Spring has arrived in Minnesota, and thus more motorcyclists will be taking their bikes out of storage and hitting the road. Due in part to the fact that this is a popular time of the year for motorcycling, May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. The goal of this public safety initiative is to bring motorists' attention to the presence of motorcycles in their vicinity while driving.
Motorcycles do not offer riders the same protection that occupants of automobiles have, such a seat belts, air bags and crumple zones. This means that motorcycle accidents often result in fatalities. In fact, in 2017 over 5,000 motorcycle occupants lost their lives in motorcycle accidents. Across the U.S. in 2017, 14% of all traffic deaths involved a person on a motorcycle.
When it comes to collisions between motorcycles and automobiles, it is often the driver of the automobile who violated the biker's right of way. The driver of the automobile may not have noticed the motorcyclist or did not anticipate the motorcyclist's actions. Motorcycles are small, and are not always readily seen, especially in a motorist's blind spots. Distracted driving also plays a role in many motorcycle accidents.
Unfortunately, even if a motorcyclist is wearing a helmet and is following all the rules of the road, if motorists do not practice motorcycle awareness, they could cause a serious or even fatal accident. When this happens, the motorcyclist or his or her loved ones in the event of a fatality will want to determine what options they have for compensation for the losses they suffered.