A refresher on motorcycle hazards for Motorcycle Safety Month

In May, Motorcycle Safety Month focuses on the numerous dangers motorcyclists face. Those who were injured by a negligent driver may seek compensation.

The most diehard of motorcycle enthusiasts will get on their bikes any time of year, but when the weather warms up, roads across the country will experience an influx of bikers. The weather may have calmed down and become safer for motorcyclists, but this does not mean the roads are completely safe. In fact, the drivers of other vehicles remain the top hazard for motorcyclists in West Virginia and elsewhere, regardless of the time of year.

In 2017, 5,172 motorcyclists and passengers across the United States were killed in motorcycle crashes. This accounted for 14% of all fatal traffic accidents that year, which illustrates just how dangerous the road can be for those on two wheels. The National Safety Council has designated the month of May as Motorcycle Safety Month to raise awareness of motorcycles sharing the roads and the unique hazards they face.

Motorcycle crashes in West Virginia

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 26 motorcyclist fatalities in West Virginia in 2017, the most recent year for which data was available.

A recent accident that occurred in Peterstown illustrates the complex, unexpected and tragic nature of motorcycle crashes. This past April, according to West Virginia MetroNews, a motorcyclist was killed after his bike collided with a trailer towing a mobile home. Details on the accident were sparse. Authorities were investigating to determine whether the other driver would be charged.

Common motorcyclist dangers

RideApart has shared the most common hazards posed to motorcyclists involving other drivers. They include the following:

· Being struck by a driver changing lanes without checking the mirror or blind spots

· Being hit by a vehicle turning left in the path of a motorcycle

· "Dooring," or being struck by a vehicle door that unexpectedly opens as a motorcycle is driving past a parked car

· Being hit by a vehicle from behind

It is no surprise that any of these accidents can cause serious or fatal injuries. Motorcyclists can easily lose control or be thrown from their bikes. They do not have seatbelts, airbags and other safety features that are present in passenger vehicles and trucks. Even wearing a helmet, a motorcyclist can suffer from broken bones or internal injuries when striking the pavement or a moving vehicle.

A great deal of responsibility falls to the drivers of other vehicles in being aware that motorcycles share the road and in driving courteously and cautiously to avoid injuring vulnerable motorcyclists. Those who were in an accident caused by a negligent driver can benefit from contacting our experienced attorneys at Warner Law Offices.