4 days, 4 motorcyclists killed in Maryland

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On behalf of Steven Cooper at Cooper Law Firm

During a recent four-day period in Maryland, an equal number of motorcyclists lost their lives in collisions.

For many people, one of the benefits of spring and summer in Maryland is the ability to hit the open road on a motorcycle. Unfortunately, as the number of motorcyclists increase, the risk of a serious motorcycle collision rises, as well.

During a recent four-day period in Price George's County, an equal number of motorcyclists lost their lives. Of those four fatal motorcycle accidents, three involved collisions with other vehicles.

Police reported that motorists operating SUVs were responsible for two of the deadly crashes. In one case, the driver of the SUV made a U-turn and collided with the motorcyclist. In the other, the motorcyclist had the right of way and the driver of the SUV failed to yield.

These collisions illustrate a common problem on Maryland's roadways - other motorists do not always take proper precautions when driving around motorcyclists.

Be cautious to avoid deadly motorcycle collisions in Maryland

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 77 motorcyclists were killed in collisions on Maryland's roadways in 2012. Of those killed, 69 motorcyclists were wearing helmets at the time of the crash.

Wearing a helmet approved by the Department of Transportation is one of the most effective ways for motorcyclists to avoid severe head injuries and even death. In Maryland, all motorcyclists are required to wear a helmet when on the road. The state's universal helmet law was originally enacted in 1992. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the helmet law saved 52 lives for every 100,000 registered motorcycles in Maryland in 2010.

Motorcyclists can take other steps to protect themselves when on the road, as well. For instance, wearing proper clothing can significantly reduce the severity of injuries suffered in the event of a collision. Motorcyclists traveling at night would be wise to wear clothes with reflective panels and ensure the lights on their bikes are functioning properly.

As with motorists of any type, motorcyclists should always abide by traffic laws, including riding within the speed limit. Maintaining a safe distance from the vehicles ahead is also a good idea, to ensure motorcyclists always have enough room to stop should other vehicles slow down suddenly.

Finally, motorcyclists should never get on the road if they have consumed substances that could affect their ability to ride safely, such as alcohol or drugs.

When another driver causes a collision with a motorcyclist, he or she should be held accountable for the harm caused in the accident. Under such circumstances, the motorcyclist should consider talking to a skilled personal injury attorney, who will take steps to protect his or her interests.

Keywords: motorcycle, accident, Maryland