Deadly Motorcycle Accidents Prompt Call for Refocusing on Safety
Fatal motorcycle accidents in Norfolk and Chesapeake during April 2012 were just two of 17 such deadly incidents reported to the Virginia (VA) Department of Motor Vehicles since the start of the year. According to the DMV, 40 percent more crashes involving loss of life for a bike rider occurred during the first four months of this year than during the same period in 2011.
Both motorcycle drivers and passengers have died, and most of the wrecks have been ascribed to speeding and loss of control by a person on a single motorcycle. Officials say the spike in motorcycle deaths points to a need to refocus on safety. As a Virginia personal injury attorney who has helped many victims of accidents in which motorcycles were struck by cars or trucks, however, I know that motorcyclists can only do so much to protect themselves on the road.
Absolutely, any bike rider should wear a helmet and only climb aboard a motorcycle if he or she has completed the DMV safety course and outfitted him or herself with boots, gloves, long pants and a heavy jacket. As essential as taking those precautions is, nothing will protect a motorcyclist from injury or death when a larger vehicle turns into the biker's path, follows too closely or crosses the center line of a street without a median.
While acknowledging that motorcycle riders can do much to ensure their own health, the message that drivers need to share the road responsibly with motorcyclists must be stressed.