Motorcycle riders in North Carolina face many dangers on the roads, and these dangers can be amplified by unsafe behaviors. A new report shows that decreased helmet use, lack of riding skills and increased alcohol and drug use have led to more motorcycle deaths in recent years.
A report that was written by the Governors Highway Safety Association and Sam Schwartz Consulting claims that there were 5,010 motorcycle accident fatalities in 2015. This number was 10 percent higher than it was in 2014, and 2015 was only the third year in history when the annual motorcycle death toll exceeded 5,000. An author of the report said that more motorcyclists were killed in 2015 because of higher speed limits, repealed helmet laws, drug and alcohol use and the record number of vehicles on the roads.
As of now, just Washington, D.C. and 19 states have laws that require motorcyclists to wear helmets. There are also 28 states with helmet laws that only apply to riders under the age of 18 or 21. In the remaining three states, there are no helmet requirements for motorcyclists. Universal helmet mandates bring helmet use up to 89 percent, compared to just 48 percent in states without a universal helmet mandate.
Inattentive passenger car drivers who do not give motorcyclists the right-of-way cause many of the serious motorcycle accidents that occur each year. A motorcyclist who has been seriously injured because of a negligent driver may be able to pursue compensation for their medical bills and rehabilitative treatments by filing a personal injury claim.