Minnesotan motorcyclists: Protect yourself on the road

As the snow has finally melted and the freezing temperatures are beginning to show signs of abating, many Minnesotans will enjoy the warmer weather by traveling via motorcycle. While motorcycles may not be the most practical mode of transportation during a Minnesota winter, they are certainly an enjoyable way to appreciate a well-deserved summer.

Unfortunately, as more Minnesotans choose to travel by motorcycle during the spring and summer, there is an increased risk of a dangerous motorcycle accident taking place. Consequently, motorcyclists should make efforts to ensure their safety while on the road.

Motorcycle crashes a serious concern in Minnesota

In Minnesota and across the country, motorcycle collisions have become a serious issue, as the number of people killed in such crashes is high. In 2012, 55 motorcyclists lost their lives in crashes in Minnesota, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Across the United States, the number of people killed in motorcycle accidents has been on the rise in recent years - even as the number of people killed in other types of motor vehicle accidents has declined. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than two times the number of motorcyclists were killed in the United States in 2008 than in 1999. In total, over 34,000 motorcyclists died in such collisions from 2001 to 2008. In addition, over one million people required emergency room medical care following a motorcycle collision during that period.

Take precautions to prevent a severe motorcycle collision

Although Minnesota law does not require all motorcyclists to wear helmets while they are on the road, wearing a helmet could be a lifesaving choice. In 2012, of the motorcyclists killed in collisions in Minnesota, 33 were not wearing helmets at the time of the crash.

In addition to helmets, motorcyclists should wear other forms of protective clothing when on the road. For instance, wearing protective fabrics - such as leather - can help reduce the severity of injuries suffered in a crash. Also, when motorcyclists travel at night, they should wear clothing with reflective panels to ensure other drivers can spot them easily.

Motorcyclists should take the same cautionary steps as drivers of other types of motor vehicles. They should never operate a motorcycle if they have been consuming alcohol or other substances that could impair their ability to safely operate a bike.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident in Minnesota, take the time to seek the counsel of a skilled personal injury attorney. Consulting with a knowledgeable attorney will ensure your right to recover damages following the collision is protected.