We thought there may have been a glimmer of hope when we saw a 16 percent decrease in the number of fatal motorcycle accidents in Spartanburg and elsewhere back in 2009. That glimmer has been squashed. According to Reuters, the number of motorcycle accidents nationwide has been on the rise for the last 2 years despite the recent decrease in the number of overall motor vehicle fatalities nationwide.
We’re seeing the lowest number of overall motor vehicle accidents since 1949, but that doesn’t count the number of motorcycle accidents. There have been a number of safety awareness campaigns, like the recent Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, but nothing seems to be working. Within the last year, the number of motorcyclist fatalities has r increased in 26 states.
Our Spartanburg motorcycle accident lawyers understand that there were nearly 5,000 motorcyclist fatalities in each year of both 2010 and 2011. Officials are pointing to a number of reasons for the steady numbers. Some credit the improving economy, saying that more residents have the extra cash to splurge on a motorcycle. Some credit the rising gas prices, saying that motorists are looking for the cheapest way to get around. For both of those reasons, more motorcyclists are hitting our roadways and with more traffic we’re seeing more risks for accidents. Some even credit a lackadaisical government, saying that motorcycle helmet laws in many states aren’t strict enough and too many riders are flying down our roadways unprotected.
Back in 1975, there were 47 states that required helmets for all riders. Now there are only 19 states that have this kind of law in place. With opposition from bikers’ rights groups, there are five states that are looking at repealing their current helmet law. Motorcyclists are already at high risks for serious injury and death in the event of a traffic accident. Their risks skyrocket when they’re not wearing a helmet!
In the state of South Carolina, only motorcyclists under the age of 21-years-old are required to wear a motorcycle helmet, according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS).
Some of these fatal accidents are just because of a lack of safety. In 2010, nearly 30 percent of motorcyclist fatalities were the result of alcohol. During this same time, nearly 40 percent involved a speeding driver, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.
How can you help?
If you’re a motorist, try to keep a better eye out for our two-wheeled friends. Motorcyclists are oftentimes overlooked in traffic because of their small size. Take that extra moment to check your surroundings, especially your blind spots, to make sure there are no motorcyclists around you before making a move in traffic.
If you’re a motorcyclist, wear a helmet regardless of your state’s law. Avoid drinking and driving, abide by the speed limit and drive cautiously.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident in Spartanburg or in any of the surrounding areas, contact the motorcycle accident attorneys at the Lee Law Offices, P.A. to schedule a free and confidential appointment to discuss your case. Call 1-800-887-1965.
Motorcycle Deaths Remain High Nationwide, by Stephanie Rabiner, Reuters
More Blog Entries:
Motorcycle Accidents in Charlotte and Elsewhere Targeted through Campaign, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, May 18, 2012
Teen Killed in Spartanburg Motorcycle Accident, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, May 7, 2012