Summer might be coming to an end, but there are still plenty of motorcycles hitting Maryland roads. And many motorcyclists will continue riding the open roads until the first snowfall.
However, regardless of the time of year, Maryland drivers and motorcyclists alike should always strive to share the road and reduce the chances of catastrophic motorcycle accidents.
Motorcycle accidents increasing lately
Maryland State Police recently reported that there have been six fatal motorcycle accidents since July 28. This is an alarmingly high number of accidents in such a short time, considering that there is an average of 70 fatalities in Maryland motorcycle accidents each year.
This stark increase in crashes led Maryland Police to send out a warning to the public and all drivers that they must take steps to improve safety for all motorcyclists and motorists.
Some of these recommended steps include:
- Motorists taking great care when driving near motorcyclists
- Drivers looking twice for motorcyclists
- Motorcyclists avoiding speeding or aggressive driving
- Motorcyclists wearing protective gear
Helmet use among motorcyclists is still an issue
Lack of helmet use is still a huge factor in many fatal motorcycle accidents. The subject of requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets can be controversial among many riders. However, Maryland law requires motorcyclists to wear proper protective gear, such as a helmet (Maryland Code, Transportation § 21-1306).
No matter how a motorcyclist might feel about helmet laws, there is no denying how effective they can be. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of a fatality in an accident by 37%.
However, that does not let other motorists off the hook
Many drivers might say that motorcyclists are reckless. While it is true that motorcyclists can drive recklessly and aggressively, so can motorists in other vehicles. And motorists are often at-fault for motorcycle crashes.
The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration reports that:
- Motorists often misjudge how far a motorcycle is since they are smaller.
- They also often do not recognize that motorcycles fit in their blind spots.
Therefore, motorists also have a responsibility to help keep the roads safe. So, no matter what time of year it is, motorists and motorcyclists should not disregard that responsibility.