Many motorcyclists enjoy the sense of freedom when riding. But the design of a motorcycle also affords little protection in the event of an accident. A collision that would cause minor injuries to a car or truck driver can cause catastrophic injury or death to a motorcyclist.
Though motorcycles made up only 3 percent of all registered vehicles in the United States in 2012, they represent a disproportionately high number of accidents. The fatality rate for motorcyclists in accidents was six times the fatality rate for passenger car occupants, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office says 92 people were killed and 1,189 were injured in motorcycle crashes in our state in 2013. Motorcycle accidents occurred more frequently on weekends. They occurred most often between 4 p.m. and 7:59 p.m. Crashes peak during summer months when the weather is more conducive to riding and more bikers are on the road.
There are several types of motorcycle accidents involving other vehicles that injure and kill riders in Oklahoma. Among the five most common types are:
Motorcycle accidents occur most often on city streets, rather than on the open road. Often other drivers in the city fail to see motorcyclists. The most fatal accidents and most accidents resulting in incapacitating injuries occurred on city streets. Many serious motorcycle crashes also occurred on interstates such as I-40 and I-35.
The best thing a motorcyclist can do to guard against serious injury in a motorcycle accident is to wear a helmet. Helmeted motorcyclists are significantly less likely to experience a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a motorcycle crash.
Of 92 Oklahoma motorcyclists killed in crashes in 2013, 61 were not wearing helmets, according to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office.
Helmets are estimated to be 37 percent effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle riders and 41 percent effective for motorcycle passengers, the NHTSA says. In other words, for every 100 motorcycle riders killed in crashes while not wearing helmets, 37 of them could have been saved had all 100 worn helmets.
The NHTSA recorded 126,882 motorcycle registrations in Oklahoma in 2013. The 92 fatalities the Oklahoma Highway Safety Offices reports during the year represented 72.5 fatalities per 100,000 registered motorcycles. The number of fatal motorcycle crashes increased 11 percent from 2012 to 2013.
Eighty-three of the 92 motorcyclists the OK DPS reported were killed in 2013 crashes were male. Eight of the nine female riders killed were motorcycle passengers.Source: Oklahoma Highway Safety Office
According to the Highway Safety Office, the ages of those killed in Oklahoma motorcycle accidents in 2013 were:
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident in Oklahoma caused by the fault of another driver, talk to a knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney at Burch George & Germany about your legal rights to seek compensation. Call us today at 405-213-1444.