The number of accidents involving motorcycles continues to rise in the United States. One recent report has highlighted that a “total of 4,381 motorcyclists died in crashes in 2013 [and although] motorcyclist deaths had been declining since the early 1980s, they began to increase in 1998 and continued to increase through 2008.” With that said, “motorcyclist deaths decreased by 16% in 2009 compared with 2008 and increased slightly in 2010, 2011, and 2012 before decreasing by 7% in 2013. Motorcycle deaths accounted for 13% of all motor vehicle crash deaths in 2013 and were more than double the number of motorcyclist deaths in 1997.”
Despite the various technological and safety advances in motorcycles er the years and the increasing number of helmet and other state or federal safety regulations, motorcycles continue to be highly prone to accidents, based on a number of relevant statistics:
- Motorcyclists are generally 35 times more likely to experience a deadly accident on the road than those in passenger cars.
- Approximately 11% of all roadway accidents that occur in the United States involve motorcycles.
- A motorcyclist not wearing a helmet is 40% more likely to die of a head injury than one who wears a helmet.
- More than half of motorcyclist deaths involved at least one other vehicle.
Motorcycle accidents remain too common in West Virginia. Just this month, an accident occurred in Taylor County, during which two people were hospitalized, according to the accident report. “Police say a man and a woman riding a motorcycle crashed around 3:30 p.m. on Barrett Street in Grafton.”
When it comes to the traffic laws, West Virginia imposes upon motorcycle riders a number of obligations. For instance, when it comes to the use of headlights, West Virginia, requires “daytime use of headlight required per state law” (West Virginia Code, 17C-15-2) and the use of “modulating headlight permitted per Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49, 571.108.” Additionally, West Virginia requires drivers to wear helmets, referred to as “law-reflectorization” required West Virginia Code, Chapter 17C, Article 15, Section 17C-15-44. This is mandatory with respect to motorcycle riders that are under 18, who require not only safety helmets but also rider education certificates. West Virginia imposes upon motorcyclists certain legal duties and obligations and if they are violated and determined to have been a cause of an accident, they can be used against the motorcyclist in certain situations.
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If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident involving a motorcycle, you need attorneys with experience in personal injury matters. Colombo Law is highly experienced in such matters and can evaluate your potential legal claims on your behalf.