In Virginia, 2019 has seeing a significant increase in motorcyclist deaths over previous years, with seven reported so far. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) reports that in all seven of these accidents, the driver was not wearing a helmet. These deaths mark a decade high for the State of Virginia. While 2019 only has about a month left in it, these numbers are troubling. The holiday season, like the summer, is statistically the highest-risk time for vehicle crashes.
Last year, none of the motorcycle fatalities were a result of not wearing a helmet. In 2017, there was only one death from an unhelmeted rider. There were four deaths from riders who did not wear a helmet in 2016 and three in 2015 across the state.
Why are Helmets Important for Motorcyclists?
The body of a motorcycle does not provide its rider with much protection. Riders who want to protect themselves have to rely on the specialty gear that is made for motorcycle riding. Helmets, eye protection, ear protection, armored jackets, specialty gloves, boots, and even pants can all be worn together for protection on the road. Even with all of this gear, motorcycle accidents can still have catastrophic results. Helmets are by far the most important type of safety equipment a motorcyclist can wear.
According to Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the most dangerous way to travel the roadways is on a motorcycle. Motorcyclists are almost 28 times more likely to be involved in a crash that will take their lives than their passenger car counterparts. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that helmets were the reason that almost 2,000 lives were saved in motorcycle crashes in 2017. The rate at which riders and drivers alike are currently wearing helmets is decreasing societal harm by $17 billion. If all motorcyclists wear helmets when they were riding, there would be an additional $8 billion reduction.
The thing about motorcycle accidents is that when riders are injured, head injuries are common and are the leading factor in resulting deaths. Making sure you wear your helmet every time you get on your bike, no matter how long or short the drive is, is immensely important. Wearing a helmet when driving a motorcycle will reduce the chances that you will have a head injury by 69% and will reduce the likelihood of an accident leading to death by 42%.
Motorcycle Laws in Virginia
Not every state has laws requiring helmet use. Some states indicated that younger teens must wear a helmet, but adults can opt not to. In Virginia, all motorcycle passengers must wear helmets that meet set safety standards.
The Snell Memorial Foundation, the American National Standards Institute Inc., and The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) are all resources to figure out how to get a proper helmet. These organizations have guidelines that provide information regarding how to wear a helmet correctly as well as what type of certifications and specifications are required for an acceptable helmet.
According to the DMV, a helmet will reduce brain injuries in motorcycle riders by 67%. Conversely, when a helmet is not worn while driving, the driver is 40% more likely to sustain a serious head injury that will result in death. So, while all the other gear is recommended and helpful to promote rider safety and reduce injuries, helmets are by far the most crucial.
In addition to wearing the right gear and absolutely always having a helmet on, riders should observe responsible driving practices.
- Do not drink and ride
- Stay alert
- Do not drive on the shoulder
- Wear reflective gear, and brightly colored clothing to be more visible to other drivers
- Do not weave in and out of traffic
- Do not ride between lanes
- Do not ride with more than two motorcycles per lane next to each other
- Do not speed
While all of these actions can work together to be beneficial to motorcyclist safety, being prepared to ride with traffic is also necessary. Taking a driving class to learn how to operate your motorcycle will help you be more confident and knowledgeable on the road. You will find these classes offered at the DMV.
An accident management course is also recommended. That way, if you find yourself in an accident and you have the ability to assess the damages and provide aid, you will know what to do. If you are in an accident, there is a high likelihood that you will suffer an injury. After you seek medical treatment, it is important to pursue a personal injury claim for the highest amount of compensation. You will need to recoup your losses so that you can recover effectively. The best way to accomplish this is to enlist the help of a Lynchburg personal injury attorney.
Obtaining Legal Help After a Devastating Motorcycle Accident in Lynchburg
The Straw Law Firm has the Virginia catastrophic accident injury attorneys you want on your side when you need to recoup costs associated with a devastating accident. Virginia motorcycle accidents take a tremendous toll on injured victims. These tragedies result in financial, emotional, and physical pain that the victims, as well as their families, have to endure. For this reason, it is important that you obtain a fair settlement after being injured due to someone else’s negligence.
Your best chance of recouping compensation for your losses is to have an aggressive Lynchburg traffic accident attorney fight on your behalf and protect your legal rights. When victims team up with experienced legal help, their settlements are much higher than if they go the course alone. The Straw Law Firm is here for you and we will fight for your best interests.
Do not hesitate to call us at (434) 595-3581 and speak to one of our highly knowledgeable Virginia personal injury attorneys today. We care deeply about victims in Virginia and we will guide you through the personal injury claim process.