For many people, riding a motorcycle is more than a method of transportation. Enthusiasts often describe the experience as something almost therapeutic. West Virginia riders are fortunate to have miles of beautiful roadways through picturesque landscapes to enjoy. Spring has officially arrived, and as people plan motorcycle excursions, they may not consider the very real possibility of motorcycle accidents.
For motorcycle enthusiasts, the arrival of spring is an exciting time. West Virginia is warming up, and all across the state, riders look forward to getting the bike out to enjoy the nice weather. Modern motorcycles are considered less dangerous than their predecessors, thanks to technological advances and safety initiatives that raise public awareness. Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents are still a very real threat, and a group of researchers recently shared some surprising facts.
West Virginia has long maintained a thriving community of motorcycle enthusiasts. This is not surprising since The Mountain State offers a wide range of highways and byways for riders to explore. Driver safety is a key component to keeping motorcyclists and their passengers safe, but in cases involving defective motorcycle parts, there is often little drivers can do to prevent injury.
While it may be impossible to eliminate all motorcycle accidents, there are ways to avoid potentially dangerous situations. For instance, riders in West Virginia may want to wear bright colors that can be seen from long distances. Riders can also use the headlight on their motorcycles to increase their visibility. Intersections are where nearly half of all accidents take place. Therefore, it is important to be extra vigilant when going through one.
Motorcyclists and their passengers are required to wear a helmet in West Virginia, but that would have changed if bills recently introduced in both the Senate and the House had been passed and signed into law by Gov. Jim Justice. Senate Bill 153 and House Bill 2070 would have allowed West Virginia residents who have held a motorcycle license for two years or longer and are at least 21 years of age to operate a motorcycle or ride as a passenger without a helmet.
In West Virginia and all over the country, motorcycle accidents claim thousands of lives annually with many of them being caused by distracted or inattentive passenger vehicle drivers. One of the most common kind of fatal motorcycle accident occurs when a car, pickup truck or SUV makes a left turn directly into the path of an approaching rider. Passenger vehicle drivers who kill or catastrophically injure motorcyclists in such collisions usually say that they did not see the rider, or they saw the rider but misjudged their speed.
Throughout May, which is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the National Safety Council reminded both drivers and motorcyclists of their responsibility toward one another. Motorcyclists composed 14% of all traffic fatalities in West Virginia and across the U.S. in 2017 even though motorcycles make up only 3% of all registered vehicles on the road.
Motorcyclists in West Virginia should know that certain steps must be taken in the wake of an accident with someone else. Staying calm, as difficult as it may be, is generally the best policy. If a motorcyclist can fulfill the following steps smoothly and with an attention to detail, it will be a lot easier for them when they file their claim with their insurance company.
Those who ride motorcycles in West Virginia are more likely to be in an accident than those driving in a car. This is according to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety data from 2013. The study found that for every mile traveled, a motorcycle was 26 times more likely to get into a fatal crash compared to a passenger vehicle. There are several reasons why this may be the case.
Taking a motorcycle ride through West Virginia during the winter months can be both exciting and dangerous at the same time. With proper planning, however, it may be possible to mitigate some of the dangers. It is generally not a good idea to ride a motorcycle on roads that are covered with snow. This is because there are only two wheels, which provide less road grip than the four that a passenger vehicle has.