Despite the risks posed by winter weather and slippery roadways, experts warn that the summer season actually brings a higher risk of motorcycle crashes and fatalities.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there were more than 2.3 million motorcycle crash injuries in 2013, with more than 4,000 motorcyclists dying on U.S. roads each year. But in addition, motorcycle accident attorneys report anecdotal evidence that the warmer summer weather sends more bikers out on the highways, resulting in a greater risk of death or personal injury claims.
And sadly, the NHTSA also reports that motorcyclists are more than 26 times more likely to die in a crash than passenger car drivers and riders, per vehicle mile traveled.
So far this June, a spike in motorcycle accidents has been reported by motorcycle accident attorneys in Minnesota and Connecticut, which corresponds with a national spike in motorcycle fatalities. In a famous Pennsylvania incident, a “blizzard” of swarming mayflies over a bridge caused three separate motorcycle accidents at once, showing the unique hazards riders face in the summer months.
And although drunk driving is down overall nationwide, distracted, drunk, and drugged drivers pose a particular threat during the holiday and barbecue season.
As always, there are certain things motorcyclists can do to stay safe while out on the road this summer:
- Whenever possible, travel in groups
- Check weather forecasts to avoid going out during rain or thunderstorms
- Always wear a helmet and other protective gear, such as vests and boots
- Be cautious and slow down on sharp curves, particularly if the roadways are slick or wet from rain
Of course, car drivers have a responsibility to watch out for motorcyclists as well. Motorcycle accident attorneys warn that negligent or distracted driving can lead to costly personal injury settlements if you aren’t mindful of motorcycles this summer. So no matter what you plan on driving this year, plan on driving there responsibly.