Pennsylvania motorcyclist dangers abound

Motorcyclists are some of the most vulnerable people on Pennsylvania roads. With the combination of their overall lack of bodily protection when compared to motorists in cars or trucks and the speeds at which they can travel when compared to bicyclists or pedestrians, the severity of injury or possibility of death is understandably higher for a person involved in a motorcycle accident than in other types of accidents.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration cites that the chance that a motorcycle rider will be involved in a fatal accident is 35 times greater than for a person in an automobile.

Let the numbers tell the story

Pennsylvania state reports illustrate the dangers faced by motorcyclists when on the road. Collected statewide data from 2011 shows the following:

  • There were 1,286 traffic fatalities
  • Of those, 199 were motorcyclists-a total of 15.47 percent
  • There were 87,839 total injuries from motor vehicle crashes
  • Of those, 3,603 were sustained by motorcyclists
  • There were a total of 3,641 motorcycle accidents
  • 878 of the motorcycle accidents involved a passenger car, light truck, van or SUV

In all, it is easy to see the opportunities for motorcyclists to sustain serious personal injury or fatal injuries when involved in collisions with other vehicles.

A review of Pennsylvania helmet laws

The state of Pennsylvania requires that all motorcyclists under the age of 21 wear helmets at all times. For riders 21 years old and older, helmet use is not required under two circumstances. The first is for any driver who has held a motorcycle license for at least two years. The second is for any rider who has successfully completed a motorcycle safety program. Such programs need to be approved by either the Motorcycle Safety Foundation or the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

In addition to guidelines surrounding helmets, all riders are required to wear appropriate eye safety wear. Shatterproof lenses are not required but they are recommended for all motorcyclists.

Options in the wake of an accident

If a motorcycle accident occurs, the chance that injury or even death can result is high. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident caused or assumed to be caused by another party, you should consider talking with an attorney.

Similarly, if your loved one has been killed in an accident caused by another driver, it is important that you seek appropriate legal counsel. Securing the proper assistance to manage the post-accident process may be the only way you can obtain the compensation that you truly deserve.