Every year, the roads of Arizona are the site of many fatal motorcycle accidents which devastate victims and family members. When a rider is injured in an accident, he or she has legal rights which must be protected. Family members of riders who are killed in motorcycle accidents may also have legal rights in a wrongful death claim. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact a Phoenix motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. You have legal rights to compensation which must be protected.

The Rising Rates of Motorcycle Injuries

Traffic fatalities across the United States declined after the economic crash of 2008. Slowly, Americans returned to the road, and traffic fatalities are again on the rise. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration projects that 2016 traffic fatalities are at least eight percent higher than 2015 fatalities (which were, in turn, 7.2% higher than 2014 fatalities). NHTSA also reported that, in 2014, motorcycle fatalities occurred twenty-seven times more frequently than fatalities in other vehicles. Motorcycles have been repeatedly demonstrated to be less safe than passenger vehicles over decades of research.

The Arizona Revised Statutes have general provisions for rider safety. These include guidelines for number of passengers, lane use, headlight use, and handlebar height. These basic rules of the road are not, however, entirely sufficient to prevent fatal motorcycle accidents.

New Safety Features Save Lives

New motorcycle technologies are improving and expanding in ways that can help riders both stay safe and meet their legal duty of care. According to FairWarning, anti-lock braking systems are becoming a standard feature in motorcycles. All new motorcycles sold in Europe must now include ABS. Japan, India and Brazil are all requiring ABS for motorcycles on a phased-in schedule. Despite support from NHTSA and other powerful advocates, ABS is not yet required in the United States. It is still a widely-available feature, however, and consumers are wise to access its protection. It is interesting to note that both the California Highway Patrol and New York City Police Department require all motorcycles in their fleets to carry ABS.

Motorcycle buyers should also consider other features which can help them meet this obligation. For example: engine size affects speed, and this can be a problem for new or inexperienced riders who are not prepared to manage a powerful engine.  Other intriguing safety options are in various stages of research and development. Airbag vests and jackets; safer helmets with GPS and backup cameras; LED and adaptive headlights; gloves with Bluetooth connectivity; system monitoring and diagnostic warnings; electronic stability control; and many other such innovations may soon become widely available to consumers. With so many options, it can be difficult to know what safety features are most important. Motorcycle buyers should carefully research all options and identify those which best suit their riding needs.

Of course, no amount of safety features or technology can substitute for attentive and defensive driving. Motorcyclists must complement their safety equipment and features with safe driving habits. Stay alert and slow down to arrive at your destination safely every time.