October 22, 2014

Most Pennsylvania residents are aware that motorcyclists are not currently required to wear helmets throughout the Commonwealth. Certainly, the lack of helmet regulations have led to an increase in traumatic brain injuries during motorcycle collisions. However, the relatively smaller size of motorcycles compared to cars, SUVs and trucks ensures that many motorcyclists will nevertheless receive extensive injuries, regardless of helmet usage.

A review of 2013 motorcycle crash statistics compiled by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation supports that theory. According to the report, there were 3,427 total crashes involving motorcycles throughout the state in 2013. Here is a breakdown of the other motorcycle crash stats:

— At least 175 of those motorcycle-related accidents resulted in the death of a motorcyclist.

— Another 3,034 of those motorcycle accidents resulted in injuries.

— The majority of motorcycle accidents involved two-vehicle collisions with cars, light-trucks and SUVs. At least 498 were attributed to cars, and 358 with trucks or SUVs.

— There were 94 deaths attributed to motorcyclists not wearing helmets, and 82 deaths attributed to helmeted riders.

— Out of all of the motorcyclists involved in accidents, 57.8 percent of them were wearing helmets at the time.

Pennsylvania motorcyclists need to know that they have a right to share the road with other vehicles. Motorists are required to keep a lookout for the presence of motorcycles before they merge into another lane or when attempting to make a turn.

If you have been injured in a preventable accident while riding your bike, you are entitled to seek compensation for your injuries. This is regardless of whether you suffered a catastrophic injury such as spine or brain damage or relatively minor abrasions such as road rash. Your attorney should be able to assist you in recovering money for your medical costs and the time you may have missed from your job.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, “2013 Pennsylvania Crash Facts and Statistics” Oct. 22, 2014