rights and we want to help you obtain the justice you deserve. Contact our skilled motorcycle accident attorneys today if you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident caused by a careless driver.