Tampa Personal Injury Attorneys

Motorcycling and the Risks Involved

The romanticized version of motorcycling, reaching back to Marlon Brando and The Wild One, is one of freedom mixed with a certain brand of toughness. After all, there’s not a single rider who doesn’t know the risks involved. Moving at a high rate of speed, and without any protection surrounding them save for a jacket or (sometimes) a helmet, may be an enjoyable way for some to use our roads – but it’s certainly one that includes a significant amount of danger.

Statistics paint a grim picture

There are more than 8 million motorcycles on the road in the United States, and their related statistics are grim. In 2014 there were more than 4,200 motorcycle fatalities in the United States, which was down from a recent peak of over 5,100 in 2008. Automobile fatalities outnumbered motorcycle deaths by more than 5 to 1, but this is not an accurate comparison, given that the number of motorcyclists is so much smaller. In 2013, the federal government estimated that on a per-mile travelled basis, motorcycle fatalities were 26 times more likely than automobile fatalities.

Motorcycle liability insurance

Motorcycle riders can purchase liability protection for only themselves as a way of keeping their insurance rates down, or they can elect to purchase guest passenger liability for any riders they may have on their backs.

It’s important to know, if you’re ever offered a ride on the back of a motorcycle, whether the rider is insured, and if the rider has any guest rider liability insurance. The dangers of riding are significant, and the costs of medical treatment for accidents are typically higher, because of the absence of physical protection offered by riding inside a vehicle.

Helmets save lives

The most effective tool for saving lives, not surprisingly, is the motorcycle helmet. The federal government estimates that over 1,600 lives were saved by helmet use in 2013, and an additional 715 lives could have been saved if all cyclists had been wearing helmets. The rate of helmet use by motorcyclists is estimated at 60 percent. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia had laws requiring the use of motorcycle helmets as of 2013.

The federal government reports that there were more than 88,000 motorcycle injuries in 2013, for a rate of slightly more than 1,000 injuries for every 100,000 registered motorcycles. This represents a decline, in both absolute and relative terms, from the peak year of 2007. In terms of injuries per miles traveled, the 2013 injury rate was slightly over half of the highest level recorded, in 2005. This is a fairly dramatic drop, and suggests that great improvements have been made in motorcycle safety in the past decade.

Protecting yourself post-accident

Motorcycle accidents can be a painful and life-altering experience.  An experienced lawyer can assist you with identifying the responsible party, and determining the amount and type of liability insurance available to pay for medical damages and other losses.  At Barbas, Nunez, Sanders, Butler & Hovsepian, experienced Tampa personal injury lawyers are available to help.  Call toll-free at 1 (800) 227-2275 for a consultation today.

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