Motorcycle accidents in Oklahoma City are an all too common occurrence, particularly in the summer.
Motorcyclists are much more active on their vehicles, compared to passenger car and truck drivers. They are far more vulnerable as well. They must be alert and precise in terms of depth perception and reaction time. Although motorcycles offer a great deal of freedom, they also are a big responsibility.
Of course, motorcycle accidents tend to a cause a great deal more damage than other types of crashes simply because riders are more prone to suffer serious injuries absent the protection of other types of vehicles (i.e., seat belts, airbags a metal encasing). That often means motorcyclists must pursue other forms of compensation, and would be wise to carry larger uninsured underinsured motorist policies, which cover additional damages in the event the at-fault driver's coverage is inadequate or non-existent.
Motorcycle Accidents in Oklahoma
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports an estimated 5,000 people die annually in motorcycle accidents and nearly 90,000 are injured. While motorcycles account for just 3 percent of all registered vehicles, they account for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities and 4 percent of all motor vehicle crash injuries.
As our Oklahoma City motorcycle accident lawyers know, a significant number of these crashes are attributable to speed, alcohol impairment and driver distraction.
There was a total of 88 deadly motorcycle accidents in one single recent year and of those, 18 percent of riders had a blood-alcohol concentration of at least 0.08.
These are significant issues, to be sure, but it does not negate the fact that a great many motorcycle accidents are caused by the carelessness of other drivers too. Motorcycles may be harder to spot than other types of larger vehicles, but it is no less the duty of other drivers to watch for them and use appropriate caution. All too often, they do not.
Preventing Motorcycle Accidents
Although you cannot curtail the poor driving habits of other motorists, you can drive defensively and do your best to reduce your odds of a crash, or minimize the severity of injuries in a crash.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation recommends:
Wearing a DOT-compliant helmet. Although helmets are not required for riders over 18 in Oklahoma, helmets have been shown to significantly reduce the injuries in a crash.
- Riding within your abilities. This means practicing the basics of direction, speed and balance - preferably in a controlled course. This is true even if you rode years ago and are just now getting back on the bike. Doing so will allow you to respond quickly in the event other motorists swerve into your lane, stop suddenly in front of you or otherwise behave in an unexpected manner.
- Keep your distance. Part of driving defensively requires making sure you allow plenty of distance between you and other motorists.
- Avoid speeding and alcohol. You need all your faculties to operate a vehicle, and you need to allow yourself adequate reaction time. That requires you be sober, alert and obeying all traffic laws.
If you are injured in an Oklahoma City motorcycle accident, call us to learn more about how we may be able to help you recover damages.