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Kentucky Drivers Urged To Share Roads Safely with Bikers

Red motorcycle smashed up on the ground near a red pickup truck at the scene of a motorcycle accident.

Motorcycle accidents in Louisville and throughout Kentucky often occur because of mistakes made by other drivers. That’s why the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) urges drivers to share the road and watch for motorcyclists.

“We’re asking motorists to look twice at intersections and before changing lanes or making turns,” KOHS Secretary Jim Gray said in an interview with WPSD 6 News. “These simple yet important actions behind the wheel could be the difference between life and death for a motorcyclist or bicyclist.”

Motorcycle accident lawyer in Louisville, KY, explains what bikers need to know

So, just how bad have motorcycle accidents become in Kentucky? How does the state compare to others in terms of motorcycle crashes? Why do so many motorcycle accidents happen? And what can drivers do to prevent such accidents? A Louisville motorcycle accident attorney at The Whaley Law Firm breaks down what you need to know and emphasizes the importance of seeking legal help if you or a loved one was injured in a crash.

Kentucky motorcycle accidents are on the rise

The numbers are clear – more motorcyclists in Kentucky are being injured or dying in motorcycle accidents. In 2023, there were 1,986 motorcycle accidents in Kentucky, resulting in 1,510 injuries and 110 deaths, according to accident data compiled by the KOHS.

To put such numbers in perspective, Kentucky set a record in 2021 for the most motorcycle accident fatalities in a single year with 108 deaths, according to accident data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). A decade earlier, in 2013, there were 87 motorcycle accident deaths in Kentucky, an increase of 26.4 percent in just 10 years.

Are motorcycle accidents worse in Kentucky compared to other states?

According to a study conducted by Forbes based on 2020 motorcycle accident data, motorcycle accident fatalities in Kentucky accounted for 12 percent of all motor vehicle deaths in the state. But since then, those numbers have increased to 13 percent in 2021 and 14 percent in 2022.

In contrast, the national average for motorcycle accident fatalities is 15 percent of all motor vehicle deaths, according to the most recent NHTSA motorcycle accident data based on 2022 figures nationwide.

However, what's even more alarming is the number of people dying in motorcycle accidents nationwide keeps climbing to record highs. In 2021, motorcycle accident fatalities nationwide soared to 6,084 deaths, the most in a single year since 1975, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Then, in 2022, that record was broken again, with 6,218 motorcycle fatalities nationwide.

What are the common causes of motorcycle accidents?

Motorcycle accidents often occur as a result of other drivers' negligence. Some of the most common reasons why vehicle drivers cause motorcycle wrecks include:

  • Tailgating drivers who don’t leave enough room between their vehicle and motorcyclists in front, often resulting in a rear-end motorcycle crash.
  • Aggressive drivers who don’t share the road with motorcyclists.
  • Distracted drivers who don’t look for motorcyclists when passing another car, changing lanes or turning at an intersection.
  • Speeding drivers who don’t have time to slow down to avoid an accident with a biker.
  • Drunk drivers or drivers under the influence of drugs who crash into motorcyclists because their ability to operate a motor vehicle safely is impaired.

What can vehicle drivers do to prevent motorcycle wrecks?

Officials at KOHS offered several safety tips for drivers to prevent motorcycle accidents, including:

  • Put down your cell phone and avoid all distractions while driving.
  • Regularly check mirrors and blind spots for motorcyclists before entering an intersection or changing lanes.
  • Use turn signals at all times so motorcyclists know what to expect and can adjust their riding accordingly.
  • Follow motorcyclists at a safe distance. Remember, motorcycles can slow down and stop faster than a typical passenger vehicle.
  • Make sure there’s enough space when passing a motorcycle on the road.
  • Obey the posted speed limit.
  • Never drive drunk or impaired.

Why should I hire a Kentucky motorcycle accident attorney?

If you were injured or a loved one died in a motorcycle wreck in Louisville, you have the right to seek compensation for your medical bills (past, present, and future), lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, you need to act fast to protect your rights. Insurance companies are notorious for making lowball settlement offers in the immediate aftermath of a serious crash, and if you're not careful, you could lose out on the compensation you deserve.

At The Whaley Law Firm, we play hardball with insurance adjusters. We understand the challenges injured bikers in Kentucky face, and that's why we're here to help. We know which legal strategies are the most effective. We know how to find the facts that matter to your case. And we know how to hold negligent drivers accountable for their actions.

Contact us and schedule a free consultation. We want to hear what happened, understand what injuries you're dealing with, and explain what an experienced Louisville motorcycle accident lawyer can do for your potential legal case.

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