Evaluation of Motorcycle Safety in Alabama
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) represents the state highway safety offices nationally. The organization reported that in 2015 the total number of US motorcyclist fatalities was approximately 5,010, up from 4,548 in 2014. In Alabama specifically, the number of motorcycle fatalities were 77 in 2014 and 78 in 2015, placing the state near the middle at #22 compared to other states. In comparing and evaluating motorcycle safety statistics by state there are several key variable factors to consider:
- Population: States with more people are likely to have more motorcycles usage. Alabama is roughly the 22nd most populous state; therefore, about near average overall.
- Weather: States with mild winters tend to have a longer riding season. In northern Alabama (Huntsville region) the average daily high temperature is below 60 degrees in January, February and December; in the southern areas of the state the only month in which the daily high temperature is below 60 degrees is in January. Overall, it is safe to assume that the riding season is about 9 months long in AL. In northern US states with the longer winter temperatures, the riding season is likely to go from April through October, thus only about 7 months.
- Helmet Laws: Alabama is among the (19) states that require all riders to wear a helmet, known as a universal helmet law. Helmet usage has shown to dramatically decrease the rate of fatalities in motorcycle accidents.
In summary comparison with other states on motorcycle safety, Alabama has an average population size and a longer than average riding season; the longer than average riding season is somewhat offset in likely fatalities by a universal helmet law. Taking these factors into consideration it seems that the state is above average in managing motorcycle fatalities.
Some of the common causes for automobile accidents involving motorcycles include:
- A car either doesn’t see you or inaccurately judges your motorcycle’s speed, turning in front of you at an intersection.
- When a car strikes a motorcycle when changing lanes. It is well known that those driving cars have blind spots when changing lanes and the problem is exacerbated due to the relative small size of a motorcycle.
- A car strikes the motorcycle from behind. An example would be when a yellow light is turning red and the motorcyclist stops and the vehicle brakes, but impacts the motorcycle. In a car to car accident this would be classified as a “fender bender”, unfortunately these scenarios can be fatal for a motorcyclist.
- A car door swings open into your lane of travel. A distracted motorist exiting their vehicle can have fatal consequences.
- Operating a motorcycle between an active lane of traffic and a lane of parked vehicles. In addition to car doors opening, the potential for pedestrians entering the space is possible.
Have you or a loved one been injured or killed in a motorcycle-related accident in Birmingham? Being the victim of a motorcycle accident involved with an automobile can definitely be a life-changing event, as the likelihood for a life-altering injury or fatality is high. Insurance companies have inspectors, claims adjusters and attorneys fighting for their interests; therefore, it is critical that you have a solid team of seasoned personal injury experts on your side. Contact the Birmingham motorcycle accident attorneys at Guster Law Firm, LLC today at (205) 386-6844 for a complimentary review of your case.