Dangers motorcyclists in St. Louis must face

With summer just around the corner, more motorcyclists are on the road and at risk of being hit by passenger vehicles.

With spring finally having arrived and summer soon to be here, there is no doubt that motorcycle season in Missouri is finally here this year. Bikers enjoy a thrill unlike any other when they can feel the open air as they ride on two wheels. However, along with the pleasures of riding a motorcycle is an increased risk of serious injury or even death in the event of an accident.

Motorcycle fatality realities

Statewide in 2013, 74 out of a total 757 vehicular fatalities were motorcyclists. Jackson County experienced the most motorcycle deaths with 10 bikers losing their lives there. In both Miller and Greene Counties, five motorcyclists each died. St. Louis County experienced four motorcycle fatalities and St. Louis City another two. The four deaths in St. Louis County were out of a total of 50 traffic fatalities from all causes.

In addition to fatalities, many motorcyclists suffer injuries after being hit by other vehicles. The lack of protection that bikers have as compared to passengers in other vehicles gives them a higher risk of sustaining very serious injuries.

News stories highlight the reality

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on a story in which a driver impaired by both drugs and alcohol hit a motorcycle with two people on it. The driver of the motorcyclist died at the time of the accident. His wife, who was a passenger on the motorcycle, was critically injured and eventually died after living a couple of more months. The car driver, from Alton, Illinois, was arrested on multiple criminal charges.

Another biker was killed after being hit by a car turning into a parking lot in Brentwood. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch article noted that the 36-year old motorcyclist did not die at the scene but later at the hospital.

Helmets can help but not in every case

According to the Missouri General Assembly, a new statute was passed in 2014 that will take full effect on January 1, 2017. Part of this statute will mandate the use of helmets for all motorcyclists.

Certainly helmets can help motorcyclists but they are not always the answer when a biker is hit by a larger vehicle. Out of the 74 statewide motorcycle fatalities in 2013, 66 bikers were wearing helmets at the time of their accidents.

Important information for all motorcyclists

Safe driving and practices are always helpful and recommended. However, many accidents are unavoidable on the part of motorcyclists. Negligent car, truck or SUV drivers may hit bikers with no time to respond. When this happens, seeking advice from an attorney is recommended.

Keywords: motorcycle, accident, injury