Over the last several years, Iowa has seen an increase in motorcycle fatalities on the roadway. In 2008, there were 53 motorcycle fatalities in Iowa, which dropped a little in 2009 to 43 deaths. The year isn't even over yet, and the current numbers for 2010 report approximately 60 fatalities for 2010. There are many reasons why motorcycle fatalities in Iowa and across the nation continue to increase.
Research has shown that aggressive driving by motorcycle riders continues to be a leading factor contributing to motorcycle accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA); however, that is not the only danger facing motorcycle drivers. In fact, other drivers on the road pose a greater threat to motorcycle drivers than their own risk-taking behaviors. NHTSA estimates that 70% of motorcycle accidents are caused by other drivers failing to watch out for motorcycle riders.
The top factors of Iowa motorcycle accidents include:
Other Drivers - Because motorcycles are small, drivers of vehicles aren't as aware of motorcyclists and don't pay as close attention as they should. Also, drivers might be engaged in distracted driving behaviors such as texting or talking on their cell phones, which can contribute to motorcycle accidents.
No Helmets - Iowa does not have a helmet law in place. Many motorcycle riders in Iowa choose to not wear helmets. Helmets have been known to help save lives and should be worn to help prevent serious head injuries.
Poor Weather - Bad weather conditions can lead to motorcycle accidents, injuries and fatalities. Wet, slick roads can be dangerous. Driving a motorcycle in the snow or when the roads are iced over isn't advisable, as it could lead to an Iowa motorcycle accident. Also, driving a motorcycle in heavy fog can be a safety concern and should be avoided if possible.
Lost Control - Driving too aggressively and speeding can cause a driver to lose control of their motorcycle. High speeds increase a motorcyclist's chance of losing control of their bike.
Road Conditions - Motorcyclists could be in danger if they are driving on loose gravel and poor road conditions. Even big potholes and uneven roads can present dangerous conditions for motorcycle riders. Such conditions can cause a rider to slide out or a have tire blowout. Motorcyclists should avoid roads with bad conditions, or at least watch out for them and slow down.
Alcohol and Drugs - For all motorists, driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs is extremely dangerous and against the law. However, driving under these influences can be fatal for motorcycle drivers as there is nothing protecting them from the environment in the case of a crash.
Motorcycle drivers can help prevent crashes by slowing down, driving cautiously, having the correct lights on their bikes, and wearing brightly colored helmets and reflective gear. However, as the research shows, not all motorcycle accidents are the fault of the rider. Drivers of passenger vehicles need to do a better job of being aware of motorcyclists on the roads and learn how to share the road.
If you have been injured in an Iowa motorcycle accident from no fault of your own, contact the Iowa motorcycle personal injury lawyers at the law offices of Brady Preston Gronlund today. Experienced motorcycle accident attorneys know what to look for in motorcycle accidents and can help you receive fair compensation for your injuries. Call us at (319) 866-9277 today for your free case evaluation.