For motorcycle enthusiasts in New York, warmer weather means that they can hop on their bikes and experience the open road again – after spending a long, snowy winter away from their beloved vehicles.
Unfortunately, the spring and summer seasons are also a time for motorcycle accidents. Around the region this year alone, there have been eight fatalities from motorcycle crashes since April. Last year, 14 area motorcyclists lost their lives in accidents and seven New York bikers were killed in accidents in the spring of 2009.
Although some of these motorcycle crashes were caused by other drivers, experts say that the majority of fatal motorcycle accidents are the result of driver error. One major factor that contributes to these accidents, according to police lieutenant Jim Halvorsen, is the use of improper helmets.
“It’s so easy to pick out,” he told TWEAN News Channel of Syracuse. “Law enforcement across the state have been trained on how to pick out the illegal or novelty helmet.”
Other factors that cause fatal motorcycle accidents include distracted driving, being under the influence of alcohol and drugs and the lack of proper motorcycle training – particularly when it comes to defensive driving.
Since motorcycle accidents are so deadly – motorcycle riders are 37 times more likely to die in a crash than other motorists – the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Transportation and the State Police are working in concert to educate motorcycle riders about safety measures. These agencies will work with motorcycle safety advocates to teach riders how to be more cautious when driving and avoid the mistakes that drivers can themselves control.
“It’s fair to say that if you operate a motorcycle, you often don’t get a second chance,” police officer Scott Joslyn said in an interview with The Buffalo News. “There’s no room for alcohol, no room for speed and no room for taking chances.”
Motorcycle accidents often result in severe injuries to the rider and these injuries often require costly medical care, in some cases the required care can be life-long. If you have been injured due to a motorcycle accident you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Speak to an attorney to help you pursue your claim for compensation.