Motorcyclists should be able to ride the streets with the same expectation of arriving at their destination as anyone in a passenger vehicle. However, this is all too often not the case for riders, according to the motorcycle riders group, Bikers Count, which has a local chapter in Georgia.
13WMAZ reports that the group promotes an annual ride in memorial of motorcyclists who died in traffic accidents to raise awareness of motorcycle presence on the road and the risks riders face from careless drivers.
Riders in the group are quick to point out that on their motorcycles, they do not receive the same level of awareness from drivers that other passenger vehicles and large trucks have. Even though motorcycles are much smaller, they should receive just as much attention. That is, drivers should always be consciously looking for motorcycles to prevent their eyes from skimming past and failing to register their presence.
While riders can wear bright clothes and use hand signals to make themselves more visible to some level, it ultimately falls on drivers to notice them.
Catastrophic and fatal crashes
Several members of the Georgia group have their own stories of crashes with drunk or reckless drivers that involve traumatic brain injuries, multiple broken bones, weeks in the hospital and permanent disabilities. The lack of protection makes motorcyclists vulnerable to serious injury in every part of their bodies.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there were 5,014 motorcycle crash deaths in 2019. Compared to passenger vehicle crash deaths, motorcycle fatality rates are nearly 27 times higher.
The annual motorcycle crash death number has hovered around 5,000 since 2015. Raising awareness and holding careless drivers liable for the damages they cause may eventually bring the fatalities down.