Motorcycle enthusiasts have long said they love the freedom they feel when they’re out on the open road, wind in their hair (or helmet, it they’re smart), and that there’s nothing quite else that compares. That freedom comes laden with peril, however. The latest motorcycle accident statistics show that riders are almost six times more likely to be killed in a crash than someone in a car. Having a competent Portland motorcycle attorney may be well and good, but winning a case isn’t much good if you’re not around to spend the compensation.
In Portland, motorcyclists are showing a much better safety record than elsewhere in the country, and the trend is improving all the time. Oregon motorcycle crash rates leading to fatalities dropped again in 2010, by a minimum of 2 percent, but the ODOT says there’s still more to do. The fact is, 38 motorcyclists lost their lives on Oregon roads in 2010. This figure is lower than previous years, thanks mostly to cooperation between the Governor’s Highway Safety Association and motorcycle clubs, which are strenuously advocating safe and sober riding.
In 2009, the Oregon legislature passed a number of new motorcycle related safety laws, including increased penalties for riding a motorcycle without a proper license endorsement, and regulations requiring new motorcyclists to take an ODOT-approved training course. As of January, 2011, all new Oregon motorcyclists aged 30 and under must complete a basic or intermediate rider training course.
Portland motorcycle attorneys know, better than most, that the statistics for injuries involving motorcyclists are frightening. For example:
- About 60 percent of Oregon fatal motorcycle crashes don’t involve any other vehicles. It’s hoped that training will bring this number down drastically.
- The risks increase the more miles are traveled. Per mile, a motorcyclist is 35 times more likely to have a fatal crash than a car driver.
- For every 100,000 registered motorcycles, 72.34 are involved in fatal crashes. The rate for the same number of cars is 13.10.
- Motorcyclists are also 16 times more likely to receive serious injuries in a crash than car drivers.
- • Motorcycles account for only 2% of all vehicles registered in the United States, and travel far fewer miles than the average car, but motorcycles are still involved in more than 5% of all highway fatalities.
- If a motorcyclist is involved in a crash, they have an 80% chance of suffering serious injury or death. Car crash victims average out at 20 percent injury or death.
A competent Portland motorcycle accident lawyer can tell you the main reason motorcyclists suffer so badly in an accident is not always down to speed, careless driving, or DUII. The fact is, motorcycles offer precious little protection in the event of a crash, all the more reason riders are encouraged to wear personal protective equipment when out on a motorcycle. Car drivers have their parts to play as well. It’s easy not to spot a motorcycle before changing lanes or pulling into an intersection. As Michele O’Leary, Motorcycle Safety Program Manager for the ODOT says, “We need everyone’s help to make the number of crashes go down. It doesn’t matter if you’re on four wheels or two; we all have to do our part to share the road safely.”