Motorcycle fatalities are way up in Tennessee this year

Motorcycle deaths are up dramatically in Tennessee this year, with the main riding season yet to start.

The riding season has only just started, but already motorcycle deaths in Tennessee this year have exceeded what they were for all of last year, according to Fox 17 News. The dramatic uptick in fatal motorcycle accidents is especially worrying given that the peak riding season is still coming up, during which there could be even more accidents. As a result of the surge in fatalities, state authorities and police are urging motorists to better share the road with motorcyclists and to refrain from distracted driving.

More motorcycle deaths

The Tennessee Highway Patrol reports that in the first four months of 2016 there were already 25 motorcyclist fatalities in Tennessee. By comparison, there were 20 motorcycle fatalities in the state during all twelve months of last year. Because this year's deaths all predate the busy summer riding season, the final 2016 figures are likely to end up being even worse.

While it is difficult to say why motorcycle deaths are up by so much this year, police suspect that distracted driving is likely playing a big role. While texting and driving is a significant factor in the increase in distracted driving, police note that talking to passengers, changing the radio, or eating food are also enough to take drivers' attention away from the road.

Sharing the road

As the Erwin Record reports, the surge in motorcyclist deaths has led the Tennessee Highway Safety Office and the Department of Safety and Homeland Security to increase their efforts in promoting motorcycle safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also reminds drivers that motorcyclists have all of the same rights as other vehicles on the road. Drivers should give motorcyclists plenty of space and should always check their blind spots and use their indicators when turning or changing lanes.

The NHTSA notes that about 40 percent of motorcycle accidents are caused because of car drivers turning left into the path of a motorcycle. Furthermore, because motorcyclists do not enjoy the same safety protections that car drivers do, the chances of them being injured or killed when in an accident are significantly higher.

Motorcycle accidents

Because the risk of serious injury to motorcyclists is so high, those who have been hurt in a motorcycle accident should seek legal advice as soon after their accident as possible. Injuries tend to lead to not only significant physical and emotional pain and suffering, but they can also take a financial toll as well. An experienced personal injury attorney can advise crash victims about what rights they may have and whether they may be able to pursue financial compensation to help ease the burden of their accident.