Lane County Motorcycle Realities
Abstract: Lane County offers great motorcycle riding but bikers should be aware of the accident risks as well. Lane County is a great place to ride a motorcycle. With summer close at hand, this time of year can see an increase in the number of motorcycles on the road. It is, therefore, a logical time for all motorcyclists to take a moment and review the risks that they face every day.
Motorcycle-passenger vehicle accidents caused by the negligence of the passenger vehicle drivers can leave bikers with serious, lifelong injuries. They can also claim lives in the blink of an eye forcing friends and family members to grieve the loss of their loved ones.
A look at motorcycle fatalities in Oregon
Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that in 2013, only two counties experienced more motorcycle fatalities than Lane County. Specific data includes the following:
- In Lane County, there were 33 vehicular fatalities in all. Of those, four were motorcyclists.
- There were six motorcycle fatalities in Multnomah County.
- In Clackamas County, five motorcyclists died in traffic accidents.
- Linn, Douglas and Lincoln counties each lost one biker in crashes.
Statewide, 34 motorcyclists lost their lives in accidents. There were a total of 313 vehicular deaths in Oregon that year, including those 34 motorcyclists. Of the 34 bikers who died, 32 were wearing helmets at the time of their accidents.
As noted by the American Motorcyclist Association, helmets with chin straps are required for riders under the age of 18 in Oregon. It is important to note that while many people may believe that motorcyclists are often young, reckless drivers, 11 of the motorcyclists who died in Oregon in 2013 were 60 years of age or older. Another eight were in their 50s and another six were in their 40s. Only three were under the age of 30.
Recent incidents confirm the ongoing risk
The above statistics are from 2013 but the risk to bikers continues today. KOIN.com reported on the recent death of a motorcycle passenger after a pickup truck turned in front of the bike on Highway 42 near Bandon. The driver of the motorcycle sustained injuries and was taken to the hospital. The woman operating the truck was found to have a suspended driver’s license.
On Oregon 99E near Hubbard, a motorist making an illegal U-turn caused a crash that sent a 24-year old motorcyclist to the hospital according to OregonLive.com. The vehicle driver was cited for the U-turn. On a Sunday afternoon in Eugene, KMTR.com reported that an investigation is underway relating to a crash in which an 85-year old man driving a car turned in front of a motorcyclist. The 59-year old biker was sent to the hospital for his injuries.
Important information for all bikers
Driving safely and following the rules of the road are always important. However, when those things do not prevent an accident, help is needed. In these situations, it is advised to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.