Recently in Motorcycle Fatalities Category

October 6, 2014

Motorcycle Safety In the State of Maryland

Driving a motor cycle takes skill and concentration. In the state of Maryland, there are voluntary courses that riders can take, in order to get the proper training and strategies to operating a motorcycle. These courses are offered to new, as well as, experienced riders. Since the MVA's Motorcycle Safety Program began, over 100,000 people have learned to ride motorcycles. The criteria for the MVA Motorcycle Safety program, meets and exceeds the standards established by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

Maryland residents under the age of 18, who want to apply for a motorcycle license, however, need to complete either of the two motorcycle safety courses offered by the MVA. One is the Basic Rider Course and the other is the Alternate Basic Rider Course. In these courses, riders learn special skills and mental strategies necessary to ride a motorcycle responsibly. They also learn awareness of motorcycle safety and state laws.

In the program riders are given certain safety tips. Some of which are:

- Make ones' self visible. This means wearing riding gear that makes you more visible in traffic in addition to providing protection in the event of a crash. Wear bright colors and reflective strips/decals at night.
- Ride with your headlights on and in areas where you can be seen easily. Do not ride in a vehicle driver's blind spot. If you can't see them, they can't see you.
- Give yourself ample space and time to react.
- Always use your turn signals as well as hand signals, I possible. Avoid weaving in and out of traffic lanes and flash your brake lights when you are slowing down and before stopping.
- Be Non-aggressive and cooperative. Share the road with other drivers.
- Make sure and wear the proper gear when riding your motorcycle, which should include, over the ankle boots, gloves, protective jacket, pants and a helmet with a face shield or protective glasses.

Therefore; if you are involved in a motorcycle accident, first seek immediate emergency treatment and then contact an attorney to help you handle your claim. Our office is open Monday-Friday 8 am-5:30 pm, but we are always available by phone and email.

November 26, 2013

Cycling Deaths Are on the Rise

In 2012, Cycling deaths increased by 6.5 percent, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In 2011, 682 cyclists died while riding in traffic and in 2012 the number of deaths rose to 726. 37 percent of those deaths were for people between the age of 45 and 64. The second leading age range of deaths were cyclists between the age of 25 to 34.

It was determined by research conducted by the NHTSA that the leading cause of cyclist deaths was drivers who failed to yield the right of way. Drivers who failed to yield the right of way caused 188 deaths out of the 726 deaths in 2012. That means that 26 percent of cyclist deaths in 2012 were as a result of drivers who failed to yield the right of way to cyclist.

The two other leading causes of cyclist deaths were drunk drivers, which caused 65 deaths and cyclists who wore dark clothing and no lighting gear when traveling in the dark, which caused 62 deaths. 25 percent of Cyclist deaths occurred between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., while almost half of the deaths occurred between noon and 6 p.m. (49.4 percent to be exact). 15 percent of deaths occurred between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m..

Other contributing factors to cyclist deaths were cyclists who failed to obey traffic signs, cyclists who rode their bikes the wrong way on roads and improperly crossing intersections and roadways.

The NHTSA's press release on this subject focused mainly on highway deaths.

April 29, 2013

Motorcycle Fatalities Continue to Increase in MD, VA and the District of Columbia

Speeding, alcohol, inexperience, impaired driving and the lack of helmet use are factors that affect the increase in motorcycle deaths in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Motorcycle deaths continue to climb. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that 706 motorcyclists who died in 2010 would have survived if they had been wearing their helmets. In 29% of the fatalities in 2010, the motorcyclists had a blood-alcohol content about the legal limit and about 35% of the motorcyclists were found to be speeding. Other factors include, motor vehicle drivers not being attentive enough to their surroundings, violating the motorcyclists right of way and being impaired.

Only 19 states, including Maryland and Virginia, and the District of Columbia have helmet requirements and laws for all riders.

In the first nine months of 2012, there were 138 motorcycle deaths in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Nationwide, the number of motorcycle fatalities were 3,922, in the same period of time. Therefore, the number of motorcycle deaths has almost doubled in recent years. When all the motorcycle fatalities are calculated for 2012, it is believed that the number of deaths will be close to 5,000. Nationwide, 34 states reported more deaths in 2012 and 16 recorded fewer. In 2011, there were three motorcycle deaths in the District of Columbia, 63 in Maryland and 72 in Virginia.

The Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA) believed that good weather, higher gas prices and an improving economy were the most common explanations for the rise in motorcycle fatalities. Troy Costales, the immediate past president of the GHSA stated that, "The fatality increase is disheartening." "Every motorcyclist deserves to arrive at their destination safely. These numbers represent real people - they are family, friends and neighbors."

Maryland currently has the following Motorcycle requirements: Helmets must be worn by the motorcycle operator and passenger at all times and eye protection must be used. The motorcycle helmet must have a windscreen or the motorcycle operator must wear approved eye-protective device.

The state of Maryland also offers rider training courses because riding a motorcycle requires special skills and concentration. The courses are offered to both new and experienced riders. The courses teach the participants the special skills and mental strategies necessary for responsible motorcycle operation. The course approved curricula meets and exceeds the standards established by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. For more information on these motorcycle rider training courses, please visit the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration's motorcycle training site.

September 25, 2012

"Give Bikes 3 Feet When Passing - It's the Law", in Maryland

In October of 2010, the state of Maryland enacted the vehicle law, SB 51, which states the rules of the road in regards to keeping three feet of space between a vehicle and a bicyclist when passing a bicyclist. This includes bicycles and motor scooters.

Therefore, a new campaign was announced by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) this week for Cyclists in order to remind drivers and bicyclists that the SB 51 law exists. The new campaign is being called the "Give Bikes Three Feet When Passing - It's the Law" in order to promote bicycles safety.
It has been proven that in the fall months more people use bicycles to commute around Maryland, D.C. and Virginia, therefore; the MVA added this new slogan to their outer envelopes of more than 120,000 vehicle registration renewal notices and in addition, distributed over 5,000 yard sticks (3 feet in length) all over Maryland to visually illustrate the distance drivers must provide when overtaking a bicycle.

This new campaign will educate the public and possibly change behaviors in order to have fewer bicyclists injured and killed on Maryland roads. It mainly means that everyone should share the roads. For more information, please visit the

June 19, 2012

Helmet Laws Reduce Motorcycle Accident Deaths

Motorcycle.jpgStates that have helmet laws implemented have fewer motorcycle accident deaths than those that do not, according to a new report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report states that five times more motorcyclists die as a result of not being required to wear a helmet in the states that do not have helmet laws when compared to the states the do. In 2010, there were 4,502 motorcycle accident deaths in the U.S. That means that about 14% of traffic deaths were motorcycle deaths. That number is huge, considering that motorcycles represented less than 1% of vehicles on the road that year.

There are 20 states and the District of Columbia that have helmet requirements. Maryland and Virginia are included. In 2010, 739 deaths involved bikers not wearing helmets in these 20 states and the District of Columbia and there were 504 in the three states that do not currently have helmet laws. The three states that do not have helmet laws are Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire.

In the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia all riders must wear a helmet and in Maryland that includes low-power cycles as well. Low power cycles are mopeds, scooters and various other 2-wheeled cycles.

October 6, 2010

Are Women Drivers Favored by Car Insurance Companies in the U.S.?

In 1959, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) was founded with the sole purpose of researching date to find out causes and preventive methods for motor vehicle accidents. IIHS is funded by auto insurers to help them gauge risk using three common factors of operating an automobile. The three factors are: human influence, vehicle influence and environmental influence.
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IIHS published gender reports in 2008 that found that more men die each year in automobile accidents than women. The report stated that men typically engage in much riskier driving practices than women. Some of these practices include:
- less seat belt usage
- driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, controlled and prescription drugs were included
- driving at higher rates of speed and above the posted speed limits

Also, in the 2008 gender report, were statistics that showed that when male drivers are involved in car accidents, the results are more often death. The report showed the following statistics:
- 71 % of all motor vehicle deaths were males
- 70 % of pedestrian deaths were cause by male drivers
- 87% of bicyclist deaths involved men drivers and
- 91 % of motorcycle deaths were male drivers

Gender, cell phone use, and zip codes are some of the factors used to determine automobile insurance premiums. Automobile insurance companies are for-profit industries; this means that all automobile insurance companies are in business to make a profit. The formula for profit includes an analysis of risk management.

Insurance rates are also determined by your driving record, the type of vehicle involved, how the vehicle will be used and your credit score. Since women seem to have better driving records, drive smaller and non-racing vehicles, use vehicles for work more than for pleasure and have better credit scores, it seems that women get lower premium rates.

September 7, 2010

Costs of Traffic Accidents Have Increased in the United States

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a study that shows; that the costs associated with injuries from automobile crashes is more that $99 billion a year, nationwide. These costs include medical care costs and loss of productivity costs. Of this, $58 billion was due to fatalities, $28 billion for nonfatal injuries that required hospitalization, and $14 billion was for people treated as outpatients at hospitals. The study was released in August 2010. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), this number increases considerably when you factor in higher insurance premiums, taxes and delays in travel, to nearly $230.6 billion. Grant Baldwin, Director of the CDC's Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention said, "This study highlights the magnitude of the problem of crash-related injuries from a cost perspective."

Injuries to occupants of motor vehicles, is about $70 billion, motorcyclist $12 billion, pedestrians $10 billion and Cyclists $5 billion.
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Injuries and deaths from traffic accidents, however, have been falling. The lowest level since 1961 occurred in 2008, but traffic accidents are still the 9th leading cause of deaths worldwide. It is expected that by the year 2030 deaths caused by traffic accidents will become the 5th, surpassing diabetes, HIV/AIDS and Heart Disease. In the United States, 15 to 16 fatalities as a result of traffic accidents occur per every 100,000 people.

Motor vehicle-related injuries and deaths are preventable in the United States, if more laws were implemented that require helmets for motorcyclists, stricter seat belt, drug, alcohol and texting laws, as well as increasing teen rules until the age of 18.

May 17, 2010

Traffic Cameras Used in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia to Make Streets Safer

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All along the streets and highways of Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, the use of cameras has become more and more visible. The two types of cameras used are red light cameras and speeding cameras. Some communities in these states and the district embrace the devices, while others believe them to be used solely to generate revenue during our economic downturn.

The Federal Highway Administration says "such technology can make highways safer." The National Safety Council also supports such enforcements solely for its safety benefits. Speeding is a factor in more than 31% of traffic fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. According to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 762 people were killed and about 137,000 injured in crashes that involved red light running in 2008.

In a federal study, it was found that red light cameras cause a 25% decrease in crashes. Red light cameras are used in 441 communities in 25 states and the District of Columbia and speed cameras in about 56 communities in 12 states and the District. The Fines for running a red light camera in MD is $100, in VA is $50 and in the District is $75, while Speeding Cameras in MD is $40 and $75 in the District.

You can not have cops everywhere at all times, so these cameras allow cities and communities in the states in which they are used to decrease the amount of accidents, fatalities and to make streets safer, while gaining much needed revenue in these states. In principle, photo enforcement is valid when implemented correctly.

April 23, 2010

Virginia Enforces Stricter Traffic Laws for Motorcyclists

In Virginia, motorcycles make up about two percent of all registered vehicles, yet in 2009, they accounted for nine percent of total fatalities, ten percent of all occupant fatalities, and three percent of all occupants injured, according to Richard Holcomb, the Governor's Highway Safety Representative.

For every mile traveled by motorcyclists there chances of dying in a traffic crash is 37 times more likely that passenger car occupants. This is because there is no protection on a motorcycle, which increases the likelihood of being seriously injured or even killed in a crash.

In 2009, there were 71 motorcycle fatalities and 1,938 reported injuries in Virginia alone. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Highway Safety Office announced last week that law enforcement agencies across Virginia will focus more on the safety of motorcycle riders by enforcing stricter traffic laws. The traffic laws that will be enforced are speeding, improper licensure and drinking and riding.