So what do you want to hear first, the good news or the bad news?
The good news came out just the other day from the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) about Motorcycle deaths in Central New York and, in fact, all over the nation. For more than a decade, motorcycle accident deaths had been climbing steadily, year after year. Then suddenly, in 2009, motorcycle deaths plummeted throughout the U.S by a total of 16%, which saved a total of 530 lives. The highest motorcycle accident death toll ever was the prior year, 2008, which took 5,290 lives.
Why? To what do the experts attribute such a dramatic decline? Are motorists finally SEEING motorcycles? Are motorcycle safety campaigns finally working? Are bikes just safer?
No. And here’s the bad news: The experts believe that the decline is due simply to the bad economy, not safer driving. Motorcyclists just didn’t have the doe for riding. Motorcycle riding is largely recreational, not for transportation, and so it is a luxury that gets cut first in hard times. Less motorcycle riding, means fewer motorcycle collisions, and fewer motorcycle deaths, and, of course, fewer Central New York motorcycle accident lawyers filing fewer motorcycle injury or death lawsuits. It’s that simple.
As soon as folks get their jobs back, they’ll be revving up those bikes, and for longer tours, and more often, and . .. . . will be having, unfortunately, more motorcycle accidents and more Central New York motorcycle lawyers will be filing more motorcycle injury and death claims.
A curious mind will also want to know this: Why had motorcycling deaths been climbing for a decade, peeking in 2008? Here’s why: Motorcycling had been on the rise throughout the decade. More motorcycles means more motorcycle accidents. Biking had gained a new-found popularity among inexperienced aging baby boomers. The average age of a cyclist today is forty-something, while in past years it was twenty-something. More inexperienced drivers also translates into more accidents.
As the economy improves, and there are more bikers out there, be safe. If you are on a bike, remember that motorists just don’t see you. Expect it. Be prepared for it. If you are a motorists, be on the lookout for cyclists.