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Are Motorcyclists in Virginia Safe?

Cranwell & Moore P.L.C. Feb. 14, 2023

With prime motorcycling season here, bikers in Virginia should take a refresher course on the risks associated with sharing roads with other vehicles.

To motorcycling enthusiasts, the Roanoke Valley and surrounding area provides a virtual natural playground for two-wheeled enjoyment. This is the time of year when more bikers are on the road as the weather is temperate and conducive to riding on a motorcycle. However, there is always the risk for a biker to become the victim of a serious accident due to the negligence of another motorist .

Virginia’s Data Confirms the Dangers

Records of fatal motorcycle collisions are kept and reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A review of the five years from 2010 to 2014 show some fluctuation in the number of motorcycle fatalities but never a year without any of these tragic and unnecessary losses. Detailed information includes the following:

  • From 2010 to 2011, the number of motorcyclist fatalities in Virginia rose from 86 to 96.

  • In 2012, there were 85 motorcyclist deaths in the state.

  • Another 79 bikers died in 2013.

  • In 2014, the state saw an increase in the number of motorcyclist fatalities to 90.

When reviewing statistics for Roanoke County and its neighboring counties, motorcyclist fatalities, Roanoke County experienced more motorcycle fatalities than the others. In those five years, eight bikers were killed in the county. Deaths in Bedford, Botetourt and Montgomery Counties numbered five, four and three, respectively.

News Stories Report the Realities

Reading local news stories online is yet another way to see how bikers face serious risks every day when taking to the roads. The Roanoke Times told of how a commercial truck driver now faces criminal charges for his role in the hit-and-run death of a motorcyclist in Franklin County. Another recent accident also resulted in the death of a rider in Norfolk. WAVY explains that the 57-year-old man was hit by an SUV as the driver of that vehicle attempted to make a turn.

Important Tips for Riders

Anything that a motorcyclist can do to improve the chances of being seen by motorists is always helpful. This may include wearing bright clothing or having reflectors or lights on bikes. It is equally important for riders to assume that they are not seen by drivers of other vehicles. This mindset can encourage bikers to take extra precautions that may prevent accidents.

When an accident does happen, injured bikers need help. If a crash results in the death of a rider, loved ones deserve the right to seek compensation as one way of coping with their losses. Talking to an attorney in these situations can give people a good idea of what options they have.