Throughout Missouri, motorcyclists are a common sight on the road. Riders eagerly await the warm weather so they can enjoy the air, open spaces and freedom that accompanies riding a motorcycle. While most drivers of passenger vehicles and trucks will respect motorcyclists, giving them room so everyone can be safe, there is a looming danger for riders. Motorcycle accidents can happen with a disturbing suddenness and cause injuries and fatalities. To account for the risks inherent with motorcycles, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) has combined with the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety to emphasize safety for riders.

From May through the entire summer, the MoDOT will promote a “Watch for Motorcycles” campaign. The goal is to prevent accidents in which riders are injured and lose their lives. Statistically, riders are exceedingly vulnerable. For 2019, 15% of road deaths in the state involved a motorcycle. There were 120 motorcycle deaths across the state. The hope is that reminding drivers that motorcyclists have as much of a right to the road as they do will lead to greater vigilance and fewer collisions.

Factors that cause motorcycle accidents include distracted drivers, drivers who are under the influence, drowsy drivers, inattentiveness, recklessness, speeding and negligence. When a rider heads out on the road, he or she is prone to spinal cord injuries, brain trauma, broken bones, abrasions, lost limbs and fatal injuries. This is true even if the rider was taking all the necessary precautions, wearing a helmet and other protective equipment.

Since there is precious little margin for error and the rider is relatively unprotected from the aftermath of a crash with a passenger vehicle or truck, the chance of injury and death is greater. Medical expenses can be exorbitant, the injured person could find him or herself unable to work and support a family, there could be permanent damage that requires care 24-hours a day, and a family left behind after a motorcycle crash could be confronted with a litany of personal and financial problems.

Drivers are advised to give riders room, adhere to traffic laws, make sure to watch mirrors for riders and avoid distraction. Riders are implored to wear protective equipment, be visible and follow all the rules of the road. Even with the campaign to improve motorcycle awareness, it is an unfortunate reality that motorcycle collisions will occur. To recover compensation for all that was lost, it is wise to have a full investigation to determine the circumstances of the crash. A law firm with experience in motorcycle accidents will understand the uniqueness of these incidents and take the necessary steps to help an injured person or the family of a deceased loved one to recover compensation. Calling for a consultation can provide information on how to proceed.