Kentucky motorcyclists: Take precautions on the road

As spring has officially sprung, more motorcyclists will begin taking to the road in Kentucky, to enjoy the warm weather. With the increase in motorcycle traffic comes a rise in the risk of dangerous collisions involving motorcycles and other motor vehicles. Consequently, it is wise for motorcyclists to take a moment to review important safety tips before getting on the road.

Motorcyclists in Kentucky should always wear a helmet when on the road. Kentucky's partial helmet law was enacted in 1998, and does not require all motorcyclists to wear a helmet. Nevertheless, always wearing a helmet approved by the Department of Transportation could be lifesaving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the likelihood that a crash will be fatal decreases 37 percent if the motorcyclist is wearing a helmet.

In addition, motorcyclists should not operate their bike while they are distracted by other things - such as cellphones - and should never ride when they are impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Motorcyclists should always wear protective clothing, including reflective panels if they are riding at night. Doing so can reduce the severity of injuries sustained if a crash occurs.

Finally, motorcyclists should always abide by all traffic laws and take special precautions when the weather is bad. In such cases, it may be necessary to leave additional room to stop.

Motorcycle crashes a serious problem across the US

Motorcycle accidents have been on the rise across the country in recent years, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, while most types of motor vehicle accidents declined from 1999 to 2008, the number of motorcycle accidents in the U.S. actually doubled.

According to the CDC, over 34,000 motorcyclists lost their lives in collisions with motor vehicles from 2001 to 2008. In addition, over 1.2 million motorcyclists received medical treatment in emergency rooms during that period after suffering an injury in a crash.

In Kentucky alone, 106 motorcyclists were killed in collisions in 2012. Of those who lost their lives in such accidents, 68 were not wearing helmets at the time of the collision, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle collision, take action to ensure your financial security is maintained. In such situations, seeking the advice of a skilled personal injury attorney will ensure you do not lose out on damages to which you may be entitled.