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Understanding the increase in motorcycle accidents

There are many concerns for safety on the roadways, and when drivers in Iowa travel, they should consider ways to keep themselves and others safe. Despite these efforts, some drivers are not able to avoid dangers on the road. For example, motorcyclists have limited available safety features. Even when they wear a helmet, serious and fatal injuries could occur in a motorcycle crash. Regardless of how careful the rider is, a negligent driver is often to blame for a fatal motorcycle crash.

While actions taken to increase the safety for drivers on the roadways caused fatal accidents involving cars and light trucks to decrease, these measures did not reduce the amount of motorcycle related deaths. A report conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that in 2008, motorcyclist deaths reached an all-time high. The recorded rate was double the rate reported between 1999 and 2008.

The study found that between the years of 2001 and 2008, there were more than 34,000 fatal motorcycle accidents. Moreover, it was estimated that around 1,222,000 individuals were treated in the United States for motorcycle related injuries. Among those killed and injured in motorcycle crashes, the highest rates involved those between the ages of 20 and 24, followed by those between 25 and 29-years-old.

Due to the high rate of motorcycle accidents, helmet laws have been implemented across the nation. As of 2012, 19 states have universal helmet laws, 22 states have partial helmet laws and three states currently have no laws regarding helmet use. Riders should understand that by wearing a DOT-approved helmet, motorcyclists can increase their chances of surviving a crash.

When a motorcyclist or a passenger on the bike are injured or killed, there are options to file a civil action. The injured party or the loved ones of the deceased could file an action to recover compensation to help with the costs associated with the crash.

Whether a driver is speeding, following too closely or failed to check their blind spots, a negligent driver could be the cause of a serious motorcycle crash. This could lead to emotional and financial hardships for those involved. For those riding motorcycles in the state of Iowa, it is not only important to understand how to prevent these types of accidents but it is also crucial to realize what options are available if such an accident were to occur.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Motorcycle Crash-Related Data," Accessed on Aug. 11, 2014

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