With spring just around the corner, many residents in Maryland may be eager to get back to some activities they do not engage in during the winter months. For many people, riding a motorcycle may well be one of those activities. Bikers have good reason to enjoy the thrill of riding on two wheels but they must also navigate serious risks when they share the road with cars, trucks and other larger vehicles.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of motorcyclists killed in Maryland increased every year between 2013 and 2017 from 62 in 2013 to 86 in 2017. In between those years, deaths among riders rose first to 69 in 2014, to 75 in 2015 and then to 76 in 2016. The 86 lives lost in 2017 represent a total of 16 percent of all vehicular fatalities in the state that year. In Prince George’s County alone, 77 people on motorcycles lost their lives over the course of those five years.
Despite stereotypes, it is not only young riders who die in accidents. In 2017, 61 of the people killed were 30 years of age or older. Riders in their 50s and older accounted for 32 of the deaths. Too often drivers of other vehicles do not adequately pay attention to or yield to motorcyclists. Even opening a car door when parked next to a lane of traffic can be deadly for a motorcyclist.
This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give residents in Maryland an overview of the ongoing challenges faced by motorcyclists on the road and the importance of seeking help after they or a loved one have been involved in an accident.