Every year, new motor vehicle accident statistics reveal deadly dangers nationwide. However, one type of motorized transport continues to be overrepresented year after year, particularly in the category of fatal collisions.
In total, 5,014 motorcyclists lost their lives in 2019. Many of those accidents occurred due to the continuing problems of car and truck drivers “not seeing them”
The importance of “seeing” motorcycles
The simplest of awareness by motorists could make a difference in the number of fatalities. Like no other form of transportation, motorcyclists face the most significant safety challenges, primarily due to their size and mode of operation with downshifting and weaving.
However, awareness of how motorcycles operate is not enough. Larger vehicles should give them the space that motorcyclists need to travel safely. Even if operators are perpetually annoyed by their presence, they should still treat them as they would any other vehicle and keep a sharper eye out for them.
No one would claim that riding a motorcycle does not have inherent dangers. In 2019, those operating motorcycles were almost 30 times more likely than passengers in other vehicles to die in an accident based on per miles traveled. They are also four times more likely to suffer injuries. Louisiana does mandate helmets, which likely contribute to a lower number of deaths.
A formal motorcycle endorsement is paramount to operate them. In Louisiana, motorcyclists must take a written exam to gauge the knowledge of driving rules and an on-cycle road test that can be waived upon passing one of the Louisiana DPS Motorcycle Safety Courses. Sidestepping the road test is controversial, with many critics believing that it can only lead to more accidents.
Various factors can play roles in accidents just as they can in avoiding collisions. However, the most important one involves negligent drivers “not seeing” and colliding with a motorcycle, resulting in catastrophic consequences that may require legal help.