As gas prices continue to rise to figures unseen before in the United States, as well as around the world, millions of Americans are looking at gas-friendly modes of transportation.
Among the options available are scooters and motorcycles, which are quickly becoming sought after and a popular form of transportation.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that there are approximately 6.6 million motorcycles are registered in America, and this figure does not include scooters. The NHTSA also reported that nearly 2,500 motorcyclists die in traffic accidents each year, and while this number was previously decreasing from 1990 to 1997, it has increased at least 40 percent steadily since 1997.
Scooter and Motorcycle Popularity Parallels Dangers
According to a news article from the Dallas Morning News on July 2, scooter sales had increased 24 percent in the first half of 2008. Additionally, the Motorcycle Industry Council, noted that Vespa saw a nearly 40 percent increase in sales while Yamaha reported a 65 percent increase over a one-year period.
A Consumer Reports article from June 2008 also discussed the popularity of motorcycles and scooters, which have increased tenfold. The article detailed sales of motorcycles, which have increased to approximately $1.2 million in 2006 alone -- a record unseen before. However, in that same year, it was reported that motorcycle fatalities accounted for more than 10 percent of all motor vehicle crash deaths.
However, motorcycle accidents are up approximately 127 percent since 1997 and the NHTSA reported that a motorcyclist is approximately 34 times more likely to die in a crash than someone in a passenger car. Also, researchers state that:
* In 2006, motorcyclist fatalities nearly doubled killing 4,810.
* According to the Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) motorcylce deaths are on the rise whereas vehicle/automotive deaths have declined.
* Approximately 88,000 motorcycle riders were injured in 2006, according to the NHTSA.
* Supersport bikes (also nicknamed rocket bikes or crotch rockets) have fatality rates that are four times greater than other motorcycle riders.
* These supersport bikes made up only 10 percent of registered motorcycles in 2005, but were responsible for 25 percent of motorcycle fatalities in that year.
* Wearing a helmet can reduced crash fatalities among riders by nearly 37 percent, according to NHTSA.
Scooter and Motorcycle Accident Costs
While many individuals are moving toward scooters and motorcycles to save money on the costs of gasoline, often, individuals overlook that scooter and motorcycle accidents can be extremely costly particularly among those not wearing helmets and involved in a scooter or motorcycle crash.
According to analysts from the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, working under contract for the NHTSA, who studied the results of 25 motorcycle studies conducted during the last few decades, the costs for motorcycle injuries can be priced for non-helmet riders from $7,200 upward to $30,400 in hospital-admitted and fatal accidents; whereas helmet wearers paid less after a crash costing anywhere from $3,000 to $17,400 in accident and hospital-related costs.
The study also reported that riders afflicted with a traumatic head injury will likely pay an average of $43,214 for trauma-center admittance and an average of $22,491 for hospital-admittance, while no head injury motorcycle or scooter riders involved in an paid an average of $15,528 for trauma-center admittance and an average of $11,430 for hospital-admission injuries.
Safety Tips for Better Driving
The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) offers educational programs and classes for those seeking to own and operate a scooter or motorcycle. Among the USDOT's recommendations are the following for the increasing number of motorcyclists and scooters drivers:
* Watch for the "no-zones" - often the blind spots of trucks as well as cars.
* Wear USDOT approved helmets at all times.
* Riders must always drive defensively, but still with caution.
* Never ride between lanes in traffic or share a lane with another vehicle.
* Ensure a motorcycle or scooter is updated on maintenance routinely.
* It is imperative that all riders wear jackets, boots, gloves at all times; leather is also known to decrease the risk of rider's burn.
* Be aware of speeds and maintain speed limits; accidents have been known to occur because riders were speeding and collided with slower moving vehicles such as buses or trucks.
* Be prepared for bad weather as well as night riding, which increases the risk of an accident.
Seeking Accident and Injury Assistance after a Crash
Individuals who have been involved in a motorcycle or scooter crash should seek the assistance of an experienced accident attorney who can offer assistance as well as legal consultation regarding a wreck or injury. Because accidents among motorcyclists and scooter riders quite frequently are not their fault and can often occur because the driver of another vehicle didn't see the motorcycle or scooter, it may be wise to begin building a scooter or motorcycle crash case or lawsuit.
Because of the costly bills associated with motorcycle or scooter accident, an individual may want to discuss an accident lawsuit with an experienced law firm.
To learn about the details associated with a scooter accident lawsuit, visit crash.legalview.com. Also use the LegalView homepage to locate information on other pharmaceutical issues including the newly relaunched Avandia information portal or recently updated news on the Levaquin tendon risk.