According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of motorcyclist fatalities decreased by 5% in 2018.
Even with this report from the NHTSA, two facts remain: the likelihood of a motorcycle accident being fatal is still very high, and motorcyclists still represent a majority of traffic fatalities each year. Motorcyclists are incredibly vulnerable on Georgia roads. And to reduce their risk of being involved in a fatal accident, motorcyclists and drivers alike must be aware of some of the factors that increase that risk.
1. When is a motorcycle accident more likely to occur?
Almost every motorcyclist understands that one of the largest risks on the road is their visibility. It is, unfortunately, easy for other drivers to overlook motorcyclists because their size makes it easy for them to disappear in blind spots.
Therefore, the risk of a motorcycle accident increases significantly if drivers in other vehicles cannot see – or do not look for – motorcyclists. This commonly occurs when:
- Vehicles make a left turn at an intersection; or
- Drivers do not check blind spots when changing lanes.
Safety for motorcycles is not just on motorcyclists, but all other drivers too. Drivers should be aware of motorcyclists, but motorcyclists should not depend on that fact.
2. What time is the chance of an accident the highest?
Motorcyclists always face risks when they take to the road, and they must always be careful. However, they should be aware that the chances of an accident could increase between:
- 3 pm to 6 pm, with 20.9% of motorcycle accidents occurring at this time in 2017; and
- 6 pm to 9 pm, with 21.4% of accidents occurring at this time.
The summer months might bring longer days and more daylight, but motorcyclists must still be careful if they are out on the road in the afternoon and evenings.
3. Remember: Alcohol and motorcycles do not mix
Unfortunately, many fatal motorcycle accidents are the result of alcohol impairment. It is one of the main culprits of single-vehicle accidents involving motorcycles. In the most recent data from the NHTSA, alcohol was a factor in nearly 40% of fatal motorcycle accidents between 2004 and 2013.
All motorists on Georgia roads have the responsibility to drive defensively and safely, and as long as both motorcyclists and drivers are aware of these three risk factors, together they can reduce the risk of a serious accident.