The motorcycle season here in Minnesota is a short one. Nevertheless, the summer months do offer opportunities to hit the open road on two wheels. Unfortunately, it is a risky proposition for riders. While this is not always the rider’s fault, some are not used to seeing motorcycles on the road, and others may have a particular disregard for bikers’ rights and safety. Either way, riders should exercise caution any time they leave the garage.

By the numbers

The National Motorcycle Institute published some sobering figures on its web site that should make any rider pause. These numbers from 2018 (the most recent year of complete data) include:

  • 4,985 riders were killed while on a motorcycle in the U.S., which is about average for the last decade
  • 49 Minnesota riders were killed while on a motorcycle, which is also an average year
  • Riders are 27-times more likely to die in a crash than drivers in cars or trucks
  • Riders almost always strike another vehicle or object
  • Motorcycles account for 1% of miles traveled on U.S. roads but 15% of fatal crashes

Defensive measures also necessary

Riders who exhibit common sense when operating a bike have a better chance of staying alive. This includes:

  • Use safety gear: Buy a helmet and other proper safety gear
  • Stay sober: Drinking and driving is more common than one would think, contributing to a high number of fatalities.
  • Obey the rules: Follow all traffic rules and rules of the road.
  • Take a safety education course: Many also find it extremely helpful to take these courses offered by the state.
  • Ride in control: Reckless or aggressive behavior can be fatal.

Others may not be so careful

Unfortunately, a rider’s (or any driver’s) safety is not wholly reliant on their actions. Others can cause a rider’s injuries and they are often severe. After getting all necessary medical help, the injured or their loved ones may need to contact a personal injury attorney with experience handling motor vehicle accidents. These legal professionals can be a tremendous help in getting compensation for the victims and their families, including loss of income due to injury, related medical expenses not covered by insurance, and property damage.