Warmer weather means there are more motorcycles on the roadways, bringing with them an increase in motorcycle-related injuries and fatalities. As lawyers, we unfortunately see, on a regular basis, the devastating effects these types of accidents can bring.
Because they have a smaller profile than passenger cars and trucks on the road, it can be tougher to see motorcycles in the “blind spot” until it is too late to avoid an accident. And, motorcyclists also aren’t strapped in by seatbelts, nor do they have the protection offered by airbags, so when they are involved in crashes, resulting injuries can be much more serious than those of passengers in cars or trucks.
Injuries like traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations, broken bones or fractured ribs are all too common when motorcyclists are injured on the road. The number of fatalities from motorcycle accidents is also much higher than passenger vehicle deaths.
In fact, according to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, motorcyclists death surged by 10% in 2015, nationwide, an additional 450 deaths over 2014 numbers. In Alabama, the increase was less pronounced; with 77 fatalities reported in 2015 compared to 76 in 2014. However, looking at the data closer also reveals that the number of young adults (aged 21-25) killed on motorcycles in Alabama in 2015 was 15, compared to 9 in 2014 (source: GHSA report.)
The decrease in overall fatalities may be attributable, in part, to the law that took effect one year ago requiring motorcycle riders to qualify for an “M” Class license to operate motorcycles on Alabama’s roads and highways. As a percentage of overall vehicle deaths, Alabama was actually the lowest in the nation in 2015 with motorcycle deaths accounting for just 8% of total motor vehicle deaths in the state (source: GHSA report.)
If you or someone you love was injured in a motorcycle accident, or if someone you love was killed, contacting an experienced personal injury attorney is an important step to advocate for your rights.