While motorcycles provide many enjoyable benefits to their riders, they may also be dangerous, especially when they are on the road with distracted drivers. Texting, eating and other distracting behaviors may drastically reduce a driver’s awareness of the road and traffic conditions, increasing the chance of an accident.
Unfortunately, accident-related injuries tend to be much more severe for motorcyclists than for motor vehicle passengers.
Accidents often cause serious injuries or death for motorcyclists
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were over 5,100 motorcyclists who died in traffic accidents in 2017. Compared with accident data per vehicle miles traveled for drivers and passengers in motor vehicles, motorcyclist fatalities were 27 times more frequent.
Texting and driving is prevalent
The Federal Communications Commission provides data and information on the dangers of texting and driving. According to the FCC, there are over 1,000 people injured and approximately nine killed every day in the United States due to accidents involving a distracted driver. In 2017, distracted driving accounted for 8.5 percent of the total yearly fatalities. The FCC article indicates that over 480,000 people are using their phones while behind the wheel during daylight hours every day.
The distracted driving statistics combined with the fact that motorcyclists have a higher risk of serious injury or death than motor vehicle passengers in a crash makes it clear that individuals who text and drive present a significant threat to motorcyclists. While the FCC indicates that there is no existing federal ban on texting and driving, there are laws in several states that prohibit people from using a phone while driving.