Biker safety takes center stage during Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
The statistics paint a troubling picture: extensive research has consistently revealed that motorcyclists are disproportionately involved in traffic crashes and fatalities each year. The latest national data reveals motorcyclists were approximately 28 times more likely to lose their lives in a motor vehicle crash compared to occupants of passenger vehicles. Additionally, they were four times more likely to sustain injuries per vehicle mile traveled.
Unfortunately, Maine is not immune to this concerning trend. Despite the abundance of motorcycles on the roads of Portland and other communities throughout Maine, many drivers either fail to acknowledge their presence or regard them as an inconvenience. Unfortunately, this lack of attention and willingness to safely share the road frequently leads to severe and fatal motorcycle accidents.
The Maine motorcycle accident attorneys at Jabar LaLiberty, LLC are actively participating in Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month this May. We aim to raise awareness about the dangers bikers face when other drivers are negligent because we've seen the devastating consequences firsthand. If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident in Maine, we are here to help you fight for accountability and justice.
Maine motorcycle accident statistics
The motorcycle crash rate in Maine is on the rise, according to a 5-year study of Maine motorcycle accidents for 2017-2021. For example, in 2017, 294 motorcycle accidents caused injuries or deaths. In 2021, there were 345 such accidents. That's a more than 17% increase in serious motorcycle wrecks.
Here are some more Maine motorcycle accident statistics from the MaineDOT report.
- 85% of Maine motorcycle accidents result in injuries or fatalities.
- About 2 out of 3 serious motorcycle accidents happen in rural areas of Maine.
- In Maine, about 40% of all serious motorcycle accidents happen in July and August. Over the last 5 years, more than 1,000 bike wrecks have occurred during these two months.
- When drivers cause motorcycle accidents in Maine, common contributing factors include speeding, following too closely (tailgating), negligent or aggressive driving (road rage), or failing to stay in the proper lane, which includes improper passing and swerving.
- When equipment failures cause a motorcycle accident, the defective or malfunctioning parts typically include tires, brakes, the power train, or steering.
- Other vehicles most commonly involved in motorcycle accidents include passenger cars, sport utility vehicles (SUVs), pickup trucks, and mopeds.
How to safely share the road with motorcycles
With the high crash rate among motorcyclists, it's essential that drivers pay attention to their surroundings and watch out for these smaller vehicles. Here are some essential safe driving tips to keep in mind:
- Yield to motorcyclists, especially while turning at intersections, as they are smaller and easier to overlook if you're not paying attention.
- Avoid distractions that can potentially put motorcyclists and other road users in danger. Give driving your full attention.
- Always remember that motorcycles are smaller and more challenging to spot than other vehicles. This factor can cause misjudgment of their speed and distance. Give them extra attention and respect on the road.
- Motorcycles are entitled to the same rights as other motorists. Allow them the full width of a lane, and never attempt to share lanes with them.
- Always use your turn signals when changing lanes or merging with traffic. Be mindful of motorcycle signals, as they are often non-canceling.
- Check all mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes, turning, or merging with traffic. Take extra care when driving near motorcyclists.
- Give motorcycles more following distance than other vehicles - at least 3 to 4 seconds. This provides them with more time to react to emergencies or unexpected situations.
- Drive sober and drug-free. Driving under the influence is illegal and dangerous, especially for vulnerable road users like bikers.
- Always obey the posted speed limits. Excessive speeding can cause severe accidents and injuries to motorcyclists and other road users.
Fighting for injured motorcycle riders since 1979
Since 1979, Jabar LaLiberty, LLC has remained steadfast in our commitment to helping injured bikers in Maine pursue the financial compensation and justice they deserve. We understand the unique challenges injured bikers face and will diligently fight to protect your rights and advocate for your best interests.
If you were injured or a loved one died in a Maine motorcycle accident, don't wait to seek legal help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.