Michigan motorcyclists are susceptible to severe or fatal injury if involved in a crash with another vehicle. Simply stated, motorcyclists are at much greater risk of injury in an accident because there is no structure to protect the rider. Consequently, a motorcyclist is more likely to suffer disfiguring facial fractures, spinal cord injuries resulting in paralysis, and traumatic brain injuries.
Considering the dangers, one would expect bikers to take extra precautions to ensure they arrive at their destinations safely. Some don’t. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA), nearly 30% of all fatal motorcycle accidents involve riders with a blood alcohol content legal limit of .08.
Too often, drinking leads to recklessness and increased speeds, which can be a deadly combination.
According to a report on the Motorcycle Safety Foundation website:
- Any amount of alcohol in one’s body increases the chance of crashing by five times.
- Someone with Blood Alcohol Content greater than 0.05% has a 40 times greater chance of crashing than someone with no alcohol in their bloodstream;
- 46 percent of all motorcyclists killed in crashes were using alcohol.
The Michigan State Police claims that alcohol was involved in 35 percent of all fatal motorcycle crashes in the state in 2012.
Many motorcycle wrecks, however, are caused by the negligence of other drivers. That seems to be the case in an accident that occurred on Wednesday, October 2 when a 58-year-old Ortonville motorcyclist was killed after a vehicle pulled out in front of him.
According to reports, a 21-year-old woman turned left out of a McDonald’s parking lot and into the motorcycle’s path around 3 p.m. in Brandon Township. The man died en route to the hospital. He was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
According to data reported in MotorcycleAccident.org, a motorcyclist not wearing a helmet is 40 percent more likely to die of a head injury than one who is wearing one.
Motorcycle riding is a popular activity in Michigan. In fact, there are over a half-million licensed motorcyclists in the state. Many bikers find riding a more enjoyable and less expensive alternative to driving a car or truck. Yet, bikers are uniquely vulnerable. Because they are at higher risk of debilitating injuries and fatalities in the event of a crash, it is incumbent upon every motorcyclist, as well as drivers around them, to take heed and go the extra mile to ensure their safety.
If you or your loved one has been charged with a DUI, DWI, OWI or have been involved in an alcohol-related accident, please contact the law office of Paul J. Tafelski for competent, compassionate legal assistance.