Police officer’s death highlights the importance of motorcycle safety

Earlier this year, a Philadelphia Highway Patrol officer and Harley-Davidson enthusiast was killed in an accident on I-95 when he was hit by a drunk driver. The officer died at the scene. The driver, who caused the crash, was charged with several crimes, including
driving under the influence.

Even though the riding season is likely over for this year, unless some unseasonable warm temperatures return, it is still worthwhile reviewing motorcycle safety.

Motorcycle crashes in Pennsylvania

Although statistics show that motorcycle accidents have decreased in recent years, they are still far from uncommon. In 2010, there were almost 10 percent fewer motorcycle crashes from the previous year. Fatalities associated with motorcycle accidents also declined 6.5 percent. However, there were still nearly 4,000 motorcycle crashes around the state, indicating that more needs to be done in terms of keeping bikers safe on the roads.

The unique conditions that bikers face are huge contributing factors in motorcycle accidents. These challenges include:

  • The fact that motorcyclists are often hard for drivers in other vehicles to spot when they are maneuvering busy roads
  • The lack of protective equipment available to bikers that other motorists take for granted, such as seatbelts and airbags
  • The wobbling effect that motorcyclists experience as they drive their bikes at fast speeds
  • The problems caused by certain conditions on the road, such as potholes, puddles and debris

These factors can make it difficult for motorcyclists to avoid accidents. In addition, when a
Pennsylvania motorcycle accident does occur, bikers are more susceptible to suffer serious injuries because they do not have reinforced steel materials protecting them as other motorists do. These injuries can include broken bones, spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries.

Statistics also show that in the most severe accidents, motorcycle riders are exponentially more likely to suffer a fatal injury than their counterparts in fully enclosed motor vehicles are.

Riders can stay safe on the roads by refraining from riding when under the influence of drugs or alcohol; making sure that they are well-trained in the use of their bikes; and obeying the rules of the road when they are riding their bikes.

Even when bikers follow these safety suggestions, accidents do happen – but wearing a helmet and other protective gear can go a long way toward ensuring that the biker does not sustain serious injuries.

If you have been injured

Following any motor vehicle accident, contact a personal injury attorney. An experienced lawyer may be able to get you compensation for your injuries and hold the negligent party in your accident legally responsible for his or her actions.