Helmets save lives for motorcyclists in Virginia

In Virginia and across the country, the coming of summer means motorcyclists will take to the open road in increasing numbers. Of course, as more motorcyclists hit the road, the likelihood of a serious collision with other motor vehicles increases.

This summer, motorcyclists in Virginia should consider taking safety precautions to protect themselves when on the road. The most important step any motorcyclist can take is always wearing a helmet when on the road.

In Virginia, a universal helmet law requires all motorcyclists to wear a helmet when riding. The law has been in effect since 1970.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Virginia is second in the country in terms of the number of lives saved as a result of its universal helmet law. The CDC reports that 68 lives were saved for every 100,000 registered motorcycles in Virginia in 2010.

In addition to helmets, motorcyclists should wear special clothing, to ensure they are protected in a crash. Attaching reflective panels to clothing and ensuring the lights on the motorcycle are functioning properly are also good ideas when traveling at night.

Motorcycle collisions are a serious problem across the U.S.

Over the past decade, the number of people killed in motorcycle collisions has increased significantly. According to the CDC, more than two times the number of people died in motorcycle crashes in 2008 than 1999. In all, over 34,000 motorcyclists died and over 1.2 million suffered injuries in collisions from 2001 to 2008 in the United States.

In 2012, over 4,920 motorcyclists lost their lives in collisions with motor vehicles across the country, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In total, motorcyclist fatalities accounted for a staggering 15 percent of all traffic fatalities in the country that year. In addition, 93,000 motorcyclists suffered injuries in collisions in the U.S. in 2012.

In Virginia alone, 85 motorcyclists were killed in collisions in 2012, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Of those killed, 78 were wearing helmets at the time of the motorcycle crash, while seven were not wearing helmets.

The injuries suffered by motorcyclists in collisions with other motor vehicles are generally severe. The medical expenses resulting from such crashes can be exorbitant. If you have been involved in a motorcycle collision in Virginia, you need an experienced personal injury attorney on your side to ensure you receive the compensation to which you may be entitled.