North Carolina marks Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

North Carolinians should take precautions during Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in May.

The warm weather in North Carolina means more and more people will choose to travel by motorcycle during the upcoming months. Due to the expected increase in motorcycle traffic, Governor McCrory designated May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in North Carolina.

Consequently, it is a good time for motorcyclists and other drivers across the state to review safety guidelines for traveling this summer. The number of motorcyclists killed in North Carolina and across the country is staggering. Taking the time to focus on safety before getting out on the road could prevent a dangerous motorcycle crash or even save a life.

In North Carolina, all motorcyclists are required to wear a helmet at all times. North Carolina's universal helmet law was originally enacted in 1968. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for every 100,000 registered motorcycles in North Carolina in 2010, 80 lives were saved because of the state's helmet law.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk of a fatality falls by 37 percent when a motorcyclist wears a helmet. In addition, the likelihood of a motorcyclist suffering a head injury falls by 69 percent when a helmet is worn on the road.

In addition, motorcyclists should always wear proper attire when riding. Protective clothing can reduce the severity of injuries suffered in the event of a crash. In addition, adding reflective panels to clothing when riding at night will increase a motorcyclist's visibility to other drivers on the road.

Motorcycle crashes a serious problem in North Carolina

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 198 motorcyclists lost their lives in collisions in North Carolina in 2012. Of those, 173 were wearing helmets at the time of the crash.

In total, there were almost 4,270 motorcycle accidents in North Carolina in 2012. Of those, 3,472 resulted in at least one individual being injured.

Across the country, fatalities resulting from motorcycle accidents have been on the rise over the past decade, according to the CDC. In fact, more than two times the number of motorcyclists died in collisions in 2008 than in 1999 in the U.S.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident in North Carolina, consider your options to hold the responsible party accountable for the harm caused by the collision. It is a good idea to talk to an experienced personal injury attorney, who will advise you regarding the best course of action following the crash.

Keywords: North Carolina, motorcycle, accident