In Pennsylvania, motorcycles are vehicles and must follow all the rules of the road. Drivers also must follow the rules of the road, but many do not stay alert and aware of motorcycle traffic. The most often cited reason for a car versus motorcycle accident is that the driver “did not see” the motorcycle.
The National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA) lists motorcyclists as being 27 times more likely to die in a crash with a car. This is because bikers are not protected by anything. Riders are out in the open and when in an accident, the results are often catastrophic injuries or death.
PennDot, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, release crash numbers for all accidents on the state's roads. For 2020, the PennDot crash statistics for motorcycle accidents show that there were 2,611 injuries and 164 deaths and that 90.5 percent of the collisions ended with death or injuries.
There were a total of 2,714 collisions with other vehicles and 159 were fatal. Even though motorcycles comprised 14 percent of traffic deaths, they were only involved in 10 collisions. Additionally, 40 percent of bikers who died in a motorcycle wreck were wearing a helmet.
There is some controversy over Pennsylvania's motorcycle helmet law amended in 2003 to make wearing one optional for riders 21 years of age or older with 2 years riding experience. Emergency room physicians insist bikers wear helmets whether they are required or not, as riders are 39 percent more likely to die in a crash if not wearing head protection.
With the warmer weather, there are more motorcycles on the roads and, as a recent spate of motorcycle crashes shows, riding is still fraught with danger.
In Lebanon County recently a man was killed in a motorcycle crash on Route 72. There were three vehicles in this accident, two motorcycles and an SUV. One of the motorcyclists attempted to pass the other and crashed head-on into an SUV. The rider died at the scene and the second biker was flown to the nearest medical facility.
Another multiple vehicle accident happened in Gaines Township in an area on 3607 Route 6. This wreck involved multiple motorcycles and a truck. First responders attended the scene from Clymer and Wellsboro, and Galeton. Two bikers sustained serious injuries and were airlifted to a medical facility and the third sustained only minor injuries.
For decades, the Erie personal injury attorneys at Melaragno, Placidi & Parini have been serving their communities, representing individuals and families who have been injured or lost loved ones due to carelessness or negligence.
We have over 70 years of combined legal experience in representing accident victims in automobile accidents, trucking, and motorcycle accidents, premises liability cases, traumatic brain injury cases, dog bites, and all personal injury matters. Call us today. We are here to help. Stay safe out there.