Warmer weather has finally arrived in the Northeast, which means that riders across the region have pulled their motorcycles out of winter storage. There are few experiences that are quite as freeing as cruising open road on a motorcycle on a warm sunny day. Unfortunately, there are few experiences that are quite as dangerous, as well. Several Connecticut motorcycle riders have lost their lives already this riding season, and many more are likely as the season continues. A new report suggests that while motorcycle fatalities dropped in Connecticut last year, they did not drop enough to match the national average. This means that riders in Connecticut may be statistically more at risk than those in other states.
Good News and Bad News
Last month, the Governors Highway Safety Association released a report based on preliminary data regarding 2017 motorcycle traffic fatalities. The report estimated that there were about 300 fewer motorcycle-related deaths in 2017 than in 2016—a drop of about 5.6 percent. Motorcycle fatalities represented about 14 percent of all traffic deaths in the United States in 2017.
While these numbers represent decent progress nationwide, Connecticut seems to be struggling to keep up with other states regarding rider safety. Motorcycle fatalities accounted for 17.7 percent of all traffic-related deaths in Connecticut last year, and the state’s 51 motorcycle deaths in 2017 represented a mere 2 percent decrease from the 52 deaths in 2016.
The Debate Over Helmets Continues
Safety experts suggest that part of the issue in Connecticut could be the state law that allows adult motorcycle riders to ride without a helmet if they choose. Many riders insist that it should be their choice whether or not to wear a helmet, but research shows that head and neck injuries are more likely when a rider chooses to ride helmetless.
In states where helmets are optional, fewer than half of adult riders use them, thereby increasing their risk for injury or death. Considering that, per mile driven, motorcycle riders are 28 times more likely to die in a crash than occupants of passenger vehicles, one would think that more riders would take such a simple precaution as wearing a helmet.
Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?
At Woolf Law Firm, LLC, we understand the dangers that motorcycle riders face every time they hit the road. We also know that a single moment of inattention by another driver can be devastating for a nearby rider. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a crash caused by someone else, contact an experienced Connecticut personal injury attorney for assistance. We will review your case and help you obtain the full compensation you deserve for your injuries.