Motorcycles are very popular in Alaska, and for good reason. They allow riders to experience our beautiful outdoors in the most personal way while still traveling great distances in the shortest possible time. When you ride a motorcycle, the scenery is unimpeded by the closed-in feeling of a car. Many riders claim they have never felt more peaceful or happy than when they are cruising along on our roads, enjoying the majestic landscape, fresh air, and companionship of friends.
However, there is a darker side to motorcycle riding that involves other drivers’ attitudes toward cyclists. Many car and truck drivers do not treat motorcycle riders the same way they do other drivers; they do not extend the same courtesies of the road and may actually put these riders in physical danger with their behavior.
The Facts About Motorcycle Accidents
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration:
- Motorcycles make up about three percent of all registered vehicles and account for only 0.6 percent of all vehicle miles traveled in the United States. Still, motorcycle riders account for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities, while passengers account for 17 percent of all occupant fatalities.
- Due in part to better helmet use, motorcycle fatalities have decreased over the past ten years, although the number peaked in 2016 after a slight downward trend. A longer look at the data tends to show that motorcycle fatality percentages are still in line with the number of motorcycles purchased and driven each year.
- The majority of motorcycle fatalities occur in urban areas where there is dense traffic and involve another vehicle. About 61 percent of all motorcycle fatalities happen in cities, while 89 percent occur in good weather and 50 percent during daylight hours.
- Just over half of all fatal motorcycle accidents involve at least two vehicles.
- Nearly 60 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes involved a cyclist who was wearing a helmet.
- Only 29 percent of motorcycle rider fatalities involved alcohol on the part of the motorcycle operator.
Clearly, motorcycle riders are not the instigators in many of these fatal accidents. Motorcycle riders are in more danger from other drivers simply because they have less protection. If a car and a motorcycle collide, the motorcycle rider will almost always suffer more severe injuries. Most riders who suffer serious injury are thrown from their bikes and many suffer serious head, neck, or spinal cord injuries as a result. Helmets do help lessen the severity of these accidents but sometimes are simply not enough to protect the rider from harm.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is important for you to protect your rights. At Barber & Associates, we have been helping Alaska injury victims recover compensation for motorcycle accident injuries for many years. We can help you deal with insurance companies and others who might want to deny you the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, expenses, pain, and suffering. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help.