A fatal motorcycle accident occurred in Pennsylvania in late October, resulting in five deaths. The accident happened approximately 70 miles to the southwest of Harrisburg when two motorcycle riders collided with an SUV. Four people on the motorcycles were killed and one SUV passenger also lost his life. According to Fox News, a local township supervisor described the crash as the ‘single worst accident with that many fatalities in the township” and indicated that the accident scene was horrific. Grief counselors were provided at the scene of the crash, and the area where the accident occurred was closed for around five hours.
While this accident was devastating, it is unfortunately not the only fatal motorcycle crash that is likely to occur in Pennsylvania this winter. GHSA data reveals that 85 motorcycle riders were killed from January to June of 2011, and 112 motorcyclists lost their lives during the first six months of 2012. There is always a chance that some of these deaths could have been prevented if both motorcyclists and other drivers practiced safe driving habits through the winter and beyond.
Preventing Motorcycle Accidents Requires a Focus on Safety
While many drivers may assume that motorcyclists won’t be out as much in the winter, the data showing hundreds of deaths in 2012 from January to June makes clear that riders are out on the roads even in the winter months. This is especially true when winter weather is good. The high number of motorcycle deaths in 2012, for example, was explained by the GHSA as being partially caused by “unseasonably warm weather in March and April.”
Motorcycle riders are put in danger by bad weather and by drivers who may not expect to see them on the roads during the colder months. The early darkness caused by daylight savings time also contributes to the risks that motorcycle riders face during the winter.
Motorcyclists need to be aware of all of these dangers and do everything possible to stay safe, including checking weather reports before going out for a ride. This may reduce the chances of becoming caught in an expected storm. Our motorcycle accident lawyers in Wilkes-Barre and Harrisburg PA also encourage riders to wear brightly colored or reflective clothing at night time to make it easier for other drivers to see them.
While motorcyclists need to play a primary role in making sure they don’t become crash victims, drivers must also do their part to keep the roads safe. Some important safe driving practices drivers should follow this winter include:
- Driving at a speed that is safe for current conditions. This may mean slowing down to account for reduced visibility at night or when the weather is bad.
- Looking carefully for motorcyclists before turning into an intersection or changing lanes. Remember that motorcycle riders may be harder to see than drivers in passenger cars.
- Remembering that motorcyclists are more affected by poor road conditions than cars and avoiding tailgating or getting too close to riders.
If both motorcyclists and drivers commit to doing everything they can to stay safe, hopefully motorcyle accident injuries and fatalities can be kept to a minimum this year in PA.
A motorcycle accident attorney in Wilkes-Barre or Harrisburg, PA can help if you are involved in a crash. Contact Metzger Wickersham law firm at 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 (946-9461) or visit us online for a free case evaluation.