News station KOIN reports that a man has been killed in a motorcycle accident near Portland. Three vehicles were involved: a motorcycle, an SUV, and a pickup truck. The motorcyclist was killed. The SUV rolled multiple times, injuring the driver. The driver of the pickup truck was not injured. The accident occurred on Interstate 5, just north of the Oregon-Washington border on April 7, 2014. At the time of the report, authorities had not formed an opinion as to how the accident occurred. It was the second reported motorcycle accident in the area that day, as a Beaverton, Ore. man was killed when he was struck by an SUV on Cedar Hills Blvd.
Motorcycle Accident Frequency
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), while fatalities involving cars and light trucks reached an all time low in 2008, motorcyclist deaths reached an all time high that year. Motorcycle accidents more than doubled between 1999 and 2008. A CDC study shows that between 2001 and 2008, more than 34,000 motorcyclists were killed in accidents and approximately 1,222,000 people were injured severely enough that they were treated in an emergency department for non-fatal accidents.
That study shows that people between the ages of 20 and 24 had the highest death rate, followed by those aged 25-29. The increase is not just in fatal accidents. Between 2001 and 2008, non fatal injuries increased from 120,000 to 175,000 per year. Over half of the non-fatal injuries involved the motorcyclist’s leg/foot (30%) or head/neck (30%).
The Costs of Motorcycle Accidents
The CDC estimates that motorcycle related crashes cost $12 billion per year. Additionally, a different CDC report claims that “Economic costs saved in states with universal helmet laws were, on average, nearly four times greater per registered motorcycle than in states without such a law.”
How to Stay Safe on a Motorcycle
Some motorcycle accidents are the cyclist’s fault, some are the fault of other drivers, and some are just unavoidable. Whoever is to blame, the results of such an accident can change your life forever and can be coupled with a huge expense. If you or your family member is involved in a motorcycle accident you should contact an Oregon licensed personal injury or wrongful death attorney. But there are some things a motorcyclist can do to try to prevent an accident from happening. The CDC makes the following recommendations for those who ride:
- Always wear a DOT-approved helmet;
- Never ride your motorcycle after drinking. Alcohol greatly impairs your ability to safely operate a motorcycle. If you have been drinking, get a ride home or call a taxi;
- Don’t let friends ride impaired. Take their keys away;
- Wear protective clothing that provides some level of injury protection. Upper body clothing should also include bright colors or reflective materials, so that other motorists can more easily see you;
- Avoid tailgating; and
- Maintain a safe speed and exercise caution when traveling over slippery surfaces or gravel.
Following these tips cannot prevent every accident from happening, but it can prevent some and can mitigate the injuries you may suffer in others.
An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help if you have been injured while riding the roads around Portland and the surrounding areas.
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