Motorcycle lawyer discusses spike in biker deaths and how to prevent them
Last week, a study on Motorcyclist Traffic Fatalities by State was released by the Governors Highway Safety Association. The good news is the study reported an 2.4 percent drop in wrongful death motorcycle accidents throughout the country from 2009 to 2010. The alarming news is that Michigan bikers had a near 21 percent spike in motorcycle accident deaths.
According to the study, which tracked motorcycle accident deaths throughout a nine-month period in 2009 and 2010, in Michigan, 92 bikers were killed in 2009 and 111 were killed in 2010.
That’s a horrific increase, considering most of the other states had drops in motorcycle deaths. Texas had 60 less motorcycle accident deaths than the year before.
Even more troubling is Michigan had the third highest increase in motorcycle accident fatalities in the entire U.S., trailing behind only New York and Wisconsin.
As a motorcycle accident lawyer, it’s infuriating that at the same time that Michigan has the third highest spike in motorcycle accident deaths, our legislators are on the verge of repealing the helmet law. Talk about being tone deaf to the underlying facts.
What does this all mean? It means that although other states are tightening motorcycle safety, Michigan is going the other way. Decreased helmet use (especially after the repeal law), combined with more people riding motorcycles than ever before and the start of spring is a bad combination for bikers and public safety.
A worrisome nationwide trend in motorcycle accident deaths
Another cause for worry is something the Detroit Free Press reported on in an article – Motorcycle deaths drop but trend worrisome. The study stated that nationwide, there were 80 fewer motorcycle deaths from January through September of 2010 than in the same time frame the previous year.
But biker injuries and fatalities started to climb back up during the last three of those nine months. This is worrying safety advocates and motorcycle accident lawyers alike. The drop is all in the front half of the year, and biker deaths rose during the second half of the year – rising 3 percent in the third quarter.
This signifies that motorcycle deaths from crashes have hit rock bottom and are starting to increase.
Meanwhile, I found this action plan from the U.S. Department of Transportation on reducing motorcycle fatalities.
– Steven M. Gursten heads Michigan Auto Law and is recognized as one of the nation’s top motorcycle lawyers. He received the highest motorcycle accident settlement in Michigan last year, according to Michigan Lawyers Weekly. Steve has spoken at trial seminars on winning motorcycle accident lawsuits, and is available for comment.
Michigan Auto Law is the largest law firm exclusively handling car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the entire state. We have offices in Farmington Hills, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Sterling Heights to better serve you.