Wednesday, 8 July 2020

The Increase of Fatal Motorcycle Accidents in Virginia

Thousands of motorcyclists love to cruise on the Virginia roads in summer, to have fun, and to enjoy the view of nature on their two-wheelers. Though there’s nothing better than cruising on a motorcycle in an area close to the ocean or the mountains on a summer day, the effect of the increase in the use of motorcycles is detrimental and could be life-threatening.

Each summer, the rate at which riders get injured and lose their lives is alarming. There is an increase in casualties as motorcycles gain popularity in Virginia. According to statistics, from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) death cases in motorcycle accidents in the state increased from 2018 to 2019 by 1.1% in which 89 riders died.

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Following a large increase in the deadly accidents in 2017, the number of death cases became moderate two years later. 107 motorcyclists were reported dead in 2017 by DMV, which is estimated to be a 50% increase in the figures recorded in 2016.

Those who constituted the increase of the casualty rate are riders who fail to adhere to law guiding the use of a helmet. According to DMV, seven motorcyclists who lost their lives last year in November didn’t have their helmets on. That was the highest number in the past ten years, according to the DMV.

Helmets are around 29 percent efficient towards the control of deadly accidents among motorcyclists and 67% efficient in avoiding brain injuries, as stated by the government. This means that a rider who fails to use a helmet is 40 percent at risk of head injury whenever an accident occurs.

You are prone to an accident when you ride a motorcycle without using a helmet. On the other hand, riders risk not wearing protective clothing and shoes during the summer months.

Due to the frequent occurrence of severe bike accidents on Hampton Road in 2018, the Vice president of Public Affairs for AAA in Tidewater Georjeane Blumling advised that the most dangerous periods for riders are June and July of the year.

She stated that the summer periods were the most deadly as the highest percentage of folks use their bikes during this period and more folks on the road meant more risk to lives.

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The major cause of most motorcycle accidents is over-speeding and the intake of alcohol. She encouraged riders to be very watchful of their environments.

Motorcyclists have a greater risk of being seriously injured during crashes compared to other road users.

Police looked into 1,960 motorcycle accidents, according to the DMV's analysis in 2019 which is about 1.5% of cases that are based on tragic crashes. Meanwhile, 89 deaths indicate 10.8% of all the traffic deaths in Virginia. 9 passengers and 80 riders were found dead by DMV.

Altogether, 1,638 motorcyclists were injured, which indicates 2.5% of the total traffic injuries, while 668 were seriously injured indicating 9.3 percent of all fatal injuries in Virginia.

Riders within the range of 21 to 25 years old sustain the greatest injury. The death rate increased among riders between 31 to 35 years. About 7 of the riders that died were between 66 to 70 years.

Older riders are shifting to two-wheelers, which in turn has modified the target group of motorcycle casualties.

According to a research done by a non-profit highway safety research group known as the insurance institute for highway safety, the age group that has the highest number of death casualties on bikes is age 50 and above.  80 percent of motorcyclist deaths in 1975 are riders between ages 29 and below.

Strong machines such as Harley Davidson are affordable for the older riders. It’s often difficult to survive the shock when they crash.

Most bikers with riding experience from the early stage of their lives are shifting back to two-wheelers. Sarah Brussels, Wisconsin Motorcycle Safety program manager told the Chicago Tribune that the group is called ‘retreads.’ Older riders constitute almost half of motorcycle deaths in the state in the year 2016.

She made it known that older riders are not so active in their ability to respond to things promptly and they often do not see the need to upgrade because they feel things are still the way it used to be. Hence, they don’t show interest in taking up training courses.

Below are some guidelines for cycling during the summer:

Endeavor to use a helmet at all times
It’s a rule in Virginia. It is protective equipment that might save your life or reduce the risk of severe brain injury in case of an accident. Also, be sure to protect your face against dust and insects from entering your eyes. This can only be done with a face shield. Make sure your helmet complies with the standard of transportation’s regulation.

Appropriate gear should be worn
The use of gloves and long-lasting, strong boots should be mandated. This is because they help to protect the feet and the hands. Do not ride a bike with uncovered footwear, also ensure your elbow, chin, and knee are guarded. This will help give protection against friction in case you fall. Also, be aware of the use of motorcycle jackets to help control your body temperature and safeguard your torso.

Beware of danger
Difficulties in driving occur during summer, mostly during the holidays when the road is busy. Be careful of cyclists and pedestrians, especially in areas that are crowded such as Virginia Beach. Also, be careful of animals and dirt like gravel that can as well result in accidents.

Ensure that you are noticeable
There are cases of motorists not seeing riders, especially while making left turns. Endeavor to put on a reflective cloth or use decals on your bike, as well as clothing and helmet. Use your headlights and turn signals at all times.

Stay away from storms
One thing that is peculiar to summer in Virginia is a huge storm. It causes roads to be slippery and results in a flood as well. Ensure that you stop for a while during heavy rain and be patient for the rain to reduce before you continue with riding.

Stay away from alcohol
Do not ride if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These two are dangerous and can cause deadly damage when combined with riding.

Avoid over speeding
Lately, many lives were lost in Hampton Roads due to speeding. Remain within the speed limit. Be stable in your lane, avoid lane splitting. Signal your move ahead of time and ensure your presence is noticed by car drivers.

Go for training on riding
Refreshers court can be of great advantage to all riders. You can make inquiries on the one closer to you through the DMV's website.

Contact a Virginia Beach Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

We look forward to a fun-filled and accident-free summer riding experience. Unfortunately, most riders get injured because of the carelessness of other riders. In case you get injured or anyone close to you gets injured in a motorcycle crash, please ensure you reach out to our Virginia Beach Motorcycle Accident Lawyer.

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