The 2017 summer riding season is finally here, which means motorcyclists can finally enjoy the good weather and fantastic scenery that Pennsylvania has on offer. However, bikers need to also be aware of some of the risks they face this season. As CBS News reports, the summer driving season is expected to be a particularly busy one this year, which presents a number of hazards that motorcyclists will have to deal with. The chance of motorcycle accidents increasing this summer is high and both bikers and all other motorists should take precautions to help reduce the risks.
Traffic increasing in 2017
As the Pocono Record reports, last year there were 3,447 motorcycle accidents in Pennsylvania which resulted in 192 fatalities. That number could very well go up this year due to a number of factors, the biggest of which is an increase in traffic. The American Automobile Association (AAA), for example, predicted that holiday traffic during the Memorial Day long weekend would be at its highest point since 2005.
An increase in traffic means that motorcyclists have to contend with more vehicles on the road, which increases the chances of a collision occurring. Furthermore, unlike in 2005, drivers today are much more distracted by smartphones, in-car infotainment devices, and even by taking "selfies." Such distracted drivers pose a high danger to motorcyclists since motorcyclists can already be difficult for motorists to see.
Drivers need to pay attention
The threat of distracted driving is something that affects all motorists, but especially motorcyclists. A third of all motorcyclist fatalities occur when bikers collide with another vehicle at an intersection, often because the driver of the other vehicle was not sufficiently aware of his or her surroundings. Of course, paying attention to the road is something that motorcyclists also need to do in order to be able to react quickly to changing traffic condition.
Motorcyclists should also take a number of steps to protect themselves. Wearing a helmet that is approved by PennDOT as well as face and hand protection, for example, are extremely good ideas that will significantly decrease the chance of an accident turning fatal. Highly reflective clothing will also make bikers more visible to cars, especially at night when riding conditions are the most dangerous. Also, slow down when road conditions turn bad and never drink and drive or exceed the speed limit.
Hurt in an accident?
For any motorcyclist who has been injured in an accident it is important to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Such injuries can be particularly severe and may require long-term and costly treatment. An experienced attorney can help motorcyclists pursue compensation that may help cover that treatment along with other expenses.