As the mercury rises and the days get longer, car and truck drivers are sharing the roads with more motorcyclists. May is designated as "Motorcycle Awareness Month." The purpose is to remind all motorists to exercise extra care when behind the wheel - especially with motorcycles are out and about.
Motorcyclists have the same rights and privileges as drivers of passenger vehicles. But, because of their smaller profile, motorcycles may be easier to miss in "blind spots" and in rear-view mirrors. As reported by AAA, there is a 26 percent difference in view between a motorcycle and standard passenger car when monitoring blind spots. It's much more difficult to detect the smaller vehicle.
Riders are not enclosed or protected by seatbelts and airbags. As a result, when a motorcycle collides with a car or truck (or vice versa), the motorcycle usually loses. Damage can be relatively minor, resulting in injuries such as road rash. However, in many cases, harm can be severe enough to cause amputations, traumatic brain injuries, paralysis or even death.
The statistics are sobering: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 4,500 motorcyclists were killed in traffic accidents on U.S. roadways in 2014. Of those, 39 percent were not wearing helmets. An additional 92,000 motorcyclists were injured in traffic accidents in that same year.
If you or someone you love was injured in a motorcycle accident, it is important to talk to an experienced personal injury attorney. More often than not, motorcycle collisions are life changing and require emotional, physical and financial rehab.
Let Motorcycle Awareness Month serve as a reminder: Both motorcyclists and drivers in passenger vehicles need to drive responsibly and travel safely as we share the roadways this summer.