Between the years of 1975 and 2005, 62,000 motorcycle riders were killed in multivehicle accidents. According to a governmental report, 2005 alone witnessed 4,553 motorcycle rider fatalities, and, of those, 56% were in crashes involving 2 or more vehicles. 85% of motorcyclists killed in two vehicle accidents, were in crashes with cars, trucks or other multipassenger vehicles, and, in these accidents, 98% of the fatalities were the motorcyclists. Only 2% of the fatalities were the occupants of the passenger vehicles.
The unfortunate fact is, most drivers on the road do not exercise the proper caution when driving near one person vehicles. Cyclists are smaller than other vehicles on the road and slip easily into blind spots. Nearly 40% of accidents between motorcycles and cars are caused by the driver of the passenger vehicle making a left hand turn. Accidents are also caused by the sudden application of breaks, or the failure of a driver to check his side mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes.
As a motorcyclist, therefore, defensive driving is a matter of the utmost importance. Assume that you will not be seen, and take care to give yourself a wide berth around passenger vehicles on the road. Take extra safety precautions while riding. Alaska does not require that motorcyclists wear helmets after the age of 18, but motorcycle helmets saved 1,829 lives in2008. Extra padding can also help to prevent serious injury in case of accident. Drivers of open, two wheel vehicles must also remain more aware of weather and road hazards. Potholes, gravel, slippery roads and seams in pavement are not always marked, and these sudden changes in surface area can have a devastating effect on cyclists. And, of course, drive sober. Statistics say that the number of intoxicated motorcyclists involved in fatal accidents is greater than the number of intoxicated drivers on the road.
In Alaska, if you or a loved one have been involved in a motorcycle accident, it is highly recommended that you speak with an Alaska motorcycle accident lawyer. Seeking legal representation is the first step in insuring that you are fairly represented in court. The attorneys and staff at Power and Brown are dedicated to the protection and preservation of the rights of those personally injured in Alaska. If you have more questions on this topic or are seeking representation, please feel free to contact us.