Anyone who rides a motorcycle understands the thrill of it. There is a sense of freedom and control that is unparalleled behind the wheel of even the sportiest car. But, along with that freedom there is an increased risk of injury when involved in a motor vehicle accident. The rate of serious injury or death for St. Louis motorcyclists involved in accidents should make all riders take note and be aware of their rights. Read also: Facts Based On A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer.
Because motorcyclists have an inherent disadvantage when colliding with a car, truck or other motor vehicle, they should take extra caution to understand the laws governing their use of the road and know what to do in the event of an accident.
Missouri helmet law remains intact
Earlier in 2013 a movement to lift the requirement for all riders to wear helmets was shot down. This means that all people riding a motorcycle in Missouri are still required to wear helmets at all times. These guidelines apply to some low-powered cycles as well. A low-powered cycle is defined as one that has an engine displacement of 50 cubic centimeters or greater, a braking horsepower of at least 1.5 and that can travel at least 25 miles per hour.
Statistics indicate that of all Missouri motorcycle accidents in 2011, a total of 26.9 percent of riders that wore helmets were either killed or sustained severe, disabling injuries. For riders that were not wearing helmets, that number rose to a total of 33.6 percent. Read also: Steps To Be Taken Before Contacting Motorcycle Accident Lawyer.
The numbers do not lie
State data shows that more than 10 percent of all vehicular fatalities statewide in 2011 were motorcyclists. A total of 82 riders were killed that year in 81 fatal crashes and another 2,166 sustained personal injuries as the result of 1,893 motorcycle accidents.
Additional 2011 numbers further supports the need for motorcyclists to take precautions and protect themselves.
- 1.8 percent of all motor vehicle accidents statewide involved motorcyclists.
- 11.3 percent of all fatal motor vehicle accidents statewide involved motorcyclists.
- Almost 17 percent of fatal motorcycle-motor vehicle accidents involved another driver who failed to yield.
- 1 motorcyclist is either killed or injured every 3.9 hours on Missouri roads or highways.
Because riders on motorcycles face more serious results in the event of accidents, it is important that they contact the proper authorities and report all accidents. Similarly, obtaining legal representation is always recommended for motorcyclists, who can be considered the underdogs on the road in a way. Read also: St. Louis car accident injuries and seat belts.
The sooner that help is enlisted, the sooner that an injured motorcyclist can ensure that his or her rights will be respected and proper compensation can be obtained.