New York motorcyclists need to start preparing for safety

This article looks at the increase in motorcycle fatalities in New York and at who is often to blame.

While winter is still underway, spring is just around the corner. For motorcyclists, that means the start of the 2018 riding season will soon get underway. However, motorcyclists need to be aware of the dangers they face when on their bikes, especially given the alarming increase in fatal motorcycle accidents in New York in recent years. Furthermore, all drivers need to be especially aware of the space around them when on the road, particularly since most motorcycle accidents are caused by non-riders.

Motorcycle accidents in New York

Motorcycle accidents have been on the rise across the country in recent years. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, in 2015, the most recent year for which data is available, there were 5,010 motorcycle fatalities, a huge jump of 10 percent from the 4,548 who were killed the year before. It was also only the third time on record when motorcycle deaths exceeded 5,000.

The situation for motorcyclists is particularly grim in New York. Not only was New York one of 31 states that saw an increase in motorcycle fatalities, but that increase outstripped the national average by a significant margin. Based on preliminary data, motorcycle fatalities in New York in 2015 increased by 16 percent from 2014. That increase is based on a number of factors, including many older riders getting back on their backs years after they first rode.

Who's usually responsible in an accident?

However, when it comes to pinning blame on who is responsible for most motorcycle accidents, the answer may be somewhat surprising. As the Sun-Sentinel reports, a 2013 study of motorcycle accidents in Florida found that in accidents involving collisions between a motorcyclist and another vehicle, 60 percent of the time it was the non-motorcyclist who was at fault. Only in accidents that involve only the motorcyclist and no other vehicle is the motorcyclist more likely to be at fault.

The reason non-riders are more likely to be at fault in motorcycle accidents is because those drivers often don't expect to see motorcyclists nearby. Instead of looking out for riders, who are often harder to spot than large vehicles, drivers often make bad assumptions about their driving environment. For example, failure to yield to a motorcycle is one of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents, usually because the non-rider failed to check their blind spots or give the motorcyclist adequate space.

Personal injury law

When a motorcyclist is hurt in an accident they are far more likely to require more extensive medical treatment and recovery time than a non-rider in a similar accident would require. That's why accident victims need to ensure they receive the full compensation they are entitled to. A personal inju ry attorney can help those who have been hurt in a motorcycle accident understand what compensation may be available and how to go about making an effective claim.