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Pennsylvania One of The Worst in U.S. for Motorcycle Accidents

Goldstein Heslop Steele Clapper Oswalt & Smith Dec. 10, 2021

Motorcyclists are a common sight in Pennsylvania. Riders will sing the praises of being on the open road on their motorcycles and express how much they enjoy the activity. While it is certainly an interesting subculture with people from all walks of life taking part, that does not eliminate the natural dangers that motorcyclists face. An accident can cause severe injuries and death. Research has examined the frequency with which motorcycle accidents happen across the nation and found that Pennsylvania is near the top.

The statistics show that Pennsylvania was fourth in the nation for fatal motorcycle accidents. This is true even though there was a reduction of 3.7 percent from 2016 to 2017. The Governors Highway Safety Association assessed the information. In Pennsylvania, there were 184 fatal motorcycle accidents in 2017. In 2016, there were 191. In total across the U.S., there were nearly 4,800 fatalities on motorcycles in 2017. In 2016, there were more than 5,250. The reduction was 8.6 percent.

Pennsylvania was behind only Florida, California and Texas in the rankings. There are many reasons why motorcycle accidents and deaths happen. In some cases, the rider has made mistakes that led to the death. Helmet use is also considered to be a problem as less than half the states in the union require motorcycle riders to wear a helmet. Pennsylvania riders 21 or older with two years of experience or completing a safety course are not obligated by law to wear a helmet. Alcohol use is also considered a problem.

While in many instances, riders might have been partially at fault for a motorcycle accident, drivers of conventional vehicles are also a problem. Failure to yield, distracted driving, not keeping an eye on motorcycles when sharing the road with them and traffic violations committed by these drivers can cause a crash. The vulnerability of motorcyclists makes the prone to injury and death.

Even if there is not a fatality, there can be head injuries, spinal cord injuries, cuts, lost limbs and more. Lost wages, the inability to contribute to a family and medical costs are problematic if the person survives. If there is a fatality, the family must learn to move on without their loved one. After motorcycle accidents, a legal filing might be the only strategy to recover sufficient compensation. A law firm with experience in these cases can help.